Two choristers from St Fin Barre’s Cathedral Choir attended the Irish Youth Training Choir’s residential course (in association with Sing Ireland) during their summer vacation.
I am incredibly grateful to have been a part of the Irish Youth Training Choir, which was one of the best experiences I have ever had. Between the 25 th and 30 th June, young people aged 14 to 17 from around Ireland stayed on the University of Limerick campus and were taught a large repertoire of pieces. The theme of this year was newly composed music, which gave us the unique opportunity to premiere many new items commissioned by the choir. Though it was a lot of hard work, it was made enjoyable by the great music and the passionate leadership.
Of course, there were lots of fun activities too such as a table quiz, which in true choir fashion ended in a ‘finish the lyric’ tie-breaker. We had a movie night, but my personal highlight of the week was a talent show, where we got to see all of our fellow choristers’ immense non-musical talents.
We performed twice, once in UL and once in St Andrew’s Church, Dublin. It was exhilarating to make such good music with people I had only known for five days. My personal favourite piece Tea Time celebrated Irish people’s relationship with the good old ‘cuppa’ and included interesting details such as using both a tea pot and cup as instruments to accompany the choir as well as the piano. With its catchy tune and syncopated rhythm, this made this piece particularly enjoyable.
I am so excited for next year, to sing with IYTC’s spectacular group of people again.
I thought it would be an exciting experience but I didn’t really know what to expect. I was very impressed with the Limerick campus and we got to stay in an apartment with five basses who were great fun. We ate together on campus in the Stables restaurant and rehearsed in both the Village Hall and the Irish Chamber Orchestra Hall; the facilities were amazing.
The days were packed, with warm-ups every morning followed by sectionals with the other tenors and basses, full choir rehearsals and musicianship classes. The final full rehearsal at 8pm was followed by loads of different activities every evening. The songs were very different from the ones I usually sing, because they were written by contemporary Irish composers, and some were based on poems and themes generated by secondary school students. I enjoyed all of the 13 songs that we learnt, and they were all great.
I enjoyed getting to meet some amazing singers from all over Ireland, and I was one of the youngest. I enjoyed being in a different environment and it was fun performing the two concerts in Limerick and Dublin, which were great craic and I learned a lot. In summary, it was fun, challenging, and educational and I hope to do it again next year.