The Music of Snow by Noel Monahan and Ciarán Tackney, St Patricks College Cavan

For the past six years Ciarán Tackney has written a new piece for St. Patrick's College, Cavan to bring the choir, traditional Irish group, brass and woodwind instruments together to perform a solo piece as part of the Carol Concert in the Cathedral of St Patrick and St Felim annually.

In 2018, by kind permission of the internationally acclaimed poet Noel Monahan, Ciarán set Noel's poem 'The Music Of Snow' to music. The finished piece is an eight minute movement for male voice choir, brass, woodwind, traditional Irish instruments, church organ, piano and vocal soloists. It was also a concerto type work involving a trio of soloists, uilleann pipes (Daniel Brady), button accordion, (Pádraig Conroy) and violin (Adam Kelly). Its first performance in Cavan Cathedral on the 12th December 2018 included almost seventy performers and was heard by an audience of over 800 people. The project was completed within a very tight and busy school schedule, the poem was chosen in September, choral and instrumental parts written, distributed and rehearsed for the final performance on 12 December 2018. Eileen Tackney who played organ on the night also helped prepare the choir for the performance. The poem provided a rich tapestry of material that lent itself to a musical setting. This piece was very well received by a large and appreciative audience who expressed interest in further performances.


Ciarán Tackney

Ciarán Tackney is a music teacher at St Patricks College, Cavan.   He is passionate about music and encouraging his students to reach their full potential. Ciarán has formerly written works for the Irish Youth Choir including work that was performed with the National Symphony Orchestra in 2002. 


Noel Monahan

Noel Monahan was born in Granard, Co. Longford. He has won numerous awards for his poetry and writing. His awards include: The SeaCat National Poetry Award, organised by Poetry Ireland, The RTE P.J. O’Connor Award for drama, The ASTI Achievements Award, The Hiberno-English Poetry Award and The Irish Writers’ Union Poetry Award. He has read his work on Sunday Miscellany, RTE Radio 1, and in a number of universities in Europe and North America. His poetry was prescribed text for Leaving Certificate English, 2011 & 2012. Chalk Dust is Noel Monahan’s eighth collection of poetry. A number of his poems have been translated into Italian, Russian, French and Romanian. For twenty-six years he has worked with Heather Brett as co editor of Windows Publications.   Recently, he has had work included in the following anthologies: Windharp, edited by Niall MacMonagle and published by Penguin, Tra Una Vita E L’Altra, published by Guanda, Italy, Lost Between, New Island Press, Everything To Play For, published by Poetry Ireland, Even The Daybreak, published by Salmon, and Reading The Future, New Writing From Ireland, Arlen House. Noel Monahan holds an M.A. in Creative Writing.




11 Jan 2019

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