Welcome to the Sligo Orpheus Choir website

Who we are...

Established in 1975, Sligo Orpheus Choir is an amateur choir of over 50 singers that aims to promote an appreciation and enjoyment of choral music within the community of County Sligo and beyond.

Musical Director

Austin McManus M.A. born and raised in Manchester started his musical education on the viola, but soon took up violin, recorder, voice and keyboard studies. As a straight-As student he went on to study Music at Cambridge University where he was a Choral Scholar and Instrumental Exhibition Award holder.

 

Austin resided in Japan for several years where he became fluent in Japanese, has performed on four continents and appeared on television in countries as varied as Japan, Greece, Australia and Ireland. In 1996 he had the honour of singing for His Holiness Pope John Paul 11 in the Vatican in Rome.

Austin is currently Musical Director of Sligo Orpheus Choir, Director of Music of St. Clare’s Church Manorhamilton and teaches viola and violin with Sligo Academy of Music. He is Leader of Sligo Early Music Ensemble, the Bazzini String Quartet and a member of the Innisfree String Quartet.

Rehearsals are Tuesday nights
from 7.30 to 9pm

 Click below for more information.

A Little Bit About Us

Over the years our repertoire has included

Handel’s Messiah
Haydn’s Creation
Mendelssohn’s Elijah
Vivaldi’s Gloria
Mozart’s Requiem in D minor
Mozart’s coronation mass
Schubert Mass in D
Gounod Messe Solennelle (Sainte -Cecile}
Gabriel Faure Requiem in D minor op 48
Carl Orff’s Carmina Burana
Cantique de Jean Racine, Op. 11 (Fauré, Gabriel)
Amadeus (The Music of Mozart)

What Members say:

Chris O’Malley – Bass

“I joined the bass section of the Orpheus Choir in 2019 and highlights of my time with the choir have included the Christmas Concert and a visit to Kempten in Bavaria, which was a great social and cultural experience. I enjoy the selection of music that we sing, from Mozart’s Soave Sia Il Vento to the Flying Pickets’ Only You. Weekly choir practice gives me a chance to take time out from work and other responsibilities and clear my head for a couple of hours while singing music I enjoy”

Maura Kilfeather – Soprano

“My name is Maura Kilfeather and I have enjoyed singing as a soprano in the Orpheus Choir since January 2019. The warmth of the welcome for new members combined with the wide range of the repertoire chosen by our Musical Director has me looking forward to our practice sessions each Tuesday and of course to our actual performances. A favourite piece to date has been Northern Lights by Ola Gjeilo – what harmonies!”

Rosalind Saunders – Soprano

“My name is Rosie and I’m a newcomer to the Sligo Orpheus Choir! I’ve been studying musical theatre for the last three years in Canada, and this is my first time in Ireland. I’m singing soprano and I had a great time travelling with the choir to sing in the International City of Derry Choir Festival! So far, my favourite piece I’ve been a part of with the choir is Northern Lights. Walking into the choir room for the first time, I was a bit nervous because I didn’t know anybody, but I’ve found everybody is incredibly welcoming and it brings me a lot of joy to be a part of a group. There’s something so wonderful to me about knowing that I’m a piece in a beautiful puzzle”

Valarie McNiffe Healy – Soprano

Being new to Sligo, having retired, and widowed the previous year, joining the choir was the best thing I could have done! I meet people of all ages, and walks of life, as we come together once a week for rehearsals in a lovely venue at Ballinode College. There is also a very good social life attached to the choir, as I have made many friends and travelled all around Ireland and abroad. So, why not join us and significantly increase your levels of wellbeing; relax, give your heart, lungs and your problems a break!

Mary Dolan – Soprano

“I have been a member of the Sligo Orpheus choir for the past five years. It is a community choir and the fun, friendship and joy from group singing is life enhancing and thoroughly enjoyable. I love being involved in presenting concerts which fundraise for various charities; also singing to enhance community events e.g., World War One memorial concert. My favourite performance to date was the tribute event “Salute to Seamus” hosted in the Methodist hall, Wine St., Sligo in July 2019 for Seamus’ wife Marie and family”

Noreen Colreavy – Soprano

“My favourite performance is the Carols by Candlelight concert because it’s magical and puts everyone in the Christmas spirit. I love singing at rehearsals and performances because it puts me in a good mood, and I meet new friends. I like the choir trips away because of my love of travel and the craic”

Heidi Winkler O’Donnell – Alto

I started singing with Sligo Orpheus Choir back in 1990, encouraged by my mother Eileen and former musical director Sheila Crowley to join. I was only a baby at the time and was welcomed with open arms every Tuesday night at rehearsals in Scoil Ursula on the Strandhill Road. One of the highlights for me back in the day was traveling to London to sing the Hallelujah Chorus in The Royal Albert Hall. It was my mother’s 50th birthday that weekend and a fabulous time was had by all. Other great memories include singing in the National Concert Hall and The Point Depot in Dublin. We were accompanied by the National Concert Band and The Symphony Orchestra respectively under the batons of two of Ireland’s foremost conductors James Kavanagh and Proinnsías O’Duinn. I took an extended break a few years later to get married and raise my two children. I rejoined in 2013 after meeting Raymond Carty (tenor and original member) on the street one day and he said they were looking to recruit new and old members. So with more time on my hands, I went along and never looked back. It was great to see some old members still there, some had sadly passed away, and meet lots of newbies too. We had a new musical director Austin McManus at this stage. Many great and enjoyable performances were had over the years under his guidance, the most memorable being the trip to Reykjavik to sing in a beautiful church organised by him. I look forward to many more trips and concerts.

Singing in this choir gives me a real positive experience and I enjoy the challenge of learning new pieces especially in different languages. I would encourage anyone looking for an outlet that likes music and song to join. Long may it continue.

"My name is Rosie and I'm a newcomer to the Sligo Orpheus Choir! I've been studying musical theatre for the last three years in Canada, and this is my first time in Ireland. I'm singing soprano and I had a great time travelling with the choir to sing in the International City of Derry Choir Festival! So far, my favourite piece I've been a part of with the choir is Northern Lights. Walking into the choir room for the first time, I was a bit nervous because I didn't know anybody, but I've found everybody is incredibly welcoming and it brings me a lot of joy to be a part of a group. There's something so wonderful to me about knowing that I'm a piece in a beautiful puzzle"
Rosalind Saunders
Soprano
"I joined the bass section of the Orpheus Choir in 2019 and highlights of my time with the choir have included the Christmas Concert and a visit to Kempten in Bavaria, which was a great social and cultural experience. I enjoy the selection of music that we sing, from Mozart's Soave Sia Il Vento to the Flying Pickets' Only You. Weekly choir practice gives me a chance to take time out from work and other responsibilities and clear my head for a couple of hours while singing music I enjoy"
Chris O’Malley
Bass

Latest News

Presentation to St Vincent De Paul, Sligo

02/02/2023 Sligo Orpheus Choir were delighted to present a cheque for €1,136 to St Vincent de Paul Sligo following our Carols for Candle Light

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Alzheimer Fundraiser, Town Hall, Sligo.

December 2nd, 2022 Sligo Orpheus Choir was delighted to be asked to participate in the ‘Evening of Music’ fundraising event supporting

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Carols by Candlelight, Holy Cross Friary, Sligo

December 12th, 2022 A big, big THANK YOU to everyone who attended our ‘Carols by Candlelight’ concert last Sunday night in Holy Cross,

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