THE Irish Youth Chamber Choir is celebrating 30 years this spring with a new nationwide tour, which is returning to Limerick in a fortnight.
Based in the University of Limerick, the choir will perform in St Mary’s Cathedral on Saturday, February 18. Minister for Arts Heritage and the Gaeltacht, Jimmy Deenihan, will be in attendance for this special event led by internationally respected conductor Greg Beardsell.
The choir membership is drawn from 11 counties, including a large cohort of Limerick people, with many UL students joining the choir in recent times. Last year the choir realised a long held ambition to create a smaller chamber choir of 24 singers, selected from within its ranks of 100 members.
Singing some of the most dazzling repertoire of songs from around the world, these young singers offer a new perspective on choral music.
The programme will include works from Pawel Lukaszewski, James MacMillan, Eric Whitacre, Greg Scanlon and Moses Hogan, all young composers who have established excellent reputations in sacred and choral music.
Artistic Director Greg Beardsell will also be available to local schools for a choral workshop programme which will run alongside the tour.
“All music carries a message, one of hope, joy, sorrow or countless other emotions and expressions designed to uplift and enlighten. Our job as musicians is to carry this message safely and deliver it with humility and honesty,” said Mr Beardsell.
He said the inaugural tour of the Irish Youth Chamber Choir, entitled ‘Messengers’, will bring some of these most heartfelt expressions to audiences across Ireland. It will feature choral masterworks, based on both sacred and secular texts. Later in the year the Irish Youth Choir will mark its 30th birthday with a summer tour.
Mr Beardsell is associate musical director of the National Youth Choirs of Great Britain, musical director of the Wooburn Singers and artistic director of the Ulster Youth Choir. He has been musical director of the Irish Youth Choir since 2007.