IYC Alumni Niall Stafford joins World Youth Choir 2016

    IYC and AOIC would like to congratulate and wish Waterford-born tenor Niall Stafford all the best as he travels to Germany for World Youth Choir 2016 with generous support from the Arts Council. The World Youth Choir will rehearse intensively for 2 weeks in Weikersheim in German, before touring across Germany and Belgium, conducted by Filippo Maria Bressan.

    Niall said "I was so excited to receive the confirmation e-mail from the World Youth Choir Foundation! It's something I've wanted for a very long time, having auditioned in 2012 and missing out by one place. I guess I never thought the chance would come around again, particularly as I turned 26 in May and the age limit for WYC is 26! The audition process is rigorous, as you would expect it to be, starting with a recorded audition in front of the respective country's national panel. That jury then decides whether or not to submit your recorded audition for consideration by the international panel, who, ultimately, will make the final decision. With 38 singers from 29 countries having been selected for WYC 2016, I'm looking forward to representing a rich, ever-growing culture of choral music in Ireland. A lot of this progress is down to the hard work of the national choral body, the Association of Irish Choirs. I've been lucky to be involved with them since 2007, when I traveled to Cork for my first Irish Youth Choir course; little did I know then the profound impact that week of singing would have on my long-term music career. Subsequent IYC residential courses ('08, '09, '10, '14 and '15), coupled with membership of the Irish Youth Chamber Choir since 2013, have afforded me many unique and incredible opportunities to perform and travel, including a performance at the BBC Proms in 2013 and a tour to Toronto to mark Bloomsday 2016."


    An alumnus of WIT Music School, Niall studied voice under Niall Crowley, piano under Geraldine Bennett, and sang with Waterford Boy Singers (1998-2004) and WIT Youth Choir (2004-2009); he was awarded the inaugural WBS 'Chorister of the Year' Trophy in May 2003. He was a member of UCD Choral Scholars, from 2009-2013, holding the Senior Tenor Scholarship for a record three years, consecutively. He was the recipient of the inaugural UCD Heinrich Schütz Medal in April 2013. 

    From 2013-2015, Niall sang professionally at Christ Church Cathedral, Dublin, where he held a choral scholarship and, subsequently, a position as a Lay Vicar Choral. He is currently a member of the internationally-acclaimed chamber choir, New Dublin Voices, as well as singing with the international, project-based chamber choir, Utopia & Reality.

    He has previously performed with Irish Youth Choir, Irish Youth Chamber Choir, Ulster Youth Choir, Ulster Youth Chamber Choir, Charles Wood Singers, RTÉ Concert Orchestra Chorus, BBC Proms Youth Choir, Vancouver Cantata Singers and Phoenix Chamber Choir, as well as being a past member of the London-based, BBC Music Magazine Award-winning, Gabrieli Young Singers Scheme.



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