So … New Ross 2022 …. back on the road, and in full voice again.  But how would it go? What would it be like?  Would there be an avalanche of entries?  Choirs, like us, looking forward to be back singing in front of live audiences, and to test themselves against the best. Or would there be a paucity of entries this year?  We had all heard rumours of choirs being dispersed, or even disbanded, during the long Covid layoff.

Thankfully, we had been able to carry on rehearsing throughout, in ‘real time’, courtesy of our Jamullus geniuses (Thanks Niall and Tony for setting that up). No question therefore, of our being ‘rusty’ and, combined with Emer’s usual Wednesday night drilling, we felt we were in pretty good shape, vocally, and were ‘good to go’.  But, with New Ross, you never can tell…..

An early start, to ensure time for a rehearsal. Thankfully, Emer decided to practice all our sings together, when we arrived. No constant shuffling back and forth to the rehearsal room for the rest of the day. I don’t think anyone missed those annoying treks up and down the hills of lovely New Ross!

Then, a quick look at the programme. More competitions than ever. Sure enough, some familiar names (and old rivals) are missing, but there are also a lot of new names. What are they like? How good are they?  Only one way to find out.

First up is the competition for Mixed Choirs (30 voices and over). Having won this competition in 2018 and 2019, we kinda feel like the Fr John O’Brien trophy is our personal property at this stage. We had had an earlier scare when it looked as if we might have to forgo this competition, with Declan having to drop out but, thankfully, Rhonda stepped in and so we had the numbers to field a team. Probably the only time, in choral history, that a Baritone has been substituted by an Alto!

Fr O’Brien Trophy

And . …. yes!  We’re off to a flying start. Another win – and we can now, truthfully say that we’ve been the “holders” of this trophy for the past five years!

A quick lunch in the pub across the road. A huge pot of tea, and toasted sandwiches (you can have anything you like … as long as its ham and cheese).  Sad to see ‘our’ little restaurant down beside the car park, closed. And none of the other cafes in the town open. Casualties of Covid – one way or another.

As the day goes on, rumours abound, and scraps of gossip are exchanged – both with other members of the choir, and with our travelling supporters (God bless them) who are getting the wider picture.

“Those Sunday Morning Singers sound pretty good”. “That crowd with the monkey masks doing ‘Jungle Book’ were hilarious” (Cue lots of ‘Monkey Pox’ jokes). “Those four men singing on their own were amazing”.

Anyway, nothing we can do about it now. Have to plough on. Give it our best shot. And we do.


And suddenly, its almost over. Our last songs of the day – ‘Java Jive’, and we give it everything. ‘And so it Goes’, and Georgina nails the solo beautifully.  And … yes!  We’ve done it again. Another win, and another trophy to carry back to Kill and add to the trophy cabinet. There’ll be a late night in ‘The Old House’ tonight.

And that’s how New Ross 2022 went!