The 2016 Festival Choirs
Barony Choir was established in September 2011, and describe themselves as ‘a fun choir that takes its music seriously’. Until 2014 they performed mainly at interchoral evenings and concerts but then decided to try choral competitions, and in May 2015 won the Mixed Choir competition at Midleton’s Feile an tSamhraidh.Based in Midleton, their members come mainly from East Cork, although they have members who travel from Cork City and West Waterford to practise and perform with them.They focus mostly on contemporary songs, pop songs, and songs from musicals, but are open to trying more classical pieces.
Beech Hill College
Beech Hill College is a co-educational school in Monaghan Town. The choir is made up of students from all year groups and they rehearse during break and lunchtimes. This is their third year to try choral festivals and they enjoyed some success in Bangor and Navan last year so are excited about singing here today in Sligo.
Boydell is an all-female 4-part choir, and has been a part of the Trinity Singers Society since 2003. Boydell sing a range of styles of songs, including Traditional Irish, Classical, Church music, Modern and even some Gospel music. Boydell have performed in a number of locations around Dublin and beyond, including the Trinity Chapel, Christchurch, Keskemet in Hungary, and the Unitarian Church on Steven’s Green. Under the new direction of Aine Gell, this group are headed for many exciting events this year, including the Sligo Choral Festival
Cantamus has found a niche for itself in Derry with a lighter music repertoire. The choir has performed in many concerts and competitions across Ireland.Cantamus were prizewinners in the Sligo Festival in 2009 and in 2011. In 2014, Cantamus won the mixed voice choir competition at the City of Derry Choral Festival. In the choir’s most successful year to date, Cantamus won the mixed voice category but were also awarded the Marine Court Shield for the best performance of the festival and also the trophy for the Best Northern Ireland Choir at the Bangor Choral Festival in April of this year.
A dynamic and exciting choir, the members of Carlow Voices make up a four-part choir, soprano, alto, tenor and bass. Formed in 2002 by Marian Gaynor, the choir used to go by the name Córmíosa but in May 2015 the choir revealed a new identity, that of Carlow Voices. There is a welcoming social side to the choir, with a coffee break built into the weekly rehearsal, giving members a chance to catch up and mingle. Since taking up the role of Musical Director in 2014, Alan Kelly has worked on developing and enhancing the choir’s repertoire and technique. His approach has instilled a new energy in the group. In May 2016 Carlow Voices won the Irish Language section of the AIMS Choral Festival in New Ross. This is their first time to compete in the Sligo International Choral Festival.
Cavan Singers, established in 1984, is a community SATB choir. We have with almost 70 active members, some of whom have been with us from the very start. We rehearse each Tuesday. We sing at secular and church events in Cavan, Ireland, and abroad. Our last season was a special one, as we sang as part of A Nation’s Voice on Easter Sunday, and hosted our annual Summer Proms, ‘Songs From The Silver Screen’, in May. Find us online at cavansingers.blogspot.com, or follow us @cavansingers, or friend us on Facebook.
Cill Aodáin Choral Society
The Cill Aodáin Choral Society is a community based choir with over fifty singers from Kiltimagh and the surrounding areas. Under the musical direction of Finola Higgins-Cosgrove, the choir has won awards in several choral competitions. This year the Cill Aodáin Choral Society took part in the National Choral Project and sang in Collins Barracks on Easter Sunday as part of the 1916 commemorations. Recently, the choral society, as part of a mass choir, recorded “One Hundred Years a Nation”, with David Brophy and the National Symphony Orchestra. Our accompanist is Ausra Kvietku
Coláiste Cholmcille School Choir
The Coláiste Cholmcille School Choir hail from Ballyshannon, County Donegal. The choir was formed only recently to develop in our pupils a knowledge and love of the choral repertoire. Places are offered to any pupil with a basic singing ability who is willing to work hard. During the year, the choir sings at many important events at the school, as well as at various gatherings in the local community. This will be the first time the choir has ever competed at a choral festival.
Copsewood College Choir
We are a newly formed choir comprised of ninety students, ranging in age from twelve to eighteen years. For many members, the choir is their only musical outlet. We are a fully inclusive group, open to all students in the school, regardless of academic ability and special educational needs, in keeping with Don Bosco’s belief that “a school without music is a school without a soul”.
Credo was formed in 2012 and is an a cappella vocal ensemble which focuses on sacred, renaissance and early baroque music. It is based in Trim, Co. Meath, with Teresa Carley as group leader and is under the musical direction of Tracy Nagle.
Cuore are a Dublin-based mixed-voice chamber choir, conducted by Amy Ryan. The choir performs a broad range of sacred and secular repertoire, ranging from the Renaissance to the contemporary. Members hail from Ireland, Spain, Poland, the United States, Belgium, Hungary and the UK. Since its formation in September 2014, Cuore has presented a number of concerts, and recently performed at Dublin City Hall as part of Culture Night. The choir were awarded first prize in the Chamber Choir category at the 2015 New Ross Choral Festival, and were overall runners-up at the 2016 Mayo International Choral Festival.
Errigal College Choir
Errigal College Choir have members from every year, 1st -6th year inclusive.They practice every Monday lunchtime and provide music for the various school liturgies throughout the school year.They choir is small in number and BIG on attitude. They love singing and performing and many of the members want to make a career in singing. Sit back and enjoy the ‘Errigal College Choir’
GRACENOTES was established in 1999 and comes from the West of Ireland. Based in Ballyhaunis, County Mayo, the group is comprised of over thirty singers drawn from the locality and surrounding counties of Galway, Roscommon and Sligo. This female-voice choir performs a varied repertoire, mostly a cappella, ranging from early music to contemporary pieces, and which includes a selection of spirituals and folk music to add a lighter touch!
The choir has won numerous awards at festivals in Cork, Limerick, Navan and Sligo, and also takes part in concerts for various charities. The group regularly travels abroad and has performed at festivals and concerts in Italy, Hungary, Czech Republic, Spain and Poland. And last summer the choir enjoyed a wonderful tour to the South of France, performing at concerts in Nice and Grasse to very appreciative audiences!
The choir is conducted by Laura Brogan, one of the founding members.
We are a chorus of men from around Ireland who love to sing. We especially enjoy the sound of A Cappella harmony: singing in four parts, without accompaniment. Our style is mostly (but not exclusively) barbershop. And although we sing for fun, we are focused on building a national chorus of international standard.
In Cantorium are a newly formed choir under the directorship of the very Rev Philip Knowles and Eileen Doyle who both have a mutual interest in choral music. They co-founded this choir in 2015. Despite being very young, they have been very busy and have sung at numerous Songs of Praise celebrations around the country. Some of the highlights were singing, by invitation, at the Rock of Cashel and on RTE television and radio for morning worship. In Cantorium are really looking forward to being a part of The Sligo Choral festival.
Lady Barbalade is an award winning female Barbershop quartet based in Dublin. The quartet is made up of members of the acclaimed Enchiriadis Chamber Choir. The girls, Rebecca Gilbert, Clare Hayes Brady, Hilary Harnett and Evie Wroe, formed Lady Barbalade in 2015, and have won prizes in choral and Barbershop festivals all around Ireland.
Lumina is a Waterford-based choir made up of past members of the WIT Youth Choir. The choir was established in 2013 when singers of the Youth Choir reunited for a carol service. The name – meaning a flux of light – is actually an anagram of ‘alumni’. Sligo will be their first competition since their inception and they look forward to many more musical adventures ahead. The choir is conducted by Niall Crowley.
No Half Measures
NO HALF MEASURES is a chorus that is active in all Irish Association of Barbershop Singers activities. A frequent medal winner at IABS events the chorus is hoping to qualify to compete at the European Harmony Association Convention to be held in Bournemouth in 2017. The love of singing harmony is what brings most members back to work hard each week
NUI Galway Choral Society
The NUIG Choral Society is an inclusive society that is accessible to all students attending the university. The undergraduate choir is audition-free and open to everyone sharing a love for singing; it is an SATB group that focuses on many different styles of music, from classical to traditional to pop, and we sing both with accompaniment and without. This year, we are aiming to be involved in several events, including casual coffee mornings, local performances, and competitions.The society welcomes both international students and Irish students, all of who bring greater diversity to our group.
NUI Galway Staff Choir
NUI Galway Staff choir is made up of staff of academics and administrators and students. Together since 2013 and enjoy traveling to national competitions and have come first and second in festivals such as Kiltimagh, Sligo and Castlebar. Winners of Choir Factor 2014. The group are noted for its fun factor bringing smiles to audiences with its performances.
NUI Galway Alumni Choir
This Alumni choir are graduates of 2004-2006 from NUI Galway. The singers are still in contact and are relishing the opportunity to reform, and reconnect friendships. Currently the singers are based all around Ireland and Europe and travel to festivals to allow them to see their friends, sing some songs, reminisce about University days and maybe even have a glass of wine (or two)! The group travelled extensively when at University and visited festivals in Ireland, Paris and Italy. They recorded two CDs and were featured on a TG4 Christmas music programme. The group were well known for their exciting repertoire and had the opportunity to commission several choral works. During their college lives they visited many Choral Festivals and are very excited to have this opportunity to compete again! Last November the singers travelled to the Sligo Choral Festival and surprised themselves (and everyone else) when winning at the festival – a feat they never achieved while at University! The joy of choral singing and the friendships made from choral singing have made this group a solid bunch of friends who are as excited to see each other as they are to sing together!
Omna Singers is a small community ensemble which formed from a singing workshop at Portumna Co Galways 1st annual Shorelines Festival in September 2008 and hasnt stopped singing since. We value cross community arts engagement with drama, poetry, prose & song-writing.Sligo will be our second competitive challenge.
Rose Mount Male Voice Choir
Rosemount Male Voice Choir was formed in 2012 to celebrate the 100th anniversary of Rosemount Primary School, Derry. They sing regularly at various concerts, weddings and charity events around Derry and Donegal throughout the year. Their repertoire is mostly of a lighter style but they also perform some sacred music too. The choir have been prize-winners in Choral Festivals in Derry, Bangor and Sligo since 2012, winning in Sligo in 2013 and Derry in 2015. The choir’s Musical Director is Raymond Kelly and their accompanist is Raymond’s brother, Maurice. Both were founder members of the acclaimed Codetta Chamber Choir from Derry.
Sacred Heart School Tullamore, Co. Offaly
S.H.S. Choir comprises of both junior and senior students. The choir under the direction of Regina McCarthy has won many accolades at festivals throughout the country such as Feis Ceoil, Cork International Choral Festival, Sligo Feis Ceoil, Sligo International Choral Festival, Kilcoole Music Festival, Navan Choral Festival, Arklow Music Festival, Wesley Interschools Music Festival and Feis Maitiu Cork. The choir perform a broad range of repertoire from sacred to secular and participate in many community events in their locality.Director: Regina McCarthy
Sandford Park School
Sandford Park School became co-educational in 2013 and in 2015; it formed its first SATB Chamber Choir under the baton of Ms Fox. Chamber Choir caters for senior students and a select number of form 3 students. In its inaugural year, the Chamber Choir received 2nd place in The Tony McConnell competition at Sligo (2015) and performed extensively throughout the school year at recitals, concerts and community performances. The Chamber Choir enjoys performing a wide range of repertoire spanning eras, cultures and languages. The Chamber Choir have a keen interest in Irish language repertoire and look forward to showcasing their love for music, language and heritage in Boston as part of Sandford Park School International Choral Tour 2017.
Senior Boys Choir
This choir has been in existence for over 20 years and in this time has enjoyed success in a variety of competitions here in Sligo, in Feis Ceoil and in the All-island Choir Competition. The Senior Boys’ Choir are looking forward to being a part of the Sandford Park Choral Tour of Boston 2016. The Boys are seasoned performers and have enjoyed tours to Boston, Washington DC, Chicago, Calgary and Stockholm. The choir have also appeared as guests of Little Green Cars on ‘The Late Late Show’, as guests of the Dublin county Choir in the National Concert Hall last Christmas and at the closing ceremony of the BT Young Scientist and Technology Exhibition in 2013. They performed Brahms’ Alto Rhapsody with mezzo soprano Alison Browner in 2014.Rehearsals are after school on Tuesdays and the choir sing a wide range of three and four part repertoire spanning eras and cultures.
Sligo County Council Choir
Sligo County Council Choir was inaugurated in September 2105 in order to participate in the Hawkswell Theatre’s Sligo Sings project. This will be our first choral competition.
Sligo Gospel Choir
Sligo Gospel Choir is a vibrant, multi-denominational choir led by Musical Director, Richard Mitchell. The choir sings mainly at church, community and charity events in the county. Past highlights have included singing at the Gospel Rising festival; at the Service of Peace and Reconciliation attended by Prince Charles and the Duchess of Cornwall in Drumcliffe; on the Gig Rig at the 2015 Fleadh Cheoil na hÉireann; and twice on RTÉ television’s Sunday morning service. From traditional spirituals to contemporary classics, the choir’s repertoire captures the joy and hope of gospel music. Sing and clap along! www.sligogospelchoir.com
St Patrick’s Cathedral Grammar School
The St. Patricks Cathedral Grammar School Choir is an all-inclusive, non-auditioned choir and is open to all students from 1st to 6th year and currently has a membership of 60 students. Recently this choir was the awarded a distinction in the Royal Irish Academy of Music Gold Standard Choral Exam and subsequently received High Achievers medals for their outstanding performance. The school choir performs at all school functions and the Christmas season is always particularly busy for the choir with recordings for the RTÉ Lyric Fm Choirs for Christmas competition, carol services and carolling for the Simon Community. The Grammar School Choir love competing and participated for the very first time at the Sligo International Choral Festival last November. The choir also won the David Wilson Cup at the Wesley Interschools Music Festival in March and rounded off a very successful year winning the Cóir Iarbhunscoile Cup at the EBS Feis Ceoil. The choir was subsequently invited to perform as part of the Young Platform Recital series in September in the National Concert Hall.
St. Louis Secondary School, Dundalk, Co. Louth
The choir is made up of eager singers from first to sixth year and we perform in a variety of styles, including Gospel, jazz and Irish music
Stay Tuned is a barbershop quartet based in Dublin, fondly known by its respective members’ daughters as Dad’s Boyband. Brothers John and Frank Quinn are joined by Michael Boyle and Jim Ryan — Stay Tuned!
Strabane Chamber Choir
Strabane Chamber Choir was launched in February 2015, fulfilling a long term desire of its director Gerard Bradley to form an adult choir in the local area. Thus the membership has a catchment area of Strabane and the surrounding areas of Omagh, Derry and Donegal. Many of the members are musicians in their own right with backgrounds in brass, strings and voice. To date the choir has performed in several concerts and in one competition. Their repertoire is varied, ranging from sacred song through to jazz and popular music. Their raison d’etre is to sing for joy!
The Park Singers
The Park Singers was founded by Seán Creamer in 1970, taking its name from the Phoenix Park school where it was based in its early days. Many of its members were pupils of Seán Creamer from an early age in the National Children’s Choir and Dublin Secondary School Girls’ Choir, who wished to carry their love of choral singing into adulthood. Órla Gillan took over as conductor in 2009. Órla is a teacher and one of the musical directors of the National Children’s Choir. Since taking charge of the Park Singers, she has led them to success in performances at home and abroad, including winning Best Female Choir at the North Wales Choral Festival in 2010, Choir of the Festival at the Cork International Choral Festival in 2011 . The choir has also picked up numerous awards at the EBS Feis Ceoil and Navan Choral Festival winning the Female Competition in 2011, 2012, 2013 and the Female and Irish Music Competitions in 2010. The Park Singers performs a wide range of repertoire and has a particular interest in works by contemporary Irish composers. In 2008 The Park Singers collaborated on the music for an independent Irish film, One Christmas Eve. They also recorded their first CD, Regardez Le Chef, the same year.
Formed in January of 2015, the Sandbarsare all members of the Mixed 4 Bars Later Barbershop Chorus in Strandhill, Co Sligo and have clocked up many years experience in the male chorus, Tone Cold Sober . However, Sligo Choral Festival will be only their second competitive outing as a quartet. Three members of this quartet are past National IABS Male Quartet silver medallists in 2013 and 2014 and while the usual corporate and charity work will be a component of the quartet’s activity, the challenge of competitive quartet singing together with the fun & love of Barbershop is the real motivation behind this relatively new addition to the male quartet scene. The Sandbars are looking forward to the Sligo Festival and wish the committee every success in 2016 and into the future. The Sandbars are,
- Martin Donoghue – Tenor;
- Gerry Farrell – Lead;
- Michael Goodman – Bass;
- Seán Martin – Baritone.
Tone Cold Sober
Tone Cold Sober are very active in both competition and concert performances. We have recently recruited nine new members which brings the total membership to over thirty, and new members are always welcome.
Trinity Singers is the largest of the four component choirs that make up the Singers Society founded in 1948, and the only mixed choir too! With concerts at the end of both the Michaelmas and Hillary terms, the Singers perform a large repertoire each year. It is an SATB choir, that sings songs from many genres. We rehearse once a week – every Monday evening at 7 for roughly two hours. The social aspect is a large part of the society. Our members come from all different faculties within the college, which makes it a great way to meet new people. We also go on a tour each year; last year performing in Budapest, and in 2014 competed in the Sligo Choral Fest where we won both our section and the overall competition, and we look forward to taking part in the Fest again this year under the direction of Emma-Jane Stoker-Phelan.
Founded in 2013 by Raeghnya Zutshi, Trinity Belles are the all-female a cappella pop choir of the society. It was officiated into Trinity College Singers in September 2015. There are 16 singers which include: Sinéad Alari, Clemmie Warner, Áine Ní Fhlanagáin, Molly Buckingham, Anna Rafferty Lynam, Sarah McMahon, Ellen Duffy, Darcey Lovell, Sara Mitchell García, Sinéad Cornyn, Liz Gleeson, Arrah Angela G. Valenzona, Elyse Lynch, Anna Johnston, Maya Gryesten Fields, Rachel Blennerhassett
Wesley College Senior Choir
Wesley’s Senior Choir has had a great start to the year with a busy schedule and we look forward to travelling to London in February and performing in the NCH in December. Membership of this choir is by audition and members make a big commitment when joining this group. Last year they earned a Distinction in the RIAM Gold Standard exam and were thrilled to receive High Achievers medals. Success also came at the Cork International Choral Festival, Navan Choral Festival and the Wesley College Music Festival last year where the choir was awarded 1st place in all three competitions.
Witness To Hope
Witness To Hope Choir was founded in 2014 by their Director Úna Nolan. Members of the choir come from the local area and share a love of singing in a relaxed and fun atmosphere, singing a repertoire of light popular and gospel music. Based at Ireland’s National Marian Shrine in Knock, Co. Mayo, Witness To Hope also regularly sing at mass in the Basilica at Knock, as well as many other ceremonies at the Shrine. Since its foundation, Witness To Hope have taken part in choral competitions as well as RTÉ television and radio broadcasts. This is their second time to participate in the Sligo International Choral Festival.