Local author and freelance journalist Audrey Healy, provided a very informative lecture on her book ‘The Singer and the Song’ to a group of students from Belmont University, Nashville, Tennessee during a recent visit by them to Irish western shores of Galway.
The students, who are part of the Elliott College of Entertainment and Music Business at the university, are currently studying Ms Healy’s book as part of their syllabus on lyric and songwriting, having stumbled upon the musical title on the internet.
Professor James Elliot, the students’ lecturer at the college was very impressed by the lecture and told the Leader that Ms Healy spoke at length about ‘The Singer and the Song’, which comprises accounts from 60 Irish songwriters and performers about songs that are important to them in their lives.
“Audrey spoke at length about her book and during her lecture she explained the process of compiling the different sections for the publication and putting it together,” he added. “She also outlined her favourite songs in the compilation as well as outlining her own interest in the subject and she referred to, and played recordings by specific artists who had sent submissions for the book, including Phil Coulter, playing his chosen song, ‘The Town I Loved So Well’, the Furey Brothers and their hit song, ‘When you Were Sweet Sixteen’ which was first performed as far back as 1847. She also spoke about Brendan Bowyer and his favourite song, ‘The Hucklebuck’ which, it has to be said, got the students on their feet!”
During the course of their studies, the American students wrote assignments based on the information contained within the pages of The Singer and the Song. Before the group left for Ireland, Professor Elliott sent Ms Healy copies of the students’ assignments and during the lecture in Galway last week, the local author took the opportunity to refer to sections from those assignments, with enthusiasm.
The students were also provided with the opportunity to participate in music workshops with singer songwriter Mick Hanly and Eurovision Song Contest winner Charlie McGettigan, who collaborated with Ms Healy on a number of songs.
“At the end of her lecture, Audrey answered questions for us and she also told how her first venture into writing songs was after broadcaster and singer songwriter Larry Hogan began reading out her poems on his weekly radio programme on 98FM,” Professor Elliott added further. “We heard how Audrey’s first published book was an account of the visit of the relics of St Thérèse to Ireland. She also spoke about her other books, including ‘The Rose and the Thorn’ and ‘Dubliners: What’s the story?’”
Ms Healy is currently working on a second edition of ‘Contacted’, the first of which received wide acclaim throughout Ireland. “Audrey Healy is a gifted writer and a talented and sensitive writer of poetry and verse; I was thrilled when I spotted her book, ‘The Singer and the Song’, on the internet,” Professor Elliott concluded.