The Choral Scholars of University College Dublin
Date: March 3, 2016
Category: College and University Choirs
Location: Dublin, Ireland
"Bright Young Things" - The Irish Times
The Choral Scholars of University College Dublin, under the artistic direction of Desmond Earley, is Ireland’s leading collegiate choral ensemble. With a large repertoire ranging from art to popular music, and stretching from the medieval to the contemporary in style, this choir gives many concerts throughout the academic year, both in Ireland and abroad. Following a competitive selection process each September, eighteen gifted students are awarded a scholarship, with recipients of the award coming from a range of academic disciplines across the university, from Music to Medicine, Law, Agricultural Science, Commerce and Engineering.
The choir regularly broadcasts on Irish television and radio. Since its formation in 1999, the group frequently performs with orchestras, including the RTÉ Concert Orchestra, the Earley Musicke Ensemble and the European Union Chamber Orchestra, and on the university campus with the UCD Symphony Orchestra and Philharmonic Choir. In touring Holland, Hungary, Italy, Luxembourg, the United Kingdom and the United States of America the group has brought UCD and its music to an international audience.
The performance of works by living composers is a hallmark of this ensemble. New compositions have been written for the group by Ivo Antognini, Desmond Earley, Michael McGlynn and Bill Whelan. The 2014-15 season included world premieres of three specially commissioned works by Antognini: Aimhirgín, War and Peace. Equally comfortable outside the concert hall, the group has appeared at the Electric Picnic festival and has collaborated with indie-rock band ‘Ham Sandwich’, electric-pop group ‘Young Wonder’ and indie-folk duo ‘Heathers’, in Christ Church Cathedral in Dublin.
The choir recently released their first international recording on the Signum Classics record label. The disc, entitled Invisible Stars, is a collection of traditional and contemporary choral music from Ireland and Scotland and features arrangements and new compositions by some of Ireland’s most celebrated composers for choir, including Michael McGlynn, Brendan Graham, Bill Whelan and the group’s artistic director, Desmond Earley.