Claddagh Choral will be performing a choral concert in Galway Cathedral as part of Live in Galway.
On 20th October acclaimed vocal ensembles Fir an Cladaigh and Galway City Chamber Choir will perform a diverse repertoire of choral music, including traditional Irish pieces and music from around the world.
Choral conductor Stephen Carroll will be leading the two Claddagh Choral groups in a joint performance combining up-and-coming singers and seasoned professionals.
Fir an Cladaigh boasts a choir of 12 local professional singers specialising in Irish choral music. While Galway City Chamber Choir is an amateur ensemble bringing together Galway-based music professionals, students, and enthusiasts.
Commenting on the collection of music the audience can expect, Mr Carroll said: “We have a very long list, there’s some great music that you will be seeing.”
When curating their music for this performance, Mr Carroll was eager to take this opportunity to celebrate Irish music. “I love Irish music and exhibiting Irish music, so that is very prominent in our repertoire,” he said.
Mr Carroll also expressed his passion for exploring other cultural choral music and found particular inspiration in American and Scandanavian pieces.
“You can learn a lot about a culture through its music. You almost understand and feel their history and their story and their language and landscape.”
Galway City Chamber Choir was born from a concert in 2019 and has since propelled itself into the music industry. Although the pandemic saw many hurdles with rehearsals, the choir regrouped again in 2021 and has flourished in the past year.
“In the last 12 months the choir has really grown, it’s had some incredible opportunities,” said Mr Carroll.
One of these opportunities includes an hour-long TG4 Christmas special set to air on Christmas Eve this December.
The special will also feature a rendition of a new Christmas song by singers Brendan Graham and Róisín O’Reilly.
Together with the Director of MÓC2, Micheál Ó Ciaraidh, Mr Carroll began preparing the proposal for this special on January 10. “We’ve been working on it all year,” he said.
When asked about the production process, Mr Carroll had nothing but praise for the amateur choir. “I wouldn’t say stressful. Galway City Chamber Choir are well-humoured they’re really positive people, so it was a really fun experience, but an extensive amount of planning and preparation and time went into getting it to that stage.”
“They pulled off an hour-long TV show to a TV standard in—I think it was—6 weeks of rehearsals, so it was a very intensive period of rehearsal, lots of evenings,” he added. Rehearsals involved coming in several times a week for sessions lasting hours and, on top of this, a lot of independent practice.
For Mr Carroll the collective efforts of the choir have more than paid off, “they really did pull it together, they really did commit and I’m very proud of them for that.”
“We’ve got lots more interest in the choir, the choir has really grown, and we have a really high calibre of singers now,” he noted enthusiastically.
Mr Carroll shared that there is more to come from Claddagh Choral in the near future. When speaking on these projects he said: “There are a few big things coming up that we’re kind of working on all the time in the background that we can’t wait to tell people about.”
However, he could confirm that they will be going ahead with their annual Christmas concert series.
“People really do enjoy them, it gets everyone in the festive spirit.”
Live in Galway is part of The Local Live Performance Programming Scheme, funded by the Department of Tourism, Culture, Arts, Gaeltacht, Sport and Media through the Galway City Council.