The Garvey Brothers - James and Joe Garvey - performing at the concert in the Church of the Holy Rosary, Castlebar. PHOTO: ALISON LAREDO

A celebration of Christmas melodies in Mayo church

Castlebar Concert Band has hosted a very successful Christmas concert, Festive Melodies, at the Church of the Holy Rosary in the county town.

Joining the band on the programme were Rolling Waves, led by John Kilkenny, The Garvey Brothers - Joe and James - and the Westerlies, made up of the band's trumpet and clarinet players.

It marked the band's first concert under the baton of its new musical director, Debbie Clarke, and her assistant director, Michelle Hynes.

The Garvey Brother's rendition of Joni Mitchell's classic Christmas song, River, was one of the highlights of the event.

Mayo is fortunate to have such talented voices in its midst.

The concert was opened by the award-winning Rolling Waves, which has helped put traditional Irish music in west Mayo firmly on the map in recent years.

Their compilation of Christmas tunes was very much appreciated by the audience.

The band, too, rose to the occasion and its performance of 'God Bless Us Everyone,' accompanied by James Garvey, received a standing ovation.

It was also an occasion in which The Westerlies, with arrangements by Paul Devaney and Debbie Clarke, made an impressive mark.

The organisers thanked Fr. Conal Eustace P.P. and the Parish Council for permitting Music West to stage the concert in the church, a place in which the band members enjoy performing and to where they will be returning in Christmas Day for 12 o'clock Mass.

A word of appreciation was also extended to the member of the audience who turned out on such a cold and icy night, Castlebar Municipal District and local councillors for their ongoing support, the master of ceremonies Aidan Crowley, Dervilla Hynes, who broadcast the concert on Facebook Live, and photographer and videographer Alison Laredo.

The concert was also televised on the Castlebar Parish Website and watched by dedicated followers of the band from throughout the world.