Updated: 12/01/17 : 06:36:08
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European Volunteering Capital 2017 kicks off with spectacular concert

 A spectacular evening of classical, traditional and contemporary music, including the work of TG4 Composer of the Year Michael Rooney, will kick off Sligo’s designation as European Volunteering Capital 2017.

The ‘Spirit of Sligo’ event at IT Sligo’s Knocknarea Arena will follow a formal civic ceremony held at the Institute’s Aurivo Auditorium, attended by European officials and VIPS, on Friday January 27.

Ciaran Hayes, CEO of Sligo County Council, which is organising the gala event, confirmed that Minister for Foreign Affairs Charlie Flanagan will be a special guest and speaker on the evening.

He said: “We are delighted to announce that Minister for Foreign Affairs Charlie Flanagan will be our special guest as we launch Sligo’s special year as European Volunteering Capital 2017.

 “The gala event will honour the strong sense of volunteerism which runs in Sligo. The wonderful music and volunteer stories on the night promise to make it a not to be missed show.”

 ‘Spirit of Sligo’ will also feature a host of musicians including Kieran Quinn, Niamh Crowley, Sligo Gospel Choir, the acclaimed Sligo Academy of Music Sinfonietta Orchestra, June McCormack, Sean Carroll, John Joe Kelly, Niamh Farrell, and many more.

Highlights from Michael Rooney’s rousing compositions Famine, Battle of the Books, De Cuellar and Macalla suites will be performed alongside a new arrangement of his seminal Prince Charles Suite by traditional and classical musicians.

The pieces will be narrated by RTÉ broadcaster and Northern Editor, Tommie Gorman.

The evening will also feature the stories and voices of volunteers — the designation of European Volunteering Capital 2017 was bestowed on Sligo in December.

The EVC 2017 designation is a coup for Sligo in that it follows the major European cities of Barcelona, Lisbon and London in being chosen to showcase volunteering and the positive impacts that it has on lives across Europe.

Tickets priced €10, are now on sale from www.evcsligo.eu, from the Hawk's Well Theatre's Box Office on 071 9161518 or in person at their reception area.  

There is also a special ticket offer for under 18s: EVC Sligo 2017 has teamed up with Music Generation Sligo to offer 'Go See' half price tickets to children and under 18s.   

Speaking about the concert, composer Michael Rooney said he was ‘excited and honoured’ to be asked to take part.

Ciara Herity of Sligo Volunteer Centre said the ‘Spirit of Sligo’ theme for the gala night was a celebration of the many people who every year give to the community through volunteerism.