Talented cellist is bringing London to Derry

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Mention the name Bergin in Derry and you automatically think music.

So it should come as no surprise that a member of this talented local family is part of the world renowned London Symphony Orchestra due to visit the city on March 18.

Mary Bergin has been a cellist with the LSO since 1987 and says she “can’t wait to show off her beautiful home city” to her colleagues.

“It’s so exciting,” said Mary, who has toured the world with the one hundred strong orchestra during the last two and a half decades.

“But I never thought I’d get the chance to bring the orchestra to Derry and the new venue at Ebrington. Our MD Katherine McDowell hails from Belfast, she is just brilliant and she’ll be coming home as well.”

The orchestra will present a evening of film music written by John Williams when they perform at The Venue on March 18.

“People will love it,” said Mary, who recorded under the direction of John Williams for film soundtracks including Stars Wars at the Abbey Road studios.

The Derry concert will feature a range of film soundtracks such as Schindler’s List, Raiders of the Lost Ark and of course the epic theme of Jaws, where Mary and the other cellists takes the lead role.

She now resides in Lincolnshire with husband Robert, a pilot, but Mary hails from Clarence Avenue in Derry where parents Patricia and Gerry Bergin still live.

Music is definitely something that runs in the blood of this family as sister Anne and brothers John and Brian all work for the music service in the North West.

And Mary’s eight years-old daughter Fiona is hoping to follow in her mum’s footsteps and is learning the cello herself.

“It is thanks to the schools and music service in the north west that I am where I am,” Mary told the ‘Journal.’ “I attended St Eugene’s PS where I first learned the cello under Joan Hutchman. I was originally down for a violin, but my dad scored that out and wrote cello, the rest is history.

“I continued learning music at Thornhill College and later I attended the Royal Academy of Music.

“My parents are very musical and it is thanks to them that the four of us have all gone on to have music careers,” said Mary.

She thinks that every child should be given the opportunity to learn music, which she said has opened so many doors for her.

And Mary doesn’t even mind that her instrument is so big and bulky.

“The orchestra has a big lorry,” she quips. “I rarely carry my own cello anymore. I feel more sorry for the double bass players and the harpists. Their cases are much bigger than mine.

“I love the cello, it’s a good instrument to play.

“I feel so fortunate to be with the LSO, but we work hard, seven days a week. It’s an orchestra where you have to be able to do things immediately. But I like that it is such a high standard, you can never just sit back. You are expected to do a wonderful job.”

Mary will be home with the orchestra in mid March when she hopes her family will be able to come and listen to the concert themselves.

Tickets for the show on March 18 are available at the City of Culture box office at www.millenniumforum.co.uk or ring 02871264455