Wednesday, 15 February 2017

UCC Choral Society Celebrates 80 Years!

UCC Choral Society is a mixed voice choir (SATB) of UCC students of all disciplines, ranging from music to medicine. One of the oldest societies in UCC, the choir rehearses every week preparing for various competitions and performances. As of 2017, UCC Choral Society celebrates its 80th birthday. With this, the beginning of February marked a weeklong celebration of our society with 'Choral Week', beginning on the 30th January and concluding on the 4th February. We included many choral based events in this week, including the choral 80th birthday party and rehearsal, Strauss Ball, which is the creative societies ball in UCC, featuring the Cork Pops Orchestra, Choosical the Musical- a singalong cinema and our final event of the week, our first ever UCC Choral Workshop day.

This workshop, held in the Aula Maxima on the grounds of UCC, allowed all attendees to learn in a very interactive manner with 4 workshops throughout the day with different speakers, which included our very own Daniel Beuster, Dr Geoffrey Spratt, Dr Trish Rooney and Dr Eva McMullan Glossop. We concluded the day with a very interesting talk by Dr Paul Mealor, a professor of composition in the University of Aberdeen, whose piece, Ubi Caritas, was commissioned to be performed at the royal wedding of Kate Middleton and Prince William in 2011. 

The main events of the choir’s year are the annual Christmas concert "Carols by Candlelight", which runs for 3 nights each year and is always a great success, the Spring concert in the second term and the international trip during the Easter break. There are also a multitude of other events that the society conduct, including charitable performances, caroling on campus, sing-along cinemas and much, much more. We sing everything from Mozart to Elton John, so there is something to suit everyone's musical tastes. New members are welcome at all stages throughout the year whether you are a musical prodigy or you just like to sing in the shower, so come along and join one of the most fun societies in UCC.

We also have a competitive choir, UCC Singers. Formed in 2014, UCC Singers have enjoyed great success in various national competitions. This includes most recently first place in the mixed voice category at the City of Derry International Choral Competition with a mark of 94 and first and second place in Feis Maitiu in the chamber choir competition and mixed voice competition respectively. The choir consists of 28 members, again from all faculties throughout the college. With new members added and graduated every year, we have been very lucky to maintain such a consistently high standard throughout the past three years.

Both of these choirs are under the direction of the very talented Daniel Beuster. Hailing from Galway and a graduate of CIT Cork School of Music, Daniel joined our choral family in September 2015, bringing both choirs up to a higher standard of performing and choral singing. Since 2015, the lowest position in which we have placed in competition is 2nd place with both choirs, a true reflection on how Daniel's direction has improved our wonderful society.

Not only have we a wonderful conductor but we're very lucky to have our incredibly talented accompanist, David King. David is currently studying a Bachelor of Music of Clare and can only be described as a truly wonderful musician when it comes to playing the piano. Most recently, David won 'The Bridget Doolan Memorial Perpetual Cup and Bursary' at Feis Maitiu, which is again a real testament of the calibre of musicians we are so lucky to work with.

In 2016, UCC Choral Society had the greatest honour of travelling to Verona in Italy to compete in their annual international Choral Festival in which we received the gold standard award and performed with the fantastic talent that is Dr Jeffrey Redding. This year, we hope to replicate that gold standard award as we travel to Budapest over the Easter break to compete in their annual international choral festival from the 8th-13th April.