Irish Youth Choir hits the high notes at the University of Limerick
The Irish Youth Choir (IYC) this year undertook its annual summer programme of rehearsals and concerts at its new home in University of Limerick from June 26th to July 4th. The choir was joined in UL by the National Youth Orchestra of Ireland (NYOI) for what was a very memorable and innovative collaboration. NYOI is celebrating its 40th anniversary this year and the Irish Youth Choir celebrates its 29th.
The 2010 residential programme began on Saturday 26th June culminating in concerts at the West Cork Chamber Music Festival, Wexford Opera House and The National Concert Hall, Dublin. The 2010 programme included Brahms' Requiem and Barber's Prayers of Kierkegaard with Artistic Director Greg Beardsell and soloists Cara O'Sullivan and Limerick's own Owen Gilhooly. The alto choir members will be ably tutored by Máire Keary Scanlon, highly regarded Limerick conductor.
Following nationwide auditions up to 100 young singers and 50 instrumentalists between the ages of 18 and 28 benefit from the IYC and NYOI experience by taking part in the summer residential programme of training, rehearsals and concerts all of which take place in an environment which develops teamwork, respect and leadership. The Irish Youth Choir also offers opportunities for young conductors to develop their skills through the Conductor in Training initiative, run in conjunction with the National Chamber Choir, and by offering masterclass opportunities during the IYC week.
Of the 96 singers in IYC this year, 11 young people from Limerick City and County will participate, up from 3 singers last year. This is due in no small part to the high quality choirs in the area. The fact that the parent body of the Irish Youth Choir, The Association of Irish Choirs, has recently taken up residency in UL has also contributed to the choral life of the city and its surrounds.
Speaking about the residency in UL, Liz Powell, CEO of the Irish Youth Choir said 'we're really delighted that the Irish Youth Choir returned to Limerick for the third year in a row for the rehearsals in the run up to our national tour. It's particularly exciting that we were joined by the National Youth Orchestra in our new home in the University Concert Hall for this historic and symbolic collaboration.'
The Irish Youth Choir was founded in 1982 to provide an opportunity for young Irish singers to increase their musical skills, to sing together under the direction of professional conductors and tutors, and to perform demanding and rewarding choral works to the highest possible standard. Since its foundation, over 1,000 singers have performed with the Irish Youth Choir. IYC members have gone on to form the backbone of musical life in this country and beyond as conductors, choir founders, singers, teachers and musicians. They include singer Julie Feeney, soloists Mairéad Buicke and Bridget Knowles, conductors Bernie Sherlock and Niall Crowley, to name but a few.