The Knocknarea Arena at IT Sligo hosted one of the flagship 1916 commemoration events in the North West region, when it staged the spectacular Macalla 1916 concert in front of a sell-out crowd.
The Macalla 1916 suite is a new musical composition which was written by Sligo’s Michael Rooney for the Comhaltas National Folk Orchestra of Ireland.
The orchestra featured over 60 of the finest best classical and traditional musicians in the country, including eight traditional musicians from Sligo and seven classical musicians from Sligo Academy.
In 2015 Michael was commissioned by Sligo County Council to write music for Prince Charles’ historic visit to Sligo. This was performed in the Model, Sligo and the music was gifted to Prince Charles by Sligo County Council on behalf of the people of Sligo
This concert commemorated the events of Easter 1916 in music and narration. The suite was a breathtakingly emotional journey, encapsulating the tension, suffering and spirit of 1916 through the medium of music, song and poetry.
The suitel premiered in London’s Barbican Theatre in March before going on a nation-wide tour of Ireland during Easter week, including the RDS, Drogheda, Wexford Opera House, Cork City Hall, Monaghan, Sligo and Derry.
“Work on the ‘The Macalla Suite began in Feb 2015 and it was my second commission from Comhaltas Ceoltorí Éireann following the Boróimhe suite in 2014,” said the suite’s composer Michael Rooney.
“What began as a good idea, came to fruition after much exploration, research and effort. Along the way, I’ve had a great experience working with National Folk Orchestra of Ireland and best young musicians in the country.”