Tag Archives: choir

Festive Fix #3 – choirs, carols and Christmasness

I had a fabulous time at the Gloria annual Christmas concert last night. It was my first time hearing them and my gosh can they sing?! They had a lovely repertoire of traditional and contemporary songs, some of which I’d never heard of before and made the experience all the more refreshing. If you missed the gigs this week well you’ll be tickled to know they’ve got a special Christmas album that you can order via the website or download on iTunes.

Looking forward to their 15th anniversary gig at the National Concert Hall in June 2010 already. By the way, they’re looking for sopranos and basses to join them – all the info is here.

If you fancy catching some carols over the next while here’s some of what’s on around Dublin:

National Concert Hall

  • Wed 16, Thurs 17 & Fri 18 at 8pm – Hanel’s Messiah (returns only)
  • Sun 20 Dec at 3.15 PM & 8pm – Christmas Carol Singalong
  • Mon 21 Dec at 3.15 PM & 8pm – Carols by Candlelight
  • Tue 22 Dec at 3.15 PM & 8pm – The Glory Of Christmas

Tickets for all these events can be booked at www.nch.ie.

Christchurch Cathedral

Pro Cathedral

  • Sun 20 at 3.30pm – Carol Service with The Palestrina Choir & St. Mary’s Pro-Cathedral Girls’ Choir (in aid of Temple St. Hospital)

Dublin Gospel Choir

  • 19 Dec at 11.30am – 12pm at Liffey Valley Shopping Centre
  • 19 Dec at 1 – 2pm at Blanchardstown Shopping Centre

Immanuel Church

If you know of any more choral goings on over the next week or so, pop em in a comment below – would love to add them in.

Happy singing!

Sing your heart out!

The syllabus and entry forms for the Cork International Choral Festival 2010 are now online. There’s a range of categories to choose from and the competition brings together a fantastic mix of both national and international choirs every year.

You can download the syllabus here or read about my trip down to Cork for the 2009 festival earlier in the year. Really looking forward to going back in 2010!

In other choral news, the fabulous Gardiner Street Gospel Choir return to their usual slot of 7.30 at St. Francis Xavier’s Church on Gardiner St this coming Sunday the 13th – simply can’t wait :)

First brought to my attention by Darragh on Culch.ie, here’s a wonderful interpretation of Toto’s Africa by Perpetuum Jazzile which I think goes to show how awesome choral sounds can be. Happy weekend everyone.

Brigham Young University Singers in Dublin tomorrow

I had the pleasure of hearing a few performances from Brigham Young University Singers over the course of last weekend down in Cork at the choral festival. One piece that they decided to treat the crowd to at the closing gala concert has stuck with me since – Leonardo Dreams of His Flying Machine, which they give an insight into in the video above. It’s an amazing piece I had never heard before and I think I can speak for many people there when I say it made hairs stand on end. 

I’m delighted that they’re taking a tour around Ireland and the UK at the moment, including a concert on Tuesday night in Draiocht Theatre, Blanchardstown, in aid of the Irish Autism Alliance. The theatre’s website appears to be down at the moment but you can probably book over the phone at 01 885 2622. Really looking forward to this, hopefully see you there!

Cork International Choral Festival: my thoughts

This festival first came to my attention somehow around this time last year right after the 2008 festival had just wrapped up in Cork. That in mind I was determined not to miss out this year so I headed for Cork on Saturday to sample some of the choral action to be had in the country’s fairest city. 

I went along to the Fleischmann Trophy competiton on Saturday, the major prize on offer at the festival. The calibre of performances from the choirs was amazing as was the range of people involved on stage. Personal highlights included ‘Ett liv for mig’ performed by Finnish group Chamber Choir Gallerie and ‘Elijah Rock’ by Irish choir Codetta. Gothenburg Youth Choir gave a fantastic energetic performance to end the evening including a finger-clicking version of ‘Chili Con Carne‘. For something a bit lighter and to satisfy my more jazzy & modern tendencies in all things choral I popped into the National Competition for Light, Jazz and Popular Music on Sunday afternoon where some delightful performances given. Highlights for me were ‘The Impossible Dream‘ by Portadown Male Voice Choir, ‘The Teddy Bears Picnic‘ by Moy Singers from Co.Mayo and ‘Unchained Melody‘ by City of Cork Male Voice Choir. The closing gala concert on Sunday gave many of the choirs who took part in the Fleischmann Trophy competition a chance to let their hair down & have some fun and that they did for a really awesome evening of music. Sadly the camera battery failed to hold out for long enough to capture them all. Probably the most bizarre performance of the festival for me was Warsaw School of Economics Choir with their take on ‘Smells Like Teen Spirit‘. Highlights for me were the Slovenia’s Ptuj Male Chamber Choir take on ‘Happy Together‘, Cois Claddaigh with ‘Loch Lomond‘, Codetta once again with ‘Elijah Rock‘, Cantilena Children’s Choir singing ‘Molly Malone‘, Fleischmann Trophy winners Kammerchor I Vocalisti with the hair-raising ‘Pseudo-Yoik‘ and finally Brigham Young University Singers (U.S.A.) with their jaw-dropping rendition of ‘Leonardo Dreams of His Flying Machine‘. I’m delighted to see they’re on tour in the UK & Ireland over the next 2 weeks. This is deserving of a blog post all by itself so watch this space :)

Overall, it was a fantastic experience in Cork, if too short. I’d love to have taken in more of the festival – there were so many different performances on offer over the 5 days and many of them free of charge too! At the risk of sounding cliched or corny, it really hit me how music can bring people from all walks of life & parts of the world together in a happy, warm, positive & supportive collective. There was such a buzz about City Hall for the performances, all the choirs cheering each other on & getting along famously & enjoying each others’ culture. 

I’ve got a bunch of videos from the Closing Gala Concert and the National Competition for Light, Jazz and Popular Music on YouTube – apologies for the awful quality of the camera work but it’s getting a taste of the sound that matters! I can’t wait for next year :)

Lunchtime linkage

No.1 the day I was born
No.1 the day I was born
Oldie but goodie: what was #1 the day you were born? For me it’s ‘Band Aid: Do They Know It’s Christmas’. Can you top that? Leave yours in a comment & we’ll see :)

Stu’s ‘Songs Reimagined As Alert Boxes’ is currently at #3 in the Infectious chart & closing in on the #2 spot.

Cork boy Mark Hayes (brother to colleague Darren) is cracking me up with his blogging from L.A.

Tickets are on sale for the fabulous Gardiner Street Gospel Choir gig at The Helix, DCU on June 6th. Highly recommend going along, amazing bunch of singers & musicians – you’ll leave grinning ear to ear with a smile in your heart :)

And finally, I’m handing in my iPhone to be sent off to some foreign land to be hopefully fixed. In the meantime, Stu has kindly allowed me to borrow & unlock an N95 he had spare. I can’t get texts sending from it, everything else working fine so if you can shed any light on it I’ll buy you a pint or something suitably rewarding!