This CD showcases the group’s June 2003 performance tour of Ireland, directed by Henry H. Leck. Also featuring the Irish Airs, the 61-voice choir, with accompanist Anna Briscoe, presents 21 selections across the spectrum of traditional Irish ballads, humor, games and chanteys, along with sacred works, show tunes and new compositions.
The variety of styles makes this an enjoyable hour, with reasons to keep listening beyond St. Patrick’s Day. The Irish Airs richly deliver solos, but it’s their vocal collaborations that make for a satisfying experience. This is particularly true in the suite of folk songs featuring ICC’s Jeff Edenberg’s pure-toned recorder and Irish Airs’ Leslie Krom Selden’s fiddle, with soloists Sarah Paetzmann and Daniel Lewis. “Whiskey in the Jar” also benefits from the combination.
The choir’s signature richness is especially evident in Purcell’s “Alleluia,” arranged by Nancy Grundahl. A lovely reprise from the ICC’s previous performance with The Chieftains is “Women of Ireland.” Philip Lawson’s arrangement of “Danny Boy” is touching. Russ Robinson surprises with the slow tempo of “Over the Rainbow,” while T.H. Gillespie’s arrangement of “Tell Me Ma” pushes the humor. “Red is the Rose” features the vocal ensemble of Megan Fletcher, Hannah Lutgring, Rose Soliven and Kara Wright.
The Irish Airs include Brian Cunningham, T.H. Gillespie, L.E. McCullough and Leslie Krom Selden. This is one of nine ICC recordings. Call 940-9640 or log on to www.icchoir.org.