Pitch perfect for Croke Park

Next Sunday September 18 Dublin will meet Kerry in the GAA Football All Ireland Senior Championship Final at Croke Park. Among the many dreams set to come true on that glorious day is one belonging to Kate Connolly (26), a soprano from Ballymahon. On that date Kate will perform a medley with the Pitch Perfect Choir in Croke Park prior to the senior game kick off.

Next Sunday September 18 Dublin will meet Kerry in the GAA Football All Ireland Senior Championship Final at Croke Park. Among the many dreams set to come true on that glorious day is one belonging to Kate Connolly (26), a soprano from Ballymahon. On that date Kate will perform a medley with the Pitch Perfect Choir in Croke Park prior to the senior game kick off.

“I can’t believe that I am part of this choir. It is a great achievement,” said Kate, who is the only singer from Roscommon, Leitrim and Longford to secure a place on the 30 person national choir.

“I got an application form from the TG4 website,” said Kate, a native of the south Longford town of Ballymahon. Kate was subsequently called to an audition in Newbridge, Co. Kildare.

“My knees were shaking at the audition,” said the young soprano who has had vocal training for six years with Dorothy Horan of Mullingar. “At my audition I sang ‘Deh Vieni non Tardar’ from the Marriage of Figaro. They said I sang it beautifully.”

The selection process, auditions and training were filmed and will form the basis of an eight part television series to be broadcast on TG4 in mid October. The series is called ‘Pitch Perfect’ and will highlight various performances by the Pitch Perfect Choir to special guests.

Kate, who has been working in Social Protection in Longford since 2007, loves to sing classical music. The south Longford soprano was formerly a member of the Longford Choir for a number of years and has previously taken part in ‘The King and I’ with St. Mel’s Musical Society. Kate has also been a member of the Athlone Choral Society.

Over the last six weeks Kate, a daughter of Pat and Christina, has been meeting with her new choir in what she describes as “very intense” rehearsal weekends.

“We’ve been practicing really hard to gel our voices together and to categorise people into the different categories,” said Kate. “Some mornings we start at 9am and don’t finish until 8pm. That has been every weekend and some weekends we continue for two to three days. One weekend we had a four day rehearsal.”

The choir, which is under the direction of Colm O’ Foghlu and Niamh Murray, is aiming to have their version of a Dublin / Kerry medley of Dublin in the Rare Old Times and the Rose of the Tralee “pitch perfect” by the September 18 performance.

“This has been an amazing experience,” said Kate. “I dread the thought of waking up on the day after Croke Park and knowing that it’s all over. I don’t want it to end. It has been a great opportunity to meet people and I never thought that this dream (to sing in Croke Park) would be as good as it already is.”