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Kevin O'Carroll Music - Choir

  Choir

Performance

Professional Choral Ensemble - Vocalis

About Vocalis

Vocalis is a south-east based professional choral ensemble and comprises eight trained, professional singers. Most of the singers reside in the Waterford/Wexford region and all have extensive performance experience, both national and international. Most of the singers have previously sung with the National Chamber Choir or Anúna. The group therefore promises to be a very special asset to the choral life of the South East.
Vocalis is directed by Kevin O’Carroll, one of Waterford’s longest established choral directors. Kevin, who has directed and recorded choirs in Ireland, Europe and the USA, is the holder of a Masters Degree in Choral Conducting Performance.  He is in demand both as a conductor and a choral consultant. He also lectures on the post graduate choral conducting course run at St. Patrick’s College, Drumcondra, a college of Dublin City University. The final member of the performance team is Dr. Marion Ingoldsby, an internationally renowned composer and lecturer at WIT. Marion is not only the accompanist but also “in-house composer” for the group.
 

October 2013

Vocalis perform their first concert in the new Medieval Museum, Waterford on Sunday October 27th 2013 at 12 noon.  The programme will include:

Funeral Sentences by William Purcell

Magnificat by Giovanni Battista Pergolesi

Songs and Sonnets by George Shearing.

 

Christmas 2012

Vocalis returns to the Waterford stage and presents a Christmas programme of the highest quality.  De La Salle College chapel will be the venue for a performance of Benjamin Britten's - A Ceremony of Carols, Schutz - Hodie Christus Natus Est and a host of well known carols presented in new and interesting arrangements. 
 
The inaugural concert took place in The Large Room, City Hall Waterford on February 25th 2010 at 8.00pm. The concert, entitled From Darkness into Light,  featured music by Eric Whitacre and Pablo Casals and the beautiful Requiem by Herbert Howells.   The aim of the group is to introduce new music to audiences but also to sing to a high level works which are accessible to community choirs. They will therefore include a song cycle of folk songs and some lighter favourites.
Full Programme
This Marriage                            Eric Whitacre
O Vos Mones                            Pablo Casals
Requiem                                   Herbert Howells
The Lord is my Shepherd         Howard Goodall
The Sprig of Thyme                  John Rutter
Mack the Knife                         Kurt Weil
How High the Moon                 Arr. Gwyn Arch
Members:

Roisin Dempsey (Soprano)  from Enniscorthy is a honours music graduate from Maynooth, specialising in performance. She has recorded and toured internationally with Anúna, Riverdance, Liam Lawton and Celtic Woman over the past number of years. As a soloist she  moves between classical and crossover  repertoire recording two albums, "Spirit of an Irish Christmas" and "Surrounded" both of which have met with critical acclaim and led to many engagements the most recent being in Gothenburg Sweden and Nashville, Tennessee.  Her Oratorio experience ranges from Bach's' St Matthew's Passion', to Fauré's "Requeim". She is delighted to be part of Vocalis and looks forward  to making music with such a talented group.

Grainne Stafford 
(Mezzo Soprano) studied voice with Edith Forrester in D.I.T., Robert Beare in Cork School of Music and Alan Cutts in the Wexford School of Music. She has sung with the National Chamber Choir of Ireland, Opera Ireland and Christ Church Cathedral Chamber Choir. 
Jane Kelly (Alto)  Jane Kelly graduated from Trinity College Dublin in 2012 with a Bachelor of Music Education. She began her musical training at a young age as a violinist but soon discovered that she had a voice!  She started her vocal studies with Cathy Walsh before moving to study in the Royal Irish Academy of Music with Philip O'Reilly(with whom she still studies) in 2006. Jane is currently a member of the Irish Youth Choir, Verdi 53 and the Dun Laoighre Choral Society.  She has performed throughout Ireland in venues such as the Helix, The University Concert Hall Limerick and the National Concert Hall.  Jane is currently studying for a Diploma in Community Music and Group Teaching in the Royal Irish Academy of Music.
 
Sandra Wickham (Contralto) studied at the Royal Northern College of Music in Manchester, after which she moved to Dublin to study with Mary Brennan where she achieved the Diploma in Vocal Teaching.  She sang with the National Chamber Choir for many years and toured with them both nationally and internationally and  has also performed as a soloist with Opera Ireland and Lyric Opera. She qualified as a primary teacher in 2009 and is now working as a Rural Co-ordinator in a number of schools in County Wexford.

Dermot Doyle (Tenor) Having studied for his BA in Music and H Dip in Ed, Dermot Doyle sang with the National Chamber Choir from ’96 -2002 and represented Ireland in the World Youth Choir. Dermot has studied voice with Robert Bickerstaff in Sydney where he had the privilege to sing in the Sydney Opera House and at the opening ceremony of the 2000 Olympic Games. He has sung with Opera Ireland and Garsington Opera UK.

Greg Scanlon (Tenor) Greg has been performing, conducting and composing for groups in Waterford for many years.  A primary school principal by day, Greg is currently completing his PhD in Music Composition studying with Marian Ingoldsby at Waterford Institute of Technology.
Eoin Power (Baritone) studied singing in The Royal Irish Academy of Music, Dublin.  He lives and works in Tramore and is actively involved in music locally and further afield; both as a chorister and as a soloist.  Recent solo performances include  Dvorak Te Deum, Durufle’s Requiem, Winter Voices (Christchurch) and the debut performances of Eric Sweeney’s Hymn to Gaia. 
John Dempsey (Bass) hails from Oulart, Co. Wexford. He has a BMus Honours degree from the Cork School of Music and postgraduate diplomas in vocal performance from both the D.I.T. Conservatory of Music and the Royal Northern College of Music, Manchester. He is a former choral scholar at both St. Ann's Church, Dawson St. and Christ Church Cathedral Choir, Dublin

If you are interested in having a professional choral ensemble perform in your area, please contact info@kevinocarrollmusic.com.

 

 

 

 

 Madrigallery  - http://www.madrigallery.org

 

21 November 2015

Ola Gjeilo - Sunrise Mass

24 May 2015

Brahms Requiem in Wexford

Presented with Wexford Festival Singers, Ad Hoc Chorale and The City fo Dublin Chamber Orchestra.

4 December 2014

Fantasia on Christmas Carols and other Christmas Favourites

25 May 2014

Lunchtime Recital in the Medieval Museum

Monteverdi - Beatus Vir

Stephen Paulus - The road Home

Taverner - Funeral Ikos

Palestrina - Mis

26 January 2014

Lunchtime recital in the Medieval Museum 

Review of Liam Murphy - Munster Express

At 12.30pm as part of Music at the Museum, the wonderful choir, Madrigallery in The Garden Room transported a capacity audience with the most sublime choral work, that was more than singing, and gloriously transformative. Kevin O'Carroll has, as always, done wonders with this chamber ensemble. With songs going back to the 16th century, I was suffused with sound, and sensed for the first time this year, the historical importance of our city, Waterford, as it celebrates its 1100th Anniversary, as Ireland's oldest city. In the importance of the celebration I still find it hard to accept that there will be no more a City Council after the summer as we merge with the County, and become a Municipality.
Madrigallery began with a happy La La La piece from a Handel opera, Agrippina - Bel Piacere (Great Pleasure). A beautiful, The Gentle White Swan, created images of walking beside the Suir. Some years ago at Garter Lane, I first heard Madrigallery sing Faure's, Cantique  de Jean Racine (Racine wrote hymns and matins), and again I was uplifted to another place. 
Lauridsen's O Magnum Mysterium was breathtaking in its musicality, and it resonated deep within me, and I felt such peace and belonging, among good people. Gorecki's Totus Tuus was almost a spiritual, an out of body experience, where the choir repeated 'Maria' until it ceased to be a word, but a sound in music. Such was the proximity of the choir that I could hear the intake of breath and the vocal control that was sublime.

 

Whitacre's This Marriage, was 'sweet milk' like 'wine and halvah', was 'full of laughter' and  'a seal of happiness, here and hereafter'. There was also a line  " I am out of words to describe how spirit mingles in this marriage", and that was how I felt, 'out of words' to describe the effect it had on me.

 

The 2012/2013 Saeason

The 2012/2013 season promises to be one of the best yet for madrigallery.  November 17th will see them collaborate for the first time in an orchestral concert by Waterford Concert Orchestra.  Although no strangers to working with orchestra, Madrigallery have always been the main performers.  On November 17th,2012 they will join with Waterford Concert Orchestra performing music that has been used in film.  Choral favourites such as Jesu Joy of Man's Desiring, The Humming Chorus from Madam Butterfly and Hymn to the Fallen by John Williams (from Saving Private Ryan) will add an extra touch of class in what is sure to be an excellent concert of light orchestral music.

Early in 2013 the choir will once again team up with orchestra in a repeat performance of Karl Jenkins' The Armed Man. The choir performed this work six years ago and it was one of the most popular concerts with both audience and choir.  More details on this event later.

The year will finish off in May/June 2013 with the stunning Mozart Requiem.  One of Mozart's final compositions it is a work of tremendous beauty and is certain to be a full house.  visit this site again for further details.

Although established in 1991, Madrigallery have had Kevin O’Carroll as their principal conductor since 1995.  Over the years, the choir has moved from its original aim of providing private summertime entertainment, singing madrigals to becoming one of the leading choirs in the South East.  The range of material covered by the choir extends from polyphonic writing of the 16th Century through to modern works written especially for Madrigallery.  These modern works include pieces by Eric Sweeney, Marion Ingoldsby and Colin Mawby.  For many years, the choir partook of the competition circuit - winning numerous awards along the way.

 

 More recently, the choir has preferred concert performance over the competitive challange.  Recent performances have included the Rutter Requiem, Jenkins' The Armed Man, Charpentier's Messe de Minuit, and the Duruflé Requiem.  Smaller works have included many Irish premiers including several works by the American composer Eric Whitacre.  Under their principal conductor, the choir has toured to Wales and the Czech Republic. Their main 2010 concert which included a Mozart Mass and several works by Whitacre earned the critic's comment "Concert of the Year".

 

Soprano: Jean Hubbard, Finola Wiltshire, Geraldine Hartery, Petra Kindler, Margaret Cashin, Katie McNamara, Kate Lowry O’Neill, Olivia MacSweeney, Caitríona Morgan-O’Brien, Louise O’Carroll, Suzanne Griffin.
Alto: Teresa Cullinan, Catherine Hearne, Elaine Mullan, Penny Nordell, Deirdre O’Carroll, Sinéad O’Carroll, Niamh Prendergast, Clare Gately, Marie Kelleher, Cory Rieck.
Tenor: Micheál Griffin, John Kiersey, Anthony O’Reilly, Fergus MacSweeney.
Bass: Tom Power, John Burke, Andrew Cox, Peter O’Brien, Joe O’Beirne, Cian O’Sullivan.

 

December 2011 - Music to lift your spirits!


Date: Saturday 26th November, 2011 at 8 PM at Christ Church Cathedral, Waterford.

Programme:
Rutter - Magnificat
Vivaldi - Nulla in Mundo Pax Sincera RV 630
Bach - Jesu Joy of Man's Desiring
Mawby - Ave Verum
Kodaly - Veni Emmanual
Handel - Organ Concerto No. 13 in F Major The Cuckoo and the Nightingale

Soloist: Róisín Dempsey.
Organist: Eric Sweeney.
Conductor: Kevin O'Carroll.
Waterford Chamber Orchestra.

Tickets: €15 and €10 concession
Children under 16 are welcome to join their parents free of charge.

May 2011

 

 


Dates: Friday 13th May, 2011 at 8 PM at the Black Abbey, Kilkenny.
AND
Saturday 14th May, 2011 at 8 PM at Christ Church Cathedral, Waterford.

Programme:
O Quam Gloriosum mass. Tomás Luis de Victoria.
Magnificat and Nunc Dimittis. Herbert Howells.
Like as the hart desireth the waterbrooks. Herbert Howells.

Organ music:
Prelude and Fugue in C Major BMV 545. J.S. Bach.
Celtic Sonata - Final Movement. C.V. Stanford.

The Kilkenny concert will also include a perfomance by Kilkenny male voice ensemble, Sospiero of:
Steal Away.
Hard times come again no more.
The Rev. Eli Jenkins' Prayer.

Organist: Colin Nicholls.
Conductor: Kevin O'Carroll.

 

 

 Photos

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 


 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Wexford Festival Singers

Kevin started working with the Wexford Festival Singers in January 2014. This community choir, established in 1965, have had a long tradition of performing major works from the canon. By the time Kevin joined the group they were already committed to combining with a number of other choirs to sing the Verdi Requiem.  

Under Kevin's direction they have performed:

'Sparrow Mass' - Mozart (May 31, 2014 St Iberius Church, Wexford)

Magnificat  - John Rutter (October 26, 2014 The Friary, Wexford).  

A German Requiem - Johannes Brahms (May 24, 2015 Rowe Street Church, Wexford)

 

Guest Conducting

With vast experience of conducting choirs - from small ensembles (8) to large choirs (120+), Kevin O’Carroll has been there, done that and still has the t-shirt and tails! With his specialist training in choral conducting and his many years orchestral experience, Kevin is the ideal choice as a guest conductor. 

Having worked for many years with amateur choirs, Kevin is extremely familiar with the practicalities and challenges of running a community choir.  With experience in conducting small and large-scale compositions, Kevin is equally at home working on choral/symphonic repertoire or the more intimate challenges of chamber repertoire.

Having a background as a freelance French horn player, Kevin has a marked advantage over other choral directors in that he understands the differing needs of choirs and orchestras. This means that the usual choral versus orchestral tensions are minimised!

Kevin worked for fifteen years as organist and choirmaster at the Cathedral of the Most Holy Trinity in Waterford and so has a thorough knowledge of the challenges of working in a liturgical environment.

All of this experience makes him an ideal candidate as guest conductor for a wide range of choral groups.

If you are interested in having Kevin as a guest conductor with your group, please email info@kevinocarrollmusic.com .

 

 

 

 

South East Choral Alliance

As a member of a small to medium sized choir you will be familiar with the difficulties in programming works with orchestral accompaniment.   Through the South East Choral Alliance, Kevin O’Carroll brings to you the possibility of performing large-scale works that require comprehensive accompaniment. 

With no fixed membership, SECA seeks to bring together choirs of similar interests and experiences in order to ensure a collaborative rather than competitive environment for music making. 

The first collaboration, in May 2010, brought together Ad Hoc Chorale and Madrigallery from Waterford and Vocare from Wexford with accompaniment provided by Dublin Symphony Orchestra. With concerts delivered in Waterford, Wexford and Dublin, the entire venture was declared a huge success.

If you are interested in joining with other choirs in this way, please contact Kevin at info@kevinocarrollmusic.com.

 

 

 

 

Workshops

In October 2008, The Arts Council of Ireland produced a new policy document called Raising your Voice.  This document outlined the very positive things that are happening in Ireland in the world of Choral Singing.  The document also pointed out that there was a dearth of education and training opportunities for choral conductors.  Thankfully through the creation of training programmes through the association of Irish Choirs and the creation of the post-graduate Diploma in Choral Conducting in Education and the Community at St. Patrick's College, Drumcondra (DCU) things are changing in this regard.  

The document also  referred to a series of other supports that are required in order to further the cause of choral music in Ireland.  Through the provision of workshops and consultancy services, Kevin O'Carroll Music is happy to now provide these serices to the Choral community in Ireland.

 

 

 

Choir Workshops

Kevin O'Carroll has been involved in choir workshops for many years.  From large choruses to small chamber ensembles and from school choirs to male voice choirs, Kevin has worked with them all.  For some groups, a single evening working with a different conductor as an interesting experiment is all that is required.  For others, a thorough analysis and improvement programme is requested.  Kevin O'Carroll is happy to work with any choir interested in improving the overall performance of the group.   In the last two years Kevin has worked with, or had invitations from choirs as far afield as Cork, Dun Laoighre, Kilkenny and Derry.

Many choirs travel away each year on what may be called a “retreat weekend”. Choir weekends are an excellent way to create a unified spirit within a group. These weekends are also great for addressing particular issues within your choir.  

In many cases, detailed arrangements are discussed and agreed with the hotel in advance, with the hotel having little or no real understanding of the various requirements – separate rehearsal rooms for all lines etc. Arranging your workshop weekend in association with Kevin O’Carroll Music means that Waterford's Dooley's Hotel not only understands your needs but knows how to satisfy them. 

Workshops are designed on a choir by choir basis and so whatever you need can be built into the weekend. Choral techniques, gesture analysis, private adjudication, choir voicing or just an entertaining series of rehearsals with a different conductor. Some or all of these variations can be incorporated into your choir weekend. Performance options can also be arranged, if required.

Here are some of the fine performance venues available in Waterford.

 

The Large Room, City Hall, Waterford

  

Christ Church Cathedral

Cathedral of the Most Holy Trinity


Choir outings are frequently organised to polish competition repertoire. What better way to ensure the best outcome than to engage the services of an experienced choral adjudicator. Kevin O’Carroll has adjudicated at many music festivals including the Irish Choir of the Year 2009. He can provide a detailed review of your performances and make suggestions for a more effective competitive edge.

Waterford is a great location for shopping and sight seeing with the various museums and the new Waterford Crystal visitor’s centre in the heart of the city. With excellent performance venues available and a firmly established choral audience, Waterford is an ideal centre for touring/visiting choirs.

If any of this sounds like it might be of interest to your choir, please contact info@kevinocarrollmusic.com

 

 

 

Conducting Master Classes

Private master-classes provide for a non-threatening environment in which to explore issues regarding conducting performance where practitioners learn through watching each other and hearing the detailed analysis.  In what is one of his personal favourite disciplines, conducting master classes are an excellent way of discovering the impact of gesture on sound.  These master-classes can be provided as part of a choral workshop weekend or as a bespoke class. Working with beginner, intermediate or advanced conductors, classes are video-recorded and commentaries are provided on these recordings. In this way, students can both see and hear the impact of gesture. 

For more details on how you can sign up for a master-class please contact info@kevinocarrollmusic.com

 

 

 

Consultancy

In October 2008, The Arts Council of Ireland produced a new policy document called Raising your Voice.  This document outlined the very positive things that are happening in Ireland in the world of Choral Singing.  The document also pointed out that there was a dearth of education and training opportunities for choral conductors.  Thankfully through the creation of training programmes through the association of Irish Choirs and the creation of the post-graduate Diploma in Choral Conducting in Education and the Community at St. Patrick's College, Drumcondra (DCU) things are changing in this regard.  

The document also  referred to a series of other supports that are required in order to further the cause of choral music in Ireland.  Through the provision of workshops and consultancy services, Kevin O'Carroll Music is happy to now provide these serices to the Choral community in Ireland.

 

 

 

Choir Voicing - a technique for optimal choral blend

Not to be confused with the categorisation of voices into Soprano, Alto, Tenor, or Bass, the technique of Choir Voicing was created to assist in generating the optimal blend of the singers in any given ensemble. In Ireland, Kevin O’Carroll is unique in providing this service to choirs. 

 "Having attended Kevin O'Carroll's absorbing presentation at the Association of Irish Choirs Choral Conducting Summer School 2009 entitled 'Choir Voicing - a technique for a blended choir timbre', I'm fully convinced that all choirs should investigate the potential benefits of utilising this subtle and mysterious technique - they might be surprised at the results!" -  David Brophy, Professional Conductor

'Having seen this technique in action, it was fascinating to observe the change in vocal tone and unity that it brought about in the choirs that Kev in worked with.  The result was obvious for the singers themselves but even more so for the listener.  Every choir would find this technique to be beneficial.' - Dermot O'Callaghan, CEO Association of Irish Choirs.

 

‘Having seen this technique in action, it was fascinating to observe the change in vocal tone and unity that it brought about in the choirs that Kevin worked with. The result was obvious for the singers themselves but even more so for the listener. Every choir would find this technique to be beneficial at some point in their rehearsals/performances.’                                       - Dermot O'Callaghan, Chief Executive Association of Irish Choirs

 

 

Conducting Tuition (private lessons)

For the majority of choral directors in Ireland, few opportunities exist to obtain conducting lessons. With private lessons available by a fully qualified and certified mentor, this shortcoming can now be addressed by Kevin O'Carroll Music. With tuition tailored to your specific needs, these video-recorded sessions can be of immense benefit to the performance of both you and your choir. Whether you are a beginner or already have some experience in directing choirs Kevin can help. Contact him to discuss the possibility of private tuition.

Info@kevinocarrollmusic.com
 
 
 

Music Competition Adjudication

Adjudication is more than just deciding who wins! It is about helping all performers to reach their full potential. Whether a competitor performs at a beginner’s level or have a good deal of experience, it is always possible to improve. For many years, Kevin has conducted choirs on the competition circuit in Ireland, winning numerous awards in the process. He is therefore aware of the practical difficulties encountered by choirs in their search for the perfect performance. This awareness informs his commentary on competitive performances. Such commentaries usually contain references to the good elements of a performance but also refer to the areas where additional attention to detail would pay dividends.   Given that we cannot improve by compliments but only by constructive criticism, this mix of positive and negative feedback is essential to the progression of a choir.

Since starting out on the adjudication circuit in 2011 Kevin has adjudicated at Féile an tSamhraidh, Midleton, Arklow Music Festival, Kilkenny Music Festival, AIMS Choral Festival and Navan Choral Festival.  In 2013 he first adjudiated at Cork Choral Festival and was reappointed for the festival in 2014

If you are interested in engaging Kevin as an adjudicator for your music festival or for a private adjudication for your choir, contact him at info@kevinocarrollmusic.com

 

 

 

NEWS

Choir Voicing Review :-

‘Having seen this technique in action, it was fascinating to observe the change in vocal tone and unity that it brought about in the choirs that Kevin worked with. The result was obvious for the singers themselves but even more so for the listener. Every choir would find this technique to be beneficial.’ -                     Dermot O'Callaghan CEO of Association of Irish Choirs

 
 
For an independant review on the book Choral Conducting click here.