‘Record-breaking’ 450 strong choir to perform Seinn ‘14 concert in UCH

Gig preparation: Castletroy College's Cathal Lee rehearses with Karen Heagney and Jake Fehily, both students in Crescent College Comprehensive, ahead of the Seinn 2014 concert to be held in the UCH next Thursday. Picture: Kieran Clancy.
MORE than 450 secondary school students from across the Mid-West will come together for a unique concert in the University Concert Hall next week.

MORE than 450 secondary school students from across the Mid-West will come together for a unique concert in the University Concert Hall next week.

The Seinn 2014 concert, part of Limerick Diocese’s contribution to City of Culture, is a collaboration between Limerick and its counterpart diocese of Killaloe, with students from across Clare, Limerick, Tipperary and Offaly to perform.

The students will combine for the largest choir ever to perform in the UCH for Seinn, an initiative that aims to promote liturgical music among second-level students.

Interestingly, while lead vocalists and instrumentalists have rehearsed together a number of times in the run-up to the performance, the choir at large will only meet for the first time on the morning of the concert, having rehearsed remotely over recent weeks.

The day long event will see the students rehearse and undergo workshops in the morning, culminating in a major performance of contemporary as well as a number of classic hymns in the evening.

One of Ireland’s leading composers of liturgical music, Ian Callanan, is musical director of the programme and said he was “overwhelmed” with the response to the programme, which features 21 of the 47 secondary schools in the dioceses.

“The choir members do not have to be music students and the programme is designed so that the music can be taught by a teacher without any formal music training,” he said.

“Seinn is about learning liturgical music in a fun way. It is a participatory programme where everyone is welcome to be part of the event.”

Noirin Lynch, a pastoral coordinator with Limerick Diocese, said the event was intended to be “something really special” to mark City of Culture.

“We started preparations as far back as last September and in November we started working with religious education teachers in the schools,” she explained.

“It’s been a major feat to pull this together and there is going to be great fun on Thursday morning next when they all come together for the first time.”

The students will be met during the day by both Bishop Kieran O’Reilly of Killaloe and Bishop Brendan Leahy of Limerick.

The concert itself takes place at 8pm next Thursday, April 3 in the UCH. See www.uch.ie for details.