Serenade in Sardinia

Serenade in Sardinia

The cryptic message came to Bru Ború from Italo and Giovanna of the Comhaltas Branch in Sardinia: ‘We require nice people who can play, music, dance and sing … please help us!’ Una 0 Murchú pulled out all the stops for the lovely couple and the Bru Ború minstrels were quickly on their way in response to the Sardinian SOS. This time it was the turn of Mary Kelly (harpist/singer); Padraig Donlon (uilleann piper/concertina/ and, yes, singer!); Fergal 0 Murchú (accordionist/singer and, yes, dancer!); Edel Vaughan (singer/pianist); and Aine Nic Ghabhann (fiddle/dancer).

Now we have received the following missive from Italo and Giovanna which speaks for itself:

We thank you again for having sent us a group of boys and girls who are not only very good players but also very nice and kind people. We had no doubt about it! We must apologise because there has not been time enough to let them go shopping, or having sunbathe (here is still warm and sunny…) or to take them to visit the museum or some archaeological sites, but we promise that next time we will be able to do it.

People enjoyed a lot their performances and in particular appreciated the great session we had in Villagrande after the performance till 4 in the morning… The Art director of the Association ‘Nuova Armoni’. Mo. Fermando Fadda who organised the chorus festival in Cagliari was very satisfied of them and of the work of our CCE branch, and so were the Chairman of Ersu (‘Regional Authority for the Right of Study’ which deals with cultural events inside Universities) Mr Francesco Luigi Sotgiu and Ms Paola Selenu of the Pro Loco in Vi I lagrande.

‘Love at first sight’

Really we have no words to thank for the helpfulness of Mary, Edel, Aine, Padraig and Fergal. We quite ‘enslaved’ them making them play since the night of their arrival…. in the Irish pub of Mrs Nina Piras family who lent us the flat where they stayed), then, Friday morning they had two short performances in the two different schools where Giovanna teaches in Quartu (a sort of exchange with her headmaster in order to have that day free…), that same day in the evening they played with a great success at the University Canteen (ERSU), in front of about 500 students. This performance was possible also thanks to the help of Antonello Carai, a Sardinian man we met in Galway for the first time this summer…. and who fell in love with Irish Music in Ballina, where we advised him to go… The following day (Saturday) we went to Villagrande in the centre of Sardinia, at about 2.5 hours from Cagliari. This performance, which was held in a little square in front of about 500 people, was due to a man, Marco Murru, who was in Ireland with Antonello Carai and ‘suffered’ the same ‘love at first sight’ for Irish Music… There, as we said before , we had an unforgettable session with Brú Ború! At last, but not least, on Sunday they played in a theatre in front of about 300 people for the closing of the festival Elnochorus with a great success.

Your boys and girls always performed with great skill and smiling and giving encores even though (we know) they were exhausted. Thanks very very much again to them. The people who had the opportunity to meet Mary, Edel, Aine, Padraig and Fergal had a great impression of them not only as players but also as friends, and so they were the best ambassadors of Irish way of being. What could we ask more?