Down by the Salley Gardens: Music at Thoor

We welcome The Marine Singers Choir, from Renville, Oranmore, for their magical first performance in Thoor Ballylee.

With soprano Helen Hancock conducting, and pianist Teresa Turner, the repertoire will include works by WB Yeats, marking the centenary year of Yeats receiving the Nobel Prize.

Down By the Salley Gardens

Friday 12 May, 8pm

Tickets €15 (online and on the door see below)

All proceeds to Yeats Thoor Ballylee Society

Down by the Salley Gardens

A musical evening with the Marine Singers and guests at Thoor Ballylee

The Marine Singers, a renowned Galway based choir led by conductor and singer Helen Hancock, perform a much-anticipated concert on Friday May 12th, 8pm at the historic Thoor Ballylee, the former home of renowned poet WB Yeats. This will be the choir’s first-ever performance in this unique and atmospheric venue, which is known for its magical acoustics. The Choir are celebrating 10 years since their formation for the inaugural Galway Choir Factor event in 2013.

The concert promises to be a feast for the senses, featuring classical and contemporary music, performed by the talented Marine Singers, as well as local young musicians Lilian Owens and Sean Hancock from Coole Music. The programme has been carefully curated to showcase the choir’s versatility and range, and to offer a memorable musical experience for all who attend. Expect songs from the sixteenth century to the present day, inspired by the water – including The Seal Lullaby by Eric Whitacre and Die Forelle (The Trout) by Schubert with music by Dowland, Fauré, Vaughan Williams, Ola Gjeilo and a selection of Irish airs.

Helen Hancock, who has been conducting the choir since 2018, is not only a skilled conductor, but also a soprano with a stunning voice. She will also perform during the concert, adding an extra layer.

The Galway Shape Note Singers, another highly regarded choir, will also be joining the Marine Singers for this special occasion. Their collaboration promises to be a highlight of the evening, as they blend their voices together in a celebration of music ,community and the powerful distinctive sound of Sacred Harp singing.

All proceeds go towards the upkeep of Thoor Ballylee.

The choir gratefully acknowledges the support of Opus II Music Store Galway.

Tickets €15 – available on EventBrite:…/down-by-the-salley-gardens…

Limited tickets available on the door on the night. Please contact 0868137216 for more details or via our social media :

More Information

The Marine Singers has been in existence for 10 years, originally made up of staff from the Marine Institute based at Rinville, Oranmore under their conductor Carmel Dooley. The choir welcomed Oranmore conductor/soprano Helen Hancock as conductor in September 2018. Live rehearsals resumed after the pandemic in September 2022 and performances since include Galway Mental Health Association’s Annual Celebration of Choral Music at St Nicholas Church in October 2022. In december 2022, the choir performed a lunchtime concert at Oranmore Library and sang carols at the Cancer Care West campus at UCHG. The choir looks forward to performing with their director Helen Hancock at Clifden Arts Festival in September 2023.

Helen Hancock is a freelance soprano whose passions include art song, chamber music and baroque music. Helen’s most recent performance was a recital at Farmleigh House, Dublin with pianist Órán Halliagn. Helen was a recipient of an Arts Council Agility Award in 2022 which funded coaching on Baroque and lieder repertoire in Berlin and she performed at the Bloomsday 100 celebrations at the Irish Embassy in Berlin in June 2022. Helen will be in Dingle on May 20th in recital with composer and pianist Criostóir Ó Loingsigh and in the Galway Early Music Festival on May 27th with Mark keane and Vox Orbis . Helen has been on the faculty of Coole Music and Arts for twelve years as a recorder and singing teacher and is the Director of Whistleblowers Recorder Ensemble.

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