Less than a week to go!
I was first introduced to the wonderful world of choral music while in secondary school, and have been involved in it for over ten years now. I joined the Irish Youth Chamber Choir during my first Irish Youth Choir summer course in 2012, and just couldn’t stop! It’s been such an incredible experience over the last four years, getting the opportunity to meet and interact with other choral enthusiasts from around the country, alongside learning from such an esteemed musical staff including our musical director, Greg Beardsell and tutors including Anne Barry, Helen Hassett, Alan Leech and Eunan McDonald. Together, they bring copious amounts of experience to the course, making it a truly remarkable opportunity for us as musicians to learn from them. I have met some of my closest friends while on the IYC course, making it such a memorable experience for me. It even became my little summer holiday to Limerick, knowing I was going to be spending a week with some of my best friends from around the country!
As an active composer, conductor and music teacher, choral music has played such a crucial role in my life. Participating in the IYC courses has only helped develop that over the years, giving me further skills that I have been able to utilize in school with my own students. As members of IYCC, we have also had the unique chance to tour around the country, to work with younger choral groups, taking our little bit of experience and sharing it with these younger audiences. In doing this, we have always hoped to develop, encourage and foster a deeper tradition of the Irish choral music around the country. Something that all of us truly feel passionately about!
We’ll be traveling to Toronto for our first International tour next month, bringing together a special concert to mark Bloomsday 2016. Teaming up with the talented Toronto Children’s Chorus Youth Choir, we will be sharing some of our favorite works by contemporary Irish composers in what will be a significant collaboration of both cultural and educational importance to both choral communities. We are really looking forward to the unique opportunity, and to building some new friendships with our Canadian choral friends!
As we close in on the final few days of our campaign, we’d like to take this opportunity to thank each of you for your contribution. As this is an all-or-nothing campaign, we have the next 5 days to reach our target, or else face losing all the funding that we have received thus far. We really do appreciate your continued support with our project and would be ever so grateful for any further help in spreading the word to absolutely anyone and everyone over the coming days. Every cent counts, no matter how small!
Again, thank you so much for your help in funding this project. It really does mean the world to us!
Irish Youth Chamber Choir
More about IYCC
I’m a Bass in the Irish Youth Chamber Choir, originally from the Waterford area. I’ve sung in various choirs in Waterford, Cork and Dublin since the age of 15. I’ve now done four Irish Youth Choir summer courses since 2010 and there’s many reasons I come back whenever I can. Each course you learn more about your voice, more about working with other musicians in a professional environment, and get to tackle new and exciting music with like-minded people. This is all under the excellent direction of Greg Beardsell, who brings a wealth of international experience to the table. It’s a fantastic experience for any young singers, regardless of whether you’re interested in a career in music. I’m not a professional musician so it’s an opportunity for me to be challenged and work on music for a week in a concentrated fashion. It’s seeded my involvement with many other choirs in Ireland through connections made at the course. I’ve also met some of my very best friends at IYC - when I even moved to Dublin last year I lived in an “IYC house”!
Following the 2014 IYC summer course, IYCC ambitiously embarked on a fund:it project to record an EP, Rise Up My Love. We wanted to produce something to show for the hard work that is demonstrated year after year. As the country’s flagship youth choir we saw value in creating something which would become a testament to the high standard of choral music in Ireland. With some very hard work and 182 amazing funders we were able to pull it together funding to make this dream happen. In October 2014 we recorded Rise Up My Love, which features music by contemporary choral masters Howard Skempton, Gabriel Jackson, Pēteris Vasks and Eric Whitacre. It’s been described as “a musical calling card of consummate elegance” by Michael Quinn of Classical Ear. It can be spotted for sale at AOIC events and concerts and is also available on iTunes. This would not have been possible without the support of our past funders and we’re extremely thankful to each and every person who donated. Rise Up My Love has become an important asset in pursuing new, ambitious projects helping spread our sound internationally.
One of these projects is Irish Youth Chamber Choir’s first international tour. This June we will travel to Toronto to perform with the incredible Toronto Children’s Chorus Youth Choir at Trinity St. Paul’s United Church. We will be performing works from some of our favourite contemporary Irish composers, flying the flag for Irish choral music. Toronto Children’s Chorus are one of the best young choirs I’ve ever heard and cannot wait to work with them - I expect we will learn as much from them as they will from us! It will be a trip of educational and cultural importance to the choral communities in Ireland and Canada.
The project has been in part funded through generous support by Culture Ireland along with our own investment, but there are still many expenses not yet covered. This extra funding will hopefully cover accommodation and subsidise the travel expenses of the choir members, many of whom are students. This fund:it campaign is an all-or-nothing effort, meaning that if we don’t reach our target in 2 weeks time, all of the money raised goes back to our funders. The impact our funders provided in 2014 carries through in the organisation and we would appreciate absolutely any donations to help keep this momentum going. The next 2 weeks are crucial in ensuring this tour is successful. This exchange will open many more doors for the Irish Youth Choir as whole, and for the young generations of singers that join in the future.
Thank you to our funders so far,
Irish Youth Chamber Choir