Portaferry, Northern Ireland
had a wonderful time performing a recital of songs with brilliant James Baillieu in beautiful Portaferry Northern Ireland at the Portico of Ards.

The annual four day classical music festival called, Festiv’Ards ‘celebrates the best in classical music with first class artists of international repute.‘ The festival kicked off with Irish pianist Michael McHale, followed by violinist Patrick Rafter. The Gala concert on Saturday featured The Tallis Scholars. Sunday brought guitarist Thibauld Garcia and in the evening chamber music with the Ficino Ensemble. Bank holiday Monday started with an organ recital from Daniel Cook and the festival concludes with our song recital.

Young Irish architect John Millar designed the venue PORTICO in 1839. He had trained under Thomas Hopper an eminent London architect of the mid 19th Century. This church was built in 1841 by the Presbyterian congregation of Portaferry on land gifted to them by the local landlords, the Savage family. It is modelled on the Temple of Nemesis on the Greek Island of Rhamnous (although this has been contested) but Professor Margaret Myles of the University of California, and a world authority on that ruin, is convinced of its lineage.

The church building was little changed, apart from the installation of an organ in 1917, until it underwent a £1.5m restoration in 2015. This not only resulted in its structural “salvation” but also fitted it out with 21st Century facilities and equipment. Today the building is still used by the local Presbyterian congregation but it is now under the ownership of the charity friends of Portaferry Presbyterian Church and is a nondenominational building used as an Arts and Heritage Centre centre for the region and a venue for weddings, conferences and events of all kinds.

http://www.porticoards.com