Festivals, Events & Initiatives

Dawn Chorus 2019

Call out for choirs to get involved in the Dawn Chorus for Bealtaine 2019!

Following the hugely successful Dawn and Dusk chorus events this year, the  Association of Irish Choirs and Bealtaine Festival are once again inviting choirs all around the country to get involved in this wonderful event, to make it even bigger and better in 2019. 

What is the Dawn Chorus

The Dawn Chorus is a nationwide event developed following an extraordinary debut on the Culdaff beach in Donegal in May 2009. In 2010, the Association of Irish Choirs and Active Retirement Ireland developed a partnership with the Bealtaine Festival designed to bring choirs, active retirement groups and older people together across Ireland to participate in the Dawn Chorus.

The Dawn Chorus is a choral event in which older people come together with a choir in their locality and sing at Dawn* in a scenic area, ideally beside water and always outdoors. We are encouraging choirs and active retirement groups throughout Ireland to participate in the Dawn Chorus, by putting on their own local event on any date that works for them, throughout May.

*While we hope that choirs can sing at dawn, we also understand this is not always possible and so we invite choirs to schedule the event at a time of their own choosing, in the morning.

Dawn and Dusk Chorus 2018

This year, following an open call, Tom Lane was commissioned to compose a piece of music especially for the Dawn Chorus – the result – The Little Waves of Breffny was a performed at dawn, by the Line-Up choir led by Róisín Savage on the first Sunday of May, to open the Bealtaine Festival.  You can see the beautiful results here in this short video: https://vimeo.com/288151606. This piece of music will once again be celebrated in 2019.

In 2018 we also introduced the Dusk Chorus for the first time. The Forget-Me-Nots Choir, led by Norah Walsh, performed at the Waterways Visitor’s Centre in Dublin, to close the festival.  We invite choirs around the country to also consider the Dusk Chorus for 2019.

Did your choir take part in a Dawn Chorus event this year?  We’d love to share your photos or videos of the event on social media. If you send us a link or reshare it with the hashtag #bealtainechorus18 and we will share them in the run up to next year’s event.

Register Your Interest for 2019

If you’d like to be part in the Dawn or Dusk Chorus in 2019, we’d love to hear from you.  Please send an email to bridget.deevy@ageandopportunity.ie and let us know where you are in the country and a little bit about your choir.  We will then be in touch with everything you need to know to hold your own event.  

Tom Lane is a composer based in Dublin. He has been nominated for an Irish Times Theatre Award on five occasions, most recently for his 2017 opera Front of House. His previous compositions have been commissioned by the Abbey Theatre, Shakespeare's Globe and Pipeworks Organ Festival.

The work is entitled The Little Waves of Breffny, and is set to a poem by poet Eva Gore-Booth (1870-1926). The  work is available below in settings for SAT, SATB, SSA and TTB with piano accompaniment and also SATB (a capella). There are also line tapes available.

 https://www.dropbox.com/sh/p5tdfdkelit7u85/AABl-FDMJZyVX0de-tXRmZRAa?dl=0  

The Bealtaine Festival, an Age & Opportunity initiative, which celebrates the arts and creativity as we age, is made possible through funding from the Arts Council /An Chomhairle Ealaíon and many partners and organisations nationwide.

http://bealtaine.com/

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