A Daughter’s Odyssey: A Memoir

16.95 15.26

SKU/IBAN 9781484151358 Categories: , , ,


Ernest De Regge was a major influence in the development of Church Music in the Diocese of Killaloe (1923-1958). He was an accomplished musician, organist and composer and much of his music was performed by the choir and broadcast on RTE. Under the auspices of An tOireachtas, he arranged Irish melodies for school choirs and received many national and international awards for his work.

Ernest De Regge, was born in Overmere, Flanders. In 1922 he received the degree of Licentiate in Music from the prestigious Lemmens Music Conservatory in Malines, claiming first place in composition, while his classmate, the world famous Flor Peeters, took the prize for organ.

From 1900, Lemmens sent its organists and other musicians to Ireland where there were well-maintained organs and musical people, but no facilities for formal training.

In 1923, Bishop Fogarty appointed De Regge as Music Professor at St. Flannan’s College and organist-choirmaster in the Cathedral of SS Peter and Paul. The bishop’s aim was to implement the instruction of Pope Pius X to simplify choir music. In St. Flannan’s (a junior seminary), the young graduate would be instructing future clergy of the Diocese in musical literacy and giving them a firm grounding in Gregorian Chant.

In the early 1930’s, the new Irish Republic was anxious to acquire and publish new Irish music through An Gum (the State publishing company). De Regge composed almost 300 works for choirs of mixed voices, songs based upon English and Irish texts, masses, motets, piano and organ pieces.

Because the career of this prolific and talented musician was cut short and his promise not fully realized, this story, as reported by his eldest daughter, aims to capture something of the man and times.