The Liturgical Choir of the Diocese of Augsburg paid a visit to Sligo last week under the auspices of Sligo /Kempten Town Twinning.
Cathaoirleach Welcomes Guests from Augsburg
They were afforded a civic welcome by the Cathaoirleach of Sligo County Council Councillor Tom MacSharry, and performed at St Patrick's Church, Moylough, Tubbercurry, at Sligo Dominican Friary and also in St Patrick's Cathedral Dublin.
The choir is in existence for 56 years and is conducted by founder member Hans Jurgen Thiemer. It has performed throughout Europe and in the Ukraine and Namibia, and this was their first visit to Ireland.
In his welcome address, the Cathaoirleach said ‘I see your visit as another important milestone in the very special friendship between Kempten and Sligo. Over the years of our association, the people of Kempten have been both welcome visitors and exceptional hosts, and this has been the foundation of our enduring association. The first contact between Kempten and Sligo involved a student exchange programme, and the networks and friendships established by that initiative provided the inspiration to develop other projects.
The association was formalised with the signing of a Charter in Kempten in February 1990 and two months later in Sligo. The Charter expressed our shared ambition that ‘personal contacts be strengthened’ and focused on the important role to be played by young people in particular in fostering and nurturing this friendship. In the quarter century since then, our association has developed at many levels. While the civic authorities have provided the formal basis for the twinning arrangement, it has been the inspiration and catalyst for many other excellent projects in the realms of education, culture, arts, music and tourism.
One of the highlights of our association is the networking between our local colleges and colleges in Kempten – and IT Sligo and St Angela’s College have been active partners in this endeavour.
There is consensus on all sides that there are great benefits from sharing the experiences and methods in our respective colleges. At the end of last year, Sligo County Council welcomed two students from Kempten on a two month Erasmus placement, they were exceptional young people, they learned so much and offered so much in their brief time with us. This programme will also be extended this year as we will welcome two new Erasmus students to the Council.
Gift of Music
Music has always been a central feature of our connection with Kempten, and our friends from Augsburg will very generously bring their gift to venues in Sligo town and Tubbercurry, and indeed had also an engagement earlier this week in St Patrick’s Cathedral in Dublin. Having performed throughout Europe and also in Ukraine and Namibia, we are honoured that their first time in Ireland includes a visit to Sligo.’
The Cathaoirleach concluded his address by informing his guests ‘By any measure, we have been enriched by our friendship with the people of Kempten, it is an association I will continue to support and promote, and I regard this particular programme as a model of its kind.’