IMRO member Vincent Kennedy has been shortlisted for the Jim McNaughton Perpetual Award for Best Commissioning Practice as part of the Allianz Business to Arts Awards 2012 for his composition The Kilcormac Cantata.  The Allianz Business to Arts Awards seek to recognise the importance of arts and business organisations working together. The Kilcormac Cantata was commissioned under the per cent for Art scheme by Offaly County Council who is also nominated.

The Kilcormac Cantata combines choral, solo singing and instrumental music along with poetry and narrations, all inspired by stories, events and history of Kilcormac, County Offaly.  The world premiere took place in November 2011 and involved 120 performers comprising young people from three local schools (primary and secondary), the local church choir, local musicians and poets and a band of professional musicians.  The Cantata begins with references to the ancient history of Kilcormac where the oldest human remains in Ireland have been found and to the bog which is all around. It includes a middle section inspired by the story of the 500 year old wooden Pieta of Kilcormac that was hidden in the bog by six local men in safety from Cromwell’s advancing army. There it lay covered in peat until the last person who knew its location was carried on his deathbed aged 90 to the bog.  When he pointed out where he and others had buried it 60 years earlier the people dug down and re-discovered the Pieta perfectly preserved.  It is venerated to this day in the parish church of Kilcormac.  The final section has references to modern day Kilcormac.

The CD of The Kilcormac Cantata was launched by the Minister for Arts, Heritage & the Gaeltacht, Mr Jimmy Deenihan, TD on 25th June. The shortlisting for the Allianz Business to Arts Awards 2012 is further recognition for this beautiful composition.  

For further information on the Allianz Business to Arts Awards 2012, including the complete list of nominations, see http://www.businesstoarts.ie/News-Events/index.php

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