Athenry prepares for feast of winter music

Eamon Sweeney and Róisín O'Grady of Tonos.
Eamon Sweeney and Róisín O'Grady of Tonos.

WinterSong, a concert of Christmas music from the 16-18th centuries, will take place this Saturday, December 2, in Athenry Community Centre.

The event which will feature vocals, lute, Renaissance and Baroque guitars, is being presented by the early-music duet Tonos with special guests, the Athenry School of Music Guitar Orchestra.

Tonos is made up of soprano Róisín O’Grady, and multi-instrumentalist Eamon Sweeney, who formed 10 years ago to specialise in the music from the16th to the18th centuries. The duo, who have vast experience as solo and group performers, are visiting Athenry as part of an eight-date Arts Council-funded national tour to coincide with the launch of their new CD, WinterSong.

It’s a celebration of Mid-Winter, a time of huge significance across faiths and cultures. Their concert will consist of early Christmas-themed music from Ireland, France, Spain, England and further afield and will include compositions from William Byrd, Aodh Mac Aingil, the Dublin Lute books, and the most prolific of all ancient composers, ‘Anonymous.’

Tonos will be joined by the Guitar Orchestra from the Athenry Music School for this Saturday’s concert.

This not-for-profit, community music school, which was founded in 2007, aims to develop Athenry as a centre of outstanding musical activity. It currently has more than 300 students and 25 teachers.

Tickets for this Saturday’s concert on the door and online at