Sligo Baroque Orchestra

Members of Sligo Baroque OrchestraFormed in 1990 as Sligo Early Music Ensemble, with the aim to play music of pre-classical periods. First concert given in Parkes’ Castle in 1991. It has been directed by Rod Alston since its inception.

Workshops were quite a significant part of early years, notably with musicologist, Barra Boydell; baroque flautist, Eleanor Dawson; and baroque violinist, Therese Timoney.

Lissadell House SligoSligo Baroque has performed in many historic buildings, including Strokestown House, Donegal Castle, King House Boyle, Lissadel House and Markree Castle. And with guest soloists including Malcolm Proud, hapsichord; Jamie Rock, baritone; James Nelson, tenor; Elisabeth Goell, soprano; Eleanor Dawson, flute; Isabelle Herold, flute; and Niamh Crowley, violin. Throughout the twenty years Sligo Baroque has performed regularly with the chamber choir, the Amaryllis Singers.

In recent years repertoire has been almost entirely Baroque and early classical (with a couple exceptions, like Elgar Serenade). The ensemble has an extensive and ever-growing library of orchestral scores and parts – much of it facsimile 18th century editions. It meets for weekly rehearsals, and performs between eight and twelve concerts a year.

Sligo Festival of Baroque Music grew out of the ensemble; and its existence has facilitated easy formation of smaller ensembles to perform trio-sonatas, quartets etc.

Those playing regularly with Sligo Baroque at present are:

  • Austin McManus (leader), Isabelle Fahy, Eamonn Bell, John Burke, Claire Horler, Steve Wickham, Avril Blennerhassett, Elizabeth Woodmartin, Ceara Roche – violin
  • Frances Bell, Lillian Harris, Peter Zitko – viola
  • Anna Houston, Barbara Rolleston, Moya Gorman, Shaza O’Hara – cello
  • Lucie O’Hara – recorder
  • Cian Touhy – flute
  • Nicola Wingrove – bassoon
  • Rod Alston – harpsichord

Contact: Rod Alston, Eden Plants, Rossinver, Co. Leitrim.
phone: 00353-71 9854122 email:

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