A guide to trace your ancestors from Lurgan, County Armagh and from the County of Armagh

Lurgan Musical Society 1885

The Lurgan Musical Society.

Concert At Lurgan.

The Belfast News-Letter,
Saturday, January 24,


The Lurgan Musical Society, established only three months ago, made its debut last evening with the greatest success, a first-class concert being given by the members in the Town Hall, Lurgan, under the leadership of Mr. W. Hurty, the talented conductor and organist of Hillsborough Cathedral. Previous attempts to establish and maintain in a state of efficiency a first-class musical society failed from one cause or another to achieve the desired result, but judging from the support accorded to the latest effort the infant society ought to have before it a prosperous and successful career. It may not be out of place to mention that the Right Hon. Lord Lurgan has consented to occupy the position of president of the society.


Lurgan Musical Society.
President: Right Hon. Lord Lurgan.
Mr. John J. Adamson, M.D., J.P.; Mr. W. T. Kirkpatrick, M.A.;
Mr. Samuel A. Bell, J.P.; Mr. James Malcolm, D.L., J.P.;
Mr. James Brown, M.A.; Mr. Robert Mathers, sen.;
Mr. John Dill, Mr. Henry Megarry,
Mr. George Greer, B.L., J.P.; Mr. S. W. McBride,
Mr. George Hazlett, S.C.S.; Mr. Lucas Waring,
Mr. John Johnston, J.P.; Mr. Francis Watson.
Mr. George Anderson, Mr. H. G. MacGeagh,
Mr. William H. Crawford, Mr. R. Matthews, jun.;
Mr. W. S. Gordon, John Stott.
Hon. Secretary: Mr. James B. Hanna,
Hon. Treasurer: Mr. L. E. B. Craig.


The concert last night was attended by an audience as large and fashionable as ever assembled within the precincts of the Town Hall, and included the Right Hon. Lord Lurgan and a numerous party. The spacious Assembly Room was nicely decorated and considerably improved for the occasion. A variety of plants and flowers were nicely arranged in front of the platform, behind which an extemporised proscenium was constructed. The latter arrangement improved very much the acoustic properties of the building, an improvement, by the way, very much needed. The arrangement of these details fell to the lot, to a great extent, of Messrs. Anderson, Hanna, and Crawford, and they fulfilled their duties in the most satisfactory manner. The concert itself was far above the average of similar reunions held under the auspices of local musical societies, and great credit is due to the conductor and the members for the care they exercised in presenting to the public a recherche programme on this their first appearance. The service of first class professionals were retained for the occasion with the happiest result. About one hundred vocalists took part in the choruses, which were excellently rendered throughout, under the baton of Mr. Harty, to whose intelligent training much of this result is due. The lady accompanist of the society displayed marked ability as an instrumentalist, and played with procession and good taste. Jules Benedict’s “Old May Day” constituted the opening chorus, in which the power and ability of the class were strikingly displayed. The parts were carefully interpreted and the time was marked with accuracy, while careful regard was paid to harmonious effect. The result was therefore, most successful and highly appreciative. A trio in B flat for pianoforte, violin, and violoncello was entrusted to Mdlle. Bertha Brousil (violin), Rev. F. G. McClintock (piano), and Mons. J. Adolphe Brousil (violoncello).
This was, perhaps, the happiest combination in the first part of the programme. The execution of the instrumentalists was as perfect as the most critical could desire, and the effect was charming. Mdlle. Brousil is well known as a distinguished violinist and her instrumentation in this, as in the subsequent solo selection, was characterised by that ability which is peculiarly her own. The violoncello parts were cleverly played by M. Brousil, and the Rev. Mr. McClintock was careful in the pianoforte accompaniments. Mdlle. Brousil subsequently played a Sonata in A major, by Handel, and secured an ovation at its conclusion. Mr. W. D. Hamilton, of Christ Church, Dublin, a tenor singer, possessed of a pure and evidently a well-trained voice, gave a fine rendering of the ballad “I seek for thee in every flower.” by Ganz, his vocalism being rewarded with a hearty recall. A further opportunity was afforded the members of displaying their ability in the selection of the chorus “All is still.” by G. A. Macfarren, and on the whole they acquitted themselves very creditably. There was, however, a noticeable want of harmony towards the close of the arrangement, but the finale was sufficiently brilliant to atone for what was after all a very slight mistake in a choir consisting of nearly one hundred voices. Mons. Brousil played a violoncello solo, “Le Desir,” by Servais, and he interpreted the intricacies and beauty of the composition with surpassing skill. The audience appeared to thoroughly appreciate the masterly execution of the performer, and at the conclusion of the solo there was every demonstration of approval.
Miss Mary Russell, of Dublin, was announced to take part in the programme, but it was explained early in the concert that she was unable to be present through sudden and serious illness. Much as Miss Russell’s absence and the cause of it were regretted, it was felt that the disappointment was fully compensated  for in the presence of Miss Katie King as a substitute. That young lady sang “Along the Shore” with much sweetness, and with perfect appreciation of the lovely song. Another chorus, “The Three Fishers,” having been rendered by the members, the first part of the programme concluded.
Macfarren’s choral arrangement, “You stole my love,” opened the second portion of the entertainment, after which a fantasia by Handel Henselt’s “Spring Song,” and “Study,” by Chopin. We have seldom heard a better amateur pianist than this gentleman. His touch, style, and general execution were simply perfect. His interpretation of the subject was greatly admired by the audience, by whom he was warmly applauded on rising from the instrument. Mr. Hamilton having sung Abt’s “Embarrassment,” Mons. Brousil played another ‘cello solo, comprising a Nocturn by Chopin and Dunkler’s “Humorous Drinking Song,” with excellent effect, the quaint interpretation of the latter composition being greatly admired. The performer was enthusiastically encored. Miss King gave a splendid rendition of Meyerbeer’s “Addeo Rive del Tago,” from the opera of “L’Africane,” and also secured an encore. She subsequently sang “The Old Sock,” by Wellings, with equal success. “Evening,” a choral song by Kreutzer, having been rendered by the members, Mdlle. Brousil played another violin solo, “Hungarian Dances,” and this successful concert was brought to a close with the National Anthem.


This Newspaper Article has been reproduced by the kind permission of the British Newspaper Archive Limited, (

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