The Maynooth University Chamber Choir, which made history last July when it became the first Irish choir to lift the coveted Pavarotti Trophy as “Choir of the World” at the Llangollen International Musical Eisteddfod in Wales, will perform in St Patrick’s Cathedral in New York as part of a scheduled World Tour. The 36-member choir, which is comprised of students from across Maynooth University, will perform in the iconic cathedral at the heart of 5th Avenue on Tuesday, March 15th.
The tour kicks off with a concert at St. Patrick’s Cathedral in Dublin on Saturday, 5th March, 2016. Tickets are available here.
Set amidst the commotion of one of the world’s busiest streets, St Patrick’s Cathedral has a special significance in the story of New York City. It was founded by the first Archbishop of New York, John Joseph Hughes, who was born and raised in Co. Tyrone. Construction was completed in 1879. The funeral masses for Babe Ruth, Robert F. Kennedy, and Andy Warhol were held there. Pope Francis attended a service during his visit to New York at the end of last year.
The performance in St Patrick’s Cathedral kicks off a three-week World Tour for the Maynooth University Chamber Choir, which will see them perform in at least seven cities, including New York, Boston, Tucson, and Denver in the United States and Shanghai, Changzhou, and Guangzhou in China.
During their visit to Boston, the choir will perform for the Irish Consulate at a special St Patrick’s Day event at Fenway Park – the legendary baseball stadium and home of the Boston Red Sox.
The choir will also sing at the Easter Sunrise Service on the rim of the Grand Canyon in Arizona on Sunday, March 27th. This annual event dates back to 1935 with more than 1,000 people expected in attendance.
Speaking in advance of the World Tour, Choir Director Michael Dawson said: “Since winning ‘Choir of the World’ in Llangollen, we have had many invitations to perform internationally, and we are incredibly excited to have the opportunity to perform in these iconic international venues. It is a tremendous opportunity for us to share our music with a wider audience and represent Ireland on the international stage.”
Maynooth University President Philip Nolan said: “I am truly delighted for Michael Dawson and the Maynooth University Chamber Choir. Listening to them perform it all seems very effortless, but there is a tremendous amount of hard work and dedication that goes into it, as well as remarkable talent. They are wonderful ambassadors for the University and for Ireland. Maynooth University has a rich tradition of fostering talent across the arts, and our Department of Music, of which Michael is a product, is a thriving centre with over 550 students currently benefiting from the exceptional resources and teaching that is offered there.”
As well as winning the “Choir of the World” in Llangollen last year, the Maynooth University Chamber Choir was awarded two Gold Diplomas at the international Canta en Primavera choral festival in Malaga. The choir released its first CD, Lorica, in autumn 2015.
Schedule: Maynooth University Chamber Choir World Tour 2016
|Saturday, March 5, 2016||Dublin - St Patrick's Cathedral - 7.30pm|
|Monday, March 14, 2016||New York - Trinity Wall Street Church Concert – 2:00 pm (open to public)|
|Tuesday, March 15, 2016||New York - St. Patrick's Cathedral Concert - 4.00pm (open to public)|
|Wednesday, March 16, 2016||Boston - Tufts University Exchange 3:00 pm (Student Choirs)|
|Thursday, March 17, 2016||Boston - Irish American Partnership St. Patrick’s Day Breakfast|
|Thursday, March 17, 2016||Boston – Charitable Irish Society 279th St. Patrick’s Day Dinner|
|Friday, March 18, 2016||Boston - Irish Consulate St. Patrick’s Day Celebration @ Fenway Park|
|Monday, March 21, 2016||Shanghai - Shanghai Normal University|
|Tuesday, March 22, 2016||Changzhou - Changzhou University|
|Wednesday, March 23, 2016||Guangzhou - Public Performance|
|Friday, March 25, 2016||Tucson, Ariz. - University of Arizona - Public Performance|
|Sunday, March 27, 2016||Arizona - Grand Canyon National Park - Sunrise Service – 6.10 am|
|Tuesday, March 29, 2016||Denver, Colo. - University of Denver Student Workshop|
|Tuesday, March 29, 2016||Denver, Colo. - Regis University Public Performance|
*All times local
The Maynooth University Chamber Choir, under the direction of Michael Dawson, 26, of Malahide, Co. Dublin, made history in July 2015 when it became the first Irish choir, and Michael the youngest director, to lift the coveted Pavarotti Trophy as “Choir of the World” at the Llangollen International Musical Eisteddfod.
The Llangollen Eisteddfod is one of the world's largest cultural festivals, with over 5,000 singers, dancers and instrumentalists from more than 50 countries performing to audiences of more than 5,000 over the six days of the festival. The Choir of the World competition is among the world's most prestigious choral competitions. In 1955, Luciano Pavarotti and his father competed as part of a winning male voice choir.
In October 2015, the Maynooth University Chamber Choir launched Lorica, their inaugural CD featuring a wide variety of both well- and lesser-known choral works, including new works by Maynooth University composer Martin O'Leary and former students Adam Cullen and Michael Dawson.
The choir was awarded two Gold Diplomas by the international jury of Interkultur at Canta en Primavera 2014 in Malaga, Spain, for the categories 'Youth Choirs of Mixed Voices' and 'Sacred Choir Music.' The competition featured 16 choirs from 12 countries, including Germany, USA, Russia, Sweden and Venezuela. Established in 1988, to bring the Olympic idea to the choral community, Interkultur is the leading initiator and organiser of international choir competitions worldwide.
The Maynooth University Department of Music is a vibrant and flourishing centre for musicology, composition, music technology and performance, with academics dedicated to sharing their knowledge through teaching, research and outreach. The Department has more than 500 undergraduates and 50 postgraduate masters and doctoral students registered.
The Department’s undergraduate curriculum is designed to ensure a broad and firm grounding with increased opportunities to specialise in final year. Four taught MA programmes harness the main areas of research specialism in the Department and are designed to equip students with advanced skills and knowledge.
Thanks to a supportive scholarly environment—including expert supervision, research colloquia, conferences and study days— the Department has a strong record of achievement in doctoral research with many opportunities for lively debate, interaction and ensemble performance. The department offers students the opportunity to immerse themselves in the discipline, and to develop an informed and critical approach in which independent thinking, communication skills and creativity play a vital role.