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the monthly publication of the Shamrock Club of Wisconsin
Handel's Dublin Resurrection
Milwaukee President's Message
Dane County Shamrock Club
Shamrock Club of Rock County
Fox Cities Shamrock Club
Share Your Snippets from Ireland
Irish Mass of Remembrance and
Wm. Ryan Drew Scholarship Spaghetti Dinner
News Items from RTE
Cherish the Ladies: Hallamor Concert #2
Milwaukee Hurling Club Championship Match
Entertainment Books Now On Sale
Welcome New Members
Milwaukee Calendar of Events
Wisconsin Calendar of Events
Handel's Dublin Resurrection
George Frideric Handel, the German born and London based composer, needed a change of scenery and venue. For years he was the darling of London, with his many musical compositions. However, in April 1741, he was broke, had reached a midlife crisis, and was debilitated by a stroke he'd suffered the previous year. Thus, when asked to do a series of concerts in Dublin, he jumped at the opportunity to leave the capital of the British Empire to go to its second largest city. In the process, he revived his fortunes, rediscovered the muse of inspiration, and debuted what has become one of the world's best known pieces of music.
George Handel was born in 1685 in Halle, Germany. It was a year of births of magnificent composers, as Johann Sebastian Bach was also born that year. At the age of 25 Handel was appointed conductor to the Elector of Hanover. His pay for this post was the equivalent of fifteen hundred dollars a year at a time when Bach at Weimar was paid eighty. Later, he was invited to London, where over the course of several decades he composed a number of works.
To say that in 1741 Handel was at a low point in his life would be no exaggeration. He had known what it was to be popular. For 30 years he had entertained Lords and Ladies with his operas, but those days of grandeur seemed long past. Creditors were at his door. He was depressed. He could not sleep and he was plagued by rheumatism. He was partially paralyzed on his left side by his stroke. If he did not come up with a musical success soon the 56-year-old composer feared he would finish out his days in a London debtor's prison. However, two letters arrived that fateful summer of 1741 which lightened those dark prospects for George Frideric Handel. The first letter was an invitation from the Duke of Devonshire, inviting him to the Irish Capital, Dublin, to produce a series of benefit concerts. These concerts were to be... "For the relief of the prisoners in the several gaols, and for the support of Mercer's Hospital in Stephen Street, and of the Charitable Infirmary on the Inn's Quay."
Shortly thereafter a second letter arrived from a wealthy but somewhat eccentric English landowner named Charles Jennens. Handel quickly opened the letter. Jennens had written some lyrics for him in the past. To his amazement the letter was a compilation of Old Testament and New Testament scripture passages. Handel read the words again and again. Jennens' libretto provided the spark for Handel's creative genius. Handel was greatly moved and felt the need to put the words to music in oratorio form. (An oratorio is a sort of spiritual opera.) Thus inspired, Handel finished composing the three portions of the oratorio in a span of 21 days. The music was full of Italianate expressions of melody alternating with virtuosic vocalism for the soloists and, for the chorus, unmatched choral sounds ranging from lightness to the composer's characteristic ceremonial style, a style which endeared him to the British public.
He took his new oratorio to Dublin. The new oration first came to the public's attention on April 8, 1742 at a public rehearsal. The first official presentation was on April 13th. The Dublin crowd was awed. The debut itself was a tremendous success.
While it is true that George II stood during the singing of the mighty "Hallelujah Chorus" at the second London performance, Messiah did not enjoy the popularity of many of Handel's other oratorios during the composer's lifetime. In fact, it was only through Handel's annual Eastertide performances to benefit his favorite charity, the Foundling Hospital, that Messiah was heard at all.
Handel lived for another 17 years and led many performances of this great work. In fact, he conducted the last one only eight days before his death in 1759. Charles Burney, the 18th century music historian, remarked that Handel's Messiah "fed the hungry, clothed the naked, and fostered the orphan." Ironically, a piece of music which was first presented as a celebration of Easter has evolved into the ultimate Christmas chorale; and, a composition which features the Resurrection of Jesus Christ also revived the floundering career of its inspired composer.
- Brian Witt
Milwaukee President's Message
These early months of my term have been interesting and informative so far. I've attended some events for my first time, including the Picnic and the Golf Outing. Many thanks to Tom Tibbals and his family for running a lovely event. And you couldn't have asked for better weather! I've also enjoyed hearing from many of you regarding your ideas for the future of our club and your interest in involvement in upcoming events. Please continue to keep in touch.
Michael Payne is again heading up the Entertainment and Gold C Book sale. Please see him to purchase yours and remember, they make great gifts. Cate Harris and Bob and Katy Voss are ready to get started on the new Bradley Center Season. Please see them to let them know that you'd like to participate.
It's never too early to start thinking about Folk Fair. Please see Mary McAndrews, Noreen Barclay or myself to sign up for your shift.
Lastly, I'd like to remind the Chairpersons of events to keep a name and address list of all of your volunteers and pass them along to Cate Harris to ensure their invitation to the Volunteer Party at the end of the year.
Dane County Shamrock Club
As the summer days dwindle down to a precious few, the new co-presidents, Paul Buckalew and Colleen Schams haven't stopped since assuming the new office. Both of them, as well as the interim treasurer, Al Schams, attended the State Shamrock Board meeting in Milwaukee. This was the time to meet new friends and share ideas and information about each club. Some clubs produce a monthly newsletter, which we have just recently begun. This way you have up-to-date news about our club's events. Remember you can include information too.
Board meeting October 9, 2001 - 6:15 p.m. at Jingles. Followed by a general meeting of the membership at 7:15. A raffle by our Club and musical entertainment by Celtic Cultural Center.
As Colleen and I explore ways to enrich the club and to reach out to the membership for ideas, we are grateful to those of you who have expressed enthusiasm in making the Club better for all of us. Mike O'Brien, from Jingles, has offered us a plethora of ideas in regards to a newsletter, plus how to attract more younger people while retaining our older membership. Patrick Fleming has given us ideas for planning a trip to Ireland. Bruce O'Neil, of Patrick's store in Hilldale, has a gold mine of Irish gifts and resources. Don't forget to call the store for your Phil Coulter tickets, phone 271-1707. It is at the Orpheum Theater, Saturday evening, December 8, 2001. You can attend the concert or for an added attraction meet Phil at the buffet dinner before the concert. Here is your chance to see a performer "from the old sod."
Remember the Christmas party is only a few months away. Be on the committee. Join us for planning and bringing cheer into our lives in cold December. Then, it's on to St. Patrick's day - with it's parade, flag raising ceremony and corn beef and cabbage dinner! Colleen has already secured the green fire truck from Fitchburg for the parade. Climb on board with us for the planning! We also are inviting Edgewood College, MATC, and UW Madison to join us. We want to make this the biggest parade in recent years.
Each time I write an article for the Emerald Reflections, I find my Irish mother speaking to me softly with national pride, a sparkling sense of humor and a wonderful love of family.
- Paul Buckalew
• OCT. 16 - 6:30 p.m. Potluck Dinner followed by the General Membership Meeting at 7:30 p.m. at the Janesville Senior Center, 69 S. Water St.
• NOV. 20 - 7:30 p.m. General Membership Meeting
• DEC. 18 - Christmas Dinner. Details in the November Emerald Reflections.
We had our Club picnic in August in spite of the weather. About 4 o'clock the skies opened up and the rain came down but by 5 o'clock it had pretty much let up and by 6 o'clock the rain had stopped. Sixteen members came out and had a great meal and had a good time visiting. I am sure there would have been many more members there if the weather would have cooperated.
For the potluck dinner, bring your own table service and a dish to pass. The club will furnish the coffee. Come and see all of the wonderful changes in the Senior Center. The Center was closed for nine or ten months for this remodeling project.
- Tom Kennedy
• OCT. 24 - Board Meeting, Conkey's in Appleton, 7 p.m. (all are welcome to attend)
• OCT. 11-13 - Celtic Women's Conference, ICHC, Milwaukee. Men are also invited to attend. You can attend part or all of the conference. Next year it will be held in New Orleans.
• OCT. 26 - Cherish the Ladies at the ICHC, Milwaukee.
We had our Halfway to St. Pat's dinner and meeting at Mark's Eastside. The entertainment was by Celtic Knot. It was a great time!
John and Anna McGuiness from our club will be having company from Donegal, Ireland. It will be Anna's brother and sister in-law, Danny and Mary McLaughlin. This is their first trip to the United States.
We extend get well wishes to our Membership Chairman Elaine Hoes. She also is in charge of articles to Emerald Reflections - speedy recovery.
Be sure to call Elaine (920) 733-5254 with any change in your address since Emerald Reflections will no longer be returned if not delivered. It has become too costly for this service. If you are a snowbird just let her know your "southern" address and when to resume your Wisconsin address.
Send your renewals to our P.O. Box 1632, Appleton, WI 54912-1632.
Snippets from Ireland
Would you like to share a short story of a visit to Ireland? Do you have a particular memory of a trip to the Emerald Isle? Does an incident, locale, personality come to mind? Emerald Reflections is looking for short retellings, about 75 to 100 words. We would like to compile them for a future cover story. Mail them to: Emerald Reflections, c/o Williamson Press, 1909 W. White St., Milwaukee, WI 53204 or email to: firstname.lastname@example.org.
The Ancient Order of Hibernains
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