As Arts Manager in Waterford’s breathtaking Christchurch Cathedral, Lynn Cahill works in one of our city’s most stunning and serene settings.
“In many ways, working here represents my dream job,” said Lynn, who has been based in Christchurch for the past year and a half, having moved to Waterford three years ago.
“Firstly, it’s a beautiful building. The sense of calmness and peace here makes it a very stress-free place to work. Secondly, it exudes friendliness: the other people that work here make for wonderful company, which makes working here all the more enjoyable.
Lynn continued: “Then of course the visitors that come here every day are just as friendly and full of positive energy which just further lends to the welcoming atmosphere of the place.
“And of course, every second Sunday, we have talented musicians and singers filling this magnificent acoustic space. What’s there not to like?”
Sundays at Christchurch have built up a loyal following in recent years and Lynn’s job pleasantly charges her with enticing talent from home and abroad to sing, play and display.
“We’ve got a great programme in place for the summer and at the moment I’m finalising the September programme, which just goes to show how well the Sundays have been supported by the public. And I can’t thank the City Council, Arts Council, Fáilte Ireland and the Heritage Council enough for their continued support.”
It’s fair to say that Sundays at Christchurch truly stand alone. To the best of this column’s knowledge, it’s the only regular arts event held in the city centre at weekends and it was welcome to learn of the public’s stellar support.
“I’m happy to say that there are a lot of familiar faces here on Sundays,” Lynn added.
“On average, we get between 80 and 100 people every Sunday and we’ve had audiences as high as 200 on occasion. It’s a wonderful venue and it’s appreciated by the performers and audience members alike.”
It’s easy to see why. Considerable restoration work has been carried out in the cathedral since the turn of the century and, thanks to skilled replastering and other sensitively executed works, the end result is stunning.
Singing or playing in here could only be a privilege and with most events priced at just €7 a ticket (€5 for students and OAP and families for €12), it represents superb bang for your buck.
Forthcoming attractions include the Dublin Orchestral Players (on Saturday, June 13th), TV Honan’s photo exhibition ‘A Year in the Night of Waterford’ and The Cologne Philharmonic Orchestra in August.
“TV’s exhibition [running in July] should be fascinating,” added Lynn. “He has spent one night a week for the past year photographing people who work at night in the city and I can’t wait to see the end product myself.”
Lynn has brought a wealth of experience to her role at Christchurch and our meeting was as timely as it was coincidental, with the Cat Laughs Festival in Kilkenny beckoning this weekend.
The annual riot of humour of Noreside was the combined brainchild of both Lynn and business partner Richard Cook, with this year marking the first festival which Lynn hasn’t been involved in.
“The timing just felt right,” she continued, speaking of her decision to break away from her pet project. “I’m an eternal optimist – I don’t think you could get a comedy festival without a great deal of funds up and running without that quality.”
Vivaldi’s ‘The Four Seasons’ might be the polar opposite of Tommy Tiernan from an artistic perspective, but for Lynn Cahill, both genres are firmly woven into the tapestry of her professional life. It’s a job she clearly relishes and it comes with a workplace she clearly adores.
“Whenever I’m driving into Waterford, I look across the Quay and the first thing I lock eyes on is the spire at Christchurch,” she said. “It’s such an iconic element of the city skyscape – I can’t imagine Waterford without it. And to be here everyday working is an absolute delight.”
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