Diocesan Music Outreach Project
Outreach and Education have, during the last three years, become a primary focus for the music department in terms of development and new projects. Our new Diocesan Music Outreach Programme is seeking to build upon already existing strong and positive relationships with the parish churches of the diocese. Our cathedral choir visits churches in the united dioceses of Dublin & Glendalough to support their worship. Our new training programme for diocesan parish musicians began in 2014 with conducting workshops. Participants enjoy opportunities to conduct the cathedral choir in coaching sessions led by Organist and Director of Music, Ian Keatley.
Christ Church Cathedral hosts ‘Grand’ Festival Evensong!
The Music Department at Christ Church Cathedral hosted over 180 singers from 22 diocesan parish church choirs at a Festival Evensong on Sunday 10th May 2015. Mr Keatley, Organist & Director of Music, said ‘we were overwhelmed by the turnout. The nave was full of singers from all over the united dioceses which created a real buzz. I was very impressed by the standard of singing – it was so loud – and the trumpets provided the icing on the cake’! Singers from the dioceses were joined by the combined cathedral choirs including the new Cathedral Girls’ Choir, Lay Vicars & Choral Scholars, Voluntary Choir and Choral Mentoring Scheme for local young singers founded in September 2013. Mr Keatley went on to say that, ‘I sense there is a real appetite for more of these events particularly when our communities celebrate that which unites us. The festival service complements our new series of workshops as we aspire to meet the needs of those serving liturgy and worship in the parishes’.
Our new series of music summer schools draw children from local schools into the cathedral community. Participants take part in musical workshops including choral rehearsals, music theory classes, historical study and basic spiritual formation. The courses culminate in a joint service with the cathedral choir which is very engaging for some of the children who have not previously experienced cathedral worship and liturgy. This annual event now takes place every June.
Christ Church Choral Mentoring Scheme
Last year saw the inception of our new choral mentoring scheme. This initiative has created new opportunities for our Organist and Director of Music to work with innately talented Irish musicians in developing the sightreading skills necessary to pass an audition for the Cathedral Choir.
A partnership between Christ Church Cathedral’s Music Department and Barretstown Children’s Charity was announced in February 2014. Our cathedral girls’ choir, founded in January 2013, visited Barretstown earlier this year. Barretstown is a charity devoted to serving children suffering from serious illnesses including blood disorders and cancer. The girls’ choir and Joyce Murphy recorded a song for Barretstown called “Dream Baby Dream” which was launched by the President of Ireland. If you have not done so already, please download a copy of the song from iTunes to help us raise funds for Barretstown. On 2nd May 2014 the Girls’ Choir appeared in a high profile fund-raising concert, at Dublin’s Olympia Theatre, which was broadcast on RTÉ1 television. The choirs of Christ Church Cathedral performed at the 20th Anniversary Barretstown Gala Ball at the Convention Centre Dublin on Saturday 27 September 2014. The cathedral choir performed at a red carpet reception as guests arrived. Our cathedral girls’ choir performed, with Joyce Murphy, during the gala ball dinner in front of over 1000 guests including local celebrities, pop and rock musicians, actors and politicians. During the summer, our cathedral choir raised €2154.86 for Barretstown by organising a sponsored walk in the Wicklow Mountains. We would like to thank members of our cathedral congregation who came to join us on the walk as our community continues to come together with a common sense of purpose.
Christ Church Cathedral Voluntary Choir
2013 saw the creation of our new cathedral voluntary choir, as part of our music outreach programme, to further develop voluntary music-making within our community whilst at the same drawing people of other faiths into the cathedral. Anyone interested in auditioning for a place in the voluntary choir are invited to contact the Assistant Organist, David Bremner, on +353 (0)1-6778099 for further details.
Song for Barretstown: The Choristers of Christ Church Cathedral and Joyce Murphy
Music Outreach and Ecumenism
Christ Church Cathedral Choir invited the Schola of St Peter’s RC Cathedral, Belfast, to sing for a Festal Eucharist on the Feast of St Patrick. The cross-boarder, ecumenical aspect was symbolised by the two cathedral choirs singing together as one ensemble to reflect the theme of shared desire for Christian unity. The choirs were joined by the Christ Church Brass Ensemble who performed a number of fanfares and accompanied a special arrangement of the Langlais Messe Solennelle. The Eucharist was celebrated in Christ Church Cathedral by The Most Reverend Michael Jackson, Lord Archbishop of Dublin and Bishop of Glendalough.