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Irish Heritage Newsletter October 2020
  • Successful Charity Golf Day
  • Ellen Mawhinney and Tara Viscardi feature on ICC Culture Hotline
  • Bursary nominations close on 31st October
  • This year’s “Christmas by Candlelight” Concert  - Update
  • IMDL’s “Return to London” Festival - information
  • News from Irish Heritage ‘Alumni’

Breaking News

This year’s “Christmas by Candlelight” Concert

All involved with Irish Heritage are aware of the growing popularity of the charity’s annual “Christmas by Candlelight” Concert which usually takes place in St George’s Church in Hanover Square in London‘s West End in the days before Christmas.

The Covid-19 restrictions mean that the concert cannot take place as usual this year, however, we are pleased to report that thanks to the support of the Embassy of Ireland plans are well advanced to record a special concert to be broadcast in the week before Christmas.

Look out for further details which will be announced next month on the Irish Heritage website and in the November issue of this newsletter and on social media. 


Successful Charity Golf Day Boosts Bursary Funds

The annual Irish Heritage golf day which took place at Batchworth Park Golf Club on Friday 2nd October, provided an important financial boost for the charity which has been deprived of any income from concerts and recitals for over seven months.

The proceeds of the golf day, this was the fifth, make a significant contribution to the organisation’s support for young Irish musicians, singers and performers through its bursary programme.

The event which is organised by Tom Scanlon, a Trustee of Irish Heritage, is supported by leading Irish construction and engineering companies that operate primarily in the south of England.  The main sponsor of this year’s competition was Falcon Green, the supplier of construction and engineering personnel. 

The participating teams had to contend not just with the challenge of the testing Hertfordshire course but also with the inclement weather.  Despite this the scoring was good and the winners of the team competition were Elite Metalcraft on 93 points, runners-up were London Irish Rugby on 90 points.

The individual winner was Gearoid O’ Sullivan of the Elite Metalcraft team with 41 points.

Commenting on the day, Tom Scanlon said, “All involved with the charity appreciate the many calls from the Irish community for support from the construction and engineering industry especially in these difficult times.  Irish Heritage is fortunate to have the endorsement and generous backing of the companies’ concerned and I would like to thank them all especially our main sponsor Falcon Green. 

“An enjoyable day’s sport was had by all at Batchworth Park despite the inclement weather and we raised sufficient funds to ensure our valued bursary programme can continue for another year.”

Next year’s golf day will revert to its usual mid-June date subject to the current Covid-19 restrictions being suspended.

Tom Scanlon (on left) with the members of the successful Elite Metalcraft team: David O’Sullivan, Cathal Vaughan, Padraig Collins and Gearoid O’Sullivan.
Tom Scanlon (on left) presents the perpetual trophy for the best individual score to Gearoid O’Sullivan of Elite Metalcraft.

ICC Culture Hotline features Irish Heritage Bursary Recipients

Season Two of the Irish Cultural Centre’s “Culture Hotline” got off to a great start in September with pianist Justine Gormley’s performance receiving a very positive response, one viewer described it as “awesome”.

The Culture Hotline is the latest collaboration between the Hammersmith Centre and Irish Heritage. From now until mid-December people who phone into the “hotline” can enjoy a series of recitals by a selection of Irish Heritage bursary recipients and friends as follows.  Please note the change of date for Ellen Mawhinney’s recital.

21st October                      Ellen Mahwinney (Soprano)                                       
28th October                      Tara Viscardi (Harp)                                                   11th November                  Mollie Wrafter (Violin) 
25th November                  Adam Heron (Piano)    
9th December                    Amy Gillen (Flute)    
15th December                  Conall O’Neill (Bass)    

The recitals are available every second Wednesday afternoon and start at 2.00pm (UK time). Each virtual recital lasts 45 minutes and is easy to access from anywhere in the world by calling 020 3443 9152 from the UK or 0800 031 5925 (toll-free) from the rest of the world and using Conference ID:  135 144 590#. 

Ellen Mawhinney
Bursary nominations close on 31st October

Nominations for this year’s Irish Heritage Music Bursary for Performance, Brackaville Bursary for Vocal Studies and the special Accompanist’s Award close at the end of this month.

Nominations must be made through this country’s conservatoires and colleges.  Details of the process are on the Irish Heritage website at
Return to London Town 2020 Festival: Friday 23rd - Sunday 25th October 2020

Irish Heritage’s friends at Irish Music and Dance in London (IMDL) have been in contact about their annual traditional music festival.

“London's 22nd Annual Festival of Traditional Irish Music 'Return to London Town' has been in planning stages for months, remaining flexible at every turn in these unusual times and will take place over the weekend of Friday 23 to Sunday 25 October 2020.

The festival features a blended offering of socially distanced concerts and music workshops, held in the Covid-safe spaces of BFI IMAX (Waterloo), Cadogan Hall (Chelsea) and Ashford Place (Cricklewood). Concerts will be streamed for those who wish to purchase online tickets to enjoy at home.  There will also be a day of virtual music workshops with tutors from Ireland.

More details about ticketing, timings, safety measures, online options and artists are available at:
News about Irish Heritage ‘Alumni’

Molloy and Collins star in special Wexford Festival concert

On Sunday 11th October the Wexford Opera Festival staged a special concert as a tribute to the victims of Covid-19.  The “Festival in the Air” featured Irish Heritage ‘Alumni” including tenor John Molloy and pianist Finghin Collins to whom Irish Heritage gave his London debut at the Wigmore Hall.

The concert is available on YouTube and is well worth watching.
The Friends of Irish Heritage

The Friends of Irish Heritage are a special community of people who are committed:

* to making the dreams of young Irish classical music performers and composers a reality and

* to helping maintain the high quality and breadth of Irish Heritage’s activities.

The annual subscription provides vital funding for the essential support and performance opportunities Irish Heritage is able to offer talented musicians, singers and composers that are awarded Bursaries or are identified by Irish Heritage’s artistic advisers.

In response to feedback from Friends, the subscriptions for the forthcoming season is
 now scheduled to start in January 2021.

Individual         £75
Couple             £100

The subscription includes admission to at least five concerts and recitals (normal individual ticket price £20 each) and a start of season event exclusively for Friends. 

Subscriptions qualify as Gift Aid for UK based tax payers.  For further information and an application form, please visit:  and click on the “Join Us” tab.

Without the generosity of our Friends, much that we do at Irish Heritage would be impossible.

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