Accento, the world renowned accordion ensemble is coming to the aid of two historic parishes on the North Coast which are both undertaking major restoration projects. The parish church of Ballintoy is undergoing substantial interior and exterior restoration which will help ensure that generations to come will benefit from what has been described as Ireland’s most picturesque church. Kildollagh parish church which occupies an idyllic site on the banks of the Bann is in the process of restoring its roof.
The grouped parishes of Ballintoy, Dunseverick with Rathlin have been working in partnership with the grouped parishes of Ballyrashane and Kildollagh with a focus on rural youth ministry. It came as a natural extension of this partnership for the parishioners to support each other in other ways too. It was through one of the parishioners of Ballyrashane parish, Mr Russell Ramage, who is an accomplished accordionist in his own right, that the link was made with the German Accordion Ensemble Accento.
Accento had arranged to come to Northern Ireland two years ago to play a benefit concert in aid of the Kildollagh Roof Restoration project. However, Covid restrictions prevented this. The parishioners of Kildollagh were therefore delighted to hear that Accento had determined to honour their commitment and would be able to play two concerts. In view of the substantial restoration project that Ballintoy was engaged on, it was agreed that concerts be divided between Kildollagh and Ballintoy so that both parishes could benefit from the incredible generosity of the German musicians.
The visit by the Accento Ensemble presents an amazing opportunity for all music lovers to hear accordions played by master musicians. Accento was formed in the 1990’s by a group of leading members of the Accordion Orchestra Wiesbaden Dietmar Walther. This orchestra which had been founded in the 1950’s by Dietmar Walther, had already established itself on the international stage, having won many prizes at festivals all over the world with its performances. The Accento Ensemble has similarly built an international reputation in its own right, with the performances of the smaller group being described as outstanding.
The aim of Accento is to promote high class accordion music and their repertoire includes music ranging from the Baroque and Classical eras to contemporary pieces including some which have been specially composed for the ensemble.
Today, Accento is led by accordionist and teacher Annegret Cratz and includes Martina, Gabriele, Norbert and Wilfred. They share their skills and exquisite musicianship by not only competing in international festivals, including the Irish Accordion Festival and undertaking concert tours but also by providing non-profit performances for good causes.
Thanks to Russell, that generosity has been extended to the North Coast and to the music lovers everywhere who can hear Accento on 12 April 2023 in Kildollagh Parish Church and on 13 April 2023 in Ballintoy Parish. Both concerts will start at 7pm. Tickets are £10 and can obtained from:
|Ballyrashane & Kildollagh Parish Office |
9 Sandelwood Avenue,
Coleraine BT52 1JW
Tel: 028 7034 3061;
|Mount Druid House, |
2 Ballinlea Road ,
Ballintoy BT54 6NQ.
Tel: 028 2076 8155.