An evening with Percy French
For one night only you will have the opportunity to travel back in time and spend a delightful evening listening to the music and songs of one of the most accomplished composers this island has produced.
Almost 100 years after his death, barely a sing-song takes place in this country that doesn’t feature at least a couple of Percy French songs. Who doesn’t know the famous opening line ‘Oh Mary this London’s a wonderful sight’ from The Mountains of Mourne, the beautiful ballads of Come Back Paddy Reilly and Gortnamona or the rousing Phil the Fluter’s Ball or “Are you right there, Michael”.
Perhaps not everyone can identify the composer of these famous Irish folk songs but most will recognise the lyrics and the melodies. After two sell-out shows in the National Concert Hall in Dublin, performances across the island and featuring on the BBC’s Britain’s Great Railway Journeys presented by Michael Portillo.The Rotary Club of Omagh arranged for this charming show to be performed in the Silver Birch Hotel, Omagh on Saturday the 9th of February 2019. The show was performed by 8 members of the County Leitrim Percy French Society in period costume with Frank Cadam taking the role of the great man himself.
Throughout the performance Percy links songs with stories from his life explaining the background and inspiration behind the music giving the show a warmth and authenticity. Under the direction of Tish Dunleavy, as musical director, the show is presented in a fun-loving and good-humoured way with audience participation welcomed and encouraged along the way. Percy French was born in County Roscommon on the 1st May 1854 and died on the 24h January 1920. During his lifetime he composed over 200 songs as well as having had a prolific output in visual art. Tish Dunleavy and Frank Cadam founded the County Leitrim Percy French Society as they realised that, despite his extensive musical repertoire, French was under-appreciated and under-promoted. The society’s objective, therefore, is to bring the works of this wonderful composer to a wider audience and create a greater awareness of his musical brilliance. For guaranteed musical fun and entertainment, don’t miss out on this show, An Evening with Percy French, by the County Leitrim Percy French Society, showcasing some of the best-loved Irish songs ever from the catalogue of this gifted Irish composer.
The Rotary Club of Omagh assist many local charities and have, in advance, nominated two local charities to benefit from this fund raising event. These are the Cardiology unit at Omagh Hospital and Positive Futures, based locally at Gortrush, Omagh who help people with learning disability and people on the autistic spectrum.