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20th Anniversary Gala Concert

thursday 25th April 2019

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The Choral Scholars of University College Dublin
Desmond Earley, Director
And special guests

Join the Choral Scholars and friends to celebrate the choir’s 20th anniversary year with a programme of their most-popular contemporary Irish choral music from their best-selling albums, a world premiere performance, and stories and songs from Scholars past and present.

In 2018-2019 the Choral Scholars of University College Dublin, led by founding Artistic Director Dr Desmond Earley, are celebrating the choir’s 20th anniversary year.

The very first spring concert of the choir – The Leipzig Masters – took place on Wednesday 21st April 1999. Since then, under the direction of Earley, the choir has become an international success following the release of their best-selling debut album Invisible Stars on the Signum Classics label, with their music videos generating millions of views online and a social media following of thousands worldwide. 

Scholars come from various academic disciplines and commit to an intensive programme of choral study. Throughout each semester they receive intense vocal coaching, language instruction, and performance-practice studies. With a classical focus, and an inspiration found in the music and literature of Ireland, the ensemble’s repertoire ranges from contemporary choral music to the re-imagining of Irish traditional song. What differentiates the Choral Scholars from other choirs is a strong national identity, a commitment to artistic excellence, an ambitious vision, a joyful camaraderie and a dynamic, youthful sound. 

Described by The Irish Times as ‘enterprising and wide-ranging’, Desmond Earley, founding Artistic Director of the Choral Scholars of University College Dublin, has established a reputation as one of Ireland's foremost conductors and early-keyboard specialists. Desmond is a lecturer in Performance Studies at University College Dublin (UCD) and serves as rotating Artistic Director of the UCD Ad Astra Academy. In 2017-2018 he was Visiting Scholar at Lewis & Clark College, Oregon (USA) and Guest Conductor/Scholar at Bowdoin College, Maine (USA). As a consort instrumentalist and director, Desmond has worked with many of the world's finest orchestras including the Portland Baroque Orchestra, Irish Chamber Orchestra, Irish Baroque Orchestra, RTÉ Concert Orchestra, European Union Chamber Orchestra and English Chamber Orchestra. 

As a celebrated composer and arranger, Desmond has published works with Music Sales (UK), Hal Leonard Corporation (USA), Alliance Music (USA) and with Seolta Music (IRL) where he serves as editor of the international ‘College Choral Series’. His acclaimed work Body of the Moon (2017), based on a setting of texts by Galileo Galilei, was commissioned by All Classical Portland radio (USA) for the total solar eclipse across the United States of America. 

“Bright, young things”
- The Irish Times

“Blending ‘folk’ voices with choral precision and tight harmony isn’t easy, but Desmond Earley has a passionate stake in both and doesn’t put a foot wrong”
- Choir and Organ Magazine

“Lovers of elegantly crafted singing will find much to enjoy here in a survey of Irish and Scottish songs that also reaches across the Atlantic in the Appalachian-accented Black is the Colour of My True Love’s Hair...Vocal solos are pristinely realised, the ensemble sound gilded and glowing”
- Classical Ear

Presented by University College Dublin