SUITE FOR THE SPECIAL OLYMPICS
CROKE PARK, DUBLIN, 2003
In 2003 Shaun Davey was commissioned to compose an anthem for the Special Olympics Summer Games. 'May we never have to say goodbye', sung by Rita Connolly, topped the Irish charts for five weeks and was played every week in the Croke Park venue for the following ten years. To honour the occasion, the 25-minute suite was conceived as a musical celebration on a gigantic scale. It includes 'Arrival of the Flags', a piece for massed World percussion by percussionist Noel Eccles; elsewhere the music was designed to accompany the arrival of the President of Ireland, the Olympic Flame, Fireworks etc. Forces include Irish traditional soloists with symphony orchestra, large choir and pipeband. The suite was performed in Croke Park before a crowd of 80,000, and has been twice performed in Chicago Symphony Hall; both the Anthem and 'Arrival of the Olympic Flame' feature regularly in Davey concerts.