Published April 29, 2004
“On Eagle’s Wing,” a stage show from Northern Ireland that features several local Catholic church choirs, will be at the Arena at Gwinnett May 7-9 for its world premiere performance.
“On Eagle’s Wing” is the brainchild of composer John Anderson who is a well-known composer and producer in the United Kingdom. The production tells the tale of the Scots-Irish over the course of 500 years, focusing on their contributions to the building of America in the 1700s through today.
“On Eagle’s Wing” is being sponsored equally by the Republic of Ireland and the United Kingdom as an outgrowth of the Good Friday Agreement. Its theme is universal in capturing the feelings and struggles of immigration and displaced people regardless of race or creed.
The title of the show is derivative of the first immigrant vessel out of Ireland to the United States, which was named “Eagle’s Wing.” The multi-faceted musical stage show will feature dance, choirs, bands, pipes, drums, actors, dancers and orchestra.
Anderson’s vision includes using local singers to build the chorus, which is an integral part of the show. The Atlanta Chorus is comprised of members from several school, city and church choirs, including the Catholic choirs from St. Catherine of Siena Church in Kennesaw and St. Lawrence Church in Lawrenceville.
Michele Wright, director of the children’s choir at the Cathedral of Christ the King in Atlanta, is serving as the choral relations director for “On Eagle’s Wing” in the United States, and said that bringing together choirs from various creeds and backgrounds has been enlightening.
“It has been a truly ecumenical effort reflecting the hopes of the people in Northern Ireland towards lasting peace,” she said.
Anderson said that the story is about more than just history. “On Eagle’s Wing is many things—family entertainment, which celebrates the history of the Scots-Irish, the people that gave America 17 presidents, a whole host of rogues, revolutionaries, religious leaders and academics,” he said.
The production will travel to Jacksonville and Fort Lauderdale, Fla., then on to Belfast, Ireland, for the “Homecoming Celebration Performance,” which will have a 500-voice choir comprised of 250 Catholic church choir members and 250 Protestant church choir members.
There will be an 8 p.m. performance on both May 7 and 8, as well as a 2 p.m. performance on May 8 and a 3 p.m. performance on May 9. Tickets are available through Ticketmaster.com.
For more information about the production, visit www.oneagleswing.com.