Mayo Day’s Flagship Event in Castlebar
On Sat. May 2nd, the whole world joins in a celebration of Mayoness with International Mayo Day. This is the first annual celebration of this day that will take place from Manchester to Niagra Falls, from Boston to Chicago, from Melbourne to Sydney, all over Ireland but especially here in County Mayo. In Castlebar, a very unique event will be taking place on Market Sq. After the success of St. Patrick’s Day and the use of the square in the build up and after, there will be an original dance and music performance taking place. Mayo County Council wanted to put on a special public performance and felt that Market Sq. would be an ideal location for this event.
Michael Baynes and musical maestro, Stephen Doherty, have teamed up to produce an interpretative dance and music piece to reflect the history of Mayo but especially Castlebar. The piece, called The General, is an interpretation of the rising of 1798 with the French landing in Kilcummin Bay and General Humbert’s subsequent victory over the British at the Races of Castlebar.
The show will happen over two performances: one at 3-30pm with a piece called “The Landing” which will be symbolic of the French landing in Mayo and their march through Killala, Ballina and the Windy Gap and a second one at 10.30pm that will be symbolic of the arrival in Castlebar and the famous Races battle. After the victory of the French, the “soldiers” will be led from the square to the Linenhall by a piper to where Humbert’s famous victory dance took place. All the music will be of relevance to Mayo with well-known compositions like Lord Mayo’s March, Humours of Westport, Races of Castlebar etc as well as a piece composed especially for Mayo Day. It will feature some famous Mayo songs and an appropriate song for Ireland.
This will be a spectacular event as there is a very serious line up of talent. Stephen Doherty is band leader and teams up with Fergal Scahill who has performed with some legends of Irish music including Frankie Gavin, Paul Brock, Kevin Crawford and has toured extensively with many successful young bands such as Teada, Ragús, Celtic Legends and The David Munnelly Band. Shane McGowan will join the line up as well as Conal Earley from the Tommy Flemming band among others.
Drum captain is Robbie Harris. Robbie has recorded and performed with artists such as: Bobby McFerrin, Clannad, Bob Geldof, Rodrigo y Gabriela, Kodaline, Brian Kennedy, Steve Cooney, Dónal Lunny, Sharon Corr, Luka Bloom, Moya Brennan, Celtic Woman, The High Kings, Emer Mayock. After having toured extensively with Riverdance – The Show, he joined the Broadway production in New York. Robbie will be bringing with him 6 of his percussion colleagues that have to be not only heard but also seen to be believed.
Dance captain Raymond Sweeney from Donegal leads the dance troupe. Raymond started his professional career at 16 by joining Michael Flatley’s Lord of the Dance, his first performance being the prestigious Feet of Flames in London’s Hyde Park. He then went on to spend the next 6 and a half years performing with Lord of the Dance in Las Vegas where the show was resident in both the New York New York and Venetian hotels. He continued his touring career travelling all over the world including Europe, South Africa, Brazil, Singapore, Taiwan, USA, and Canada. He will be bringing his dance partners from Lord of the Dance to Castlebar.
Lead vocalist on the day is Elaine Canning. Elaine an accomplished performer and has travelled the globe as lead singer in Micheal Flatleys “Lord of the dance”, Irish Show “Ragus”, Irish Artist “Tommy Fleming”, The Drawing Room Opera Company, Ireland, “ GaelForce”, Solo performances at The Purcell Room, London, The Royal Albert Hall, was Guest Soloist with the Garda Band. She also sang the National Anthem at the All Ireland Semi final of Hurling and Gaelic Football 2006 at Croke Park in front of 82,500 people and the ladies All Ireland Football Final in Croke Park 2006. She was voice coach on The Voice and X Factor.
There will be other guests joining the performance and a big crowd is expected so spread the word and share your Mayoness. Mayo County Council are putting on a Fireworks Display at Lough Lannagh to make sure Mayo Day ends with a bang. This will take place at approx 11:30 pm. Volunteers are needed to ensure that this can go ahead safetly. If you want to help out with the organization on the day, please contact Mick at the Chamber office at 094 90 24845.