The second annual Percy French Summer School is currently underway, having been launched last evening (Wednesday) by Mayor of Roscommon, Cllr. Luke ‘Ming’ Flanagan.
Cllr. Flanagan performed the official opening at a function in Roscommon County Library. Guests at the launch also heard an opening address from Richie Farrell and an illustrated talk entitled ‘Percy French in Ireland 1957 to today’ and this was followed by a medley of Percy French Songs by Roscommon Drama Group.
Today’s events include lectures and a lunchtime concert in Castlecoote House, while there will be an afternoon session of art, poetry and music for children aged six to ten in Roscommon County Library.
Ballaghaderreen Library and Boyle Library host the same event for children on Friday 16th and Tuesday 20th respectively. The County Library in Abbeytown, Roscommon, is the venue for a lecture entitled ‘Vernacular Architecture of County Roscommon’, by Barry O’Reilly, National Inventory of Architectural Heritage Section, Department of the Environment, Heritage and Local Government.
A wide range of events is also taking place at Castlecoote House. Events on Thursday include lectures by Dr. Caitriona Clear and Dr. John Scally, and a lunchtime concert with Brian Munn and Teresa O’Donnell. Friday sees an illustrated talk on Percy French’s paintings and a lecture on Thomas Moore and Percy French by Dr. Mary O’Donnell. Friday evening will feature ‘An evening of wit and French Polish’ with Ann O’Dea, Siobhan Doyle and Jimmy Dixon.
Saturday’s line-up includes a lecture entitled ‘Above the Briar Line’ with Brian Leyden and a lecture on the words and music of Percy French by Bernard MacLaverty. Berrie O’Neill from the Percy French Society of North Down will outline his experience and perspectives from his journey with Percy French. Saturday concludes with a concert entitled ‘Moore and French The Entertainers: A Celestial Meeting of the Minds and Music of Thomas Moore and Percy French’. Sunday sees a commemorative service followed by the opening of the gardens.