Rooskey author and freelance journalist Audrey Healy was last week honoured by a university in the USA when she gave a lecture on one of her books, ‘The Singer and the Song’, to a group of US college students who are studying the book on their syllabus, as part of their lyric and song writing course at Belmont University, Nashville, Tennessee.
The invitation to give the lecture to the US students came from Professor James Elliott of the College of Entertainment and Music Business at Belmont University, who came across the Rooskey writer’s work on the internet.
Prof. Elliott put Audrey’s book, ‘The Singer and the Song’ on his students’ syllabus at Belmont University, and they have each written assignments on sections of it.
The US students and their professor are currently visiting Ireland for a two week excursion and study programme, which will count as credits for their college course.
They met Audrey Healy in Galway, where she delivered the lecture on her book, which comprises of accounts from 60 Irish songwriters and performers of songs that are important in their lives.
Audrey spoke at length about her book and during her lecture she explained the process of compiling the different sections of the book and putting it together, and she also outlined her favourite songs in the compilation and her interest in the subject.
In her lecture, Audrey referred to and played recordings by specific artistes who had sent submissions for the book, including Phil Coulter, playing his chosen song, “The Town I Loved So Well”, the Furey Brothers and their hit song, “When you Were Sweet Sixteen”, which was first performed as far back as 1847, and Brendan Bowyer and his favourite song, “The Hucklebuck”, which got the students on their feet!
The students also participated in music workshops with singer songwriter Mick Hanly and with Eurovision Song Contest winner Charlie McGettigan, who has collaborated with Audrey on a number of songs. Ms Healy said she is at present compiling articles for a second edition of her book, ‘Contacted’.
“Audrey Healy is a gifted writer and a talented and sensitive writer of poetry and verse, and I was thrilled when I spotted her book, ‘The Singer and the Song’, on the internet,” commented Professor Elliott.
“I am delighted that Audrey was able to facilitate them with her lecture and that they were so interested in what she had to say!” Prof. Elliott hopes to bring another group of his US students to Ireland next year.