College Choirs – Overview
Belvedere College Choirs consist of 4 choirs.
1. The Belvedere College Choir
2. Junior choir
3. Senior Choir
4. Chamber Choir
JOIN THE CHOIR!
If you like music, and harmonies in general and you have an interest in singing, or if you want to become a good singer, the choir will be perfect for you, because that’s all we do, sing in harmony. Whether you’re an experienced singer or if you’ve never sang before and you’d like to try it out, you’re all welcome. The choir is the perfect training ground for students of the college who want to study music as it will enhance your musicianship making your exams that much easier! Most of all you get to meet people from all years across the school.
The Belvedere College Choir
Belvedere College Choir has a long tradition of choral singing which has continued to thrive growing in numbers, success and popularity over the past 25 years. With currently over 90 members in the choir ranging from Elements to Rhetoric, this voluntary group of singers rehearse each Friday from 4.50pm to 6:15pm under the direction of Mr. Ruaidhrí Ó’Dalaigh and Ms Frances Stoker- Phelan.
We would encourage all Junior Choir members to stay on for Full Choir, as the choir can’t really exist without Trebles and Altos.
The Belvedere College Choir has joined forces with the girls from Mount Sackville for the past 12 years. This alliance has proved very rewarding for all concerned giving the choir the opportunity to do more challenging and varied material than would otherwise be possible with boys only. The girls come in on Friday afternoons after school, to rehearse with the boys in preparation for competitions in March. They continue to rehearse with the boys until the end of term, performing with the choir in the O’Reilly Theatre for the Annual Musical Evening in May. This is the musical highlight of the academic year, culminating in a celebratory concert showcasing all of the wonderful music that has been mastered throughout the year.
The Belvedere College Choir have enjoyed great success winning at Feis Ceoil as well as many performances in the O’Reilly Theatre at the Annual Musical Evening in May, the Annual Carol Service in the College Chapel and singing at the GPO every Christmas to launch the Sleep Out!
The Belvedere College Junior Choir
The Belvedere College Junior Choir directed by Frances Stoker-Phelan consists of unbroken voices – Trebles and Altos (1st – 3rd year students). The Junior Choir was established by Frances in 2011 with the objective of bringing the younger members on, to give them a love of choral singing, and for them to enjoy the experience of singing simpler 2 part choral music in a more secure environment. The repertoire chosen is usually fun and music that the boys will enjoy.
The choral training in the Junior Choir is invaluable in preparing the boys for the greater challenges of the larger Belvedere College Choir. Being in a choir is in itself great training in self discipline. Having an all boys Junior Choir has its challenges with changing voices. However, this fantastic group of boys rise to the challenge year after year rehearsing at 8am on Thursday mornings before school and on Friday afternoons from 3:45pm to 4:45pm. Trebles and Altos are also encouraged to take part in the larger Belvedere College Choir from 4:45- 6:15pm. Don’t worry they are given breaks!
The Junior Choir has had great success both at Wesley Interschools Music Festival and at Feis Ceoil over the last number of years. As well as performing for the Belvedere Carol Service, GPO performance, and Musical Evening, they have also recently performed in the National Concert Hall as part of the ESB Feis Ceoil Young Platform Series and in Christchurch Cathedral.
The Belvedere College Senior Choir
The Belvedere Senior Choir, Directed by Mr. Ruaidhrí Ó’Dalaigh consists of the Tenors and Basses from the larger Belvedere College Choir. They rehearse on Friday afternoons from 3:45pm to 4:40pm weekly. The focus of this group is on Male Voice Choral singing! They sing mainly A Cappella and have a lot of fun singing Barbershop and tongue in cheek fun songs. This group of young men have won at Wesley and Feis Ceoil and are the back bone of the main College Choir. The Senior Choir also perform at the Carol Service and Musical Evening annually as well as at competitions.
The Senior Choir rehearse every Friday of term time between 3.45 and 4.40pm in the chapel.
The Belvedere College Chamber Choir
The Belvedere College Chamber Choir, directed by Ruaidhrí Ó’Dalaigh is the only audition based choir of the Belvedere College choirs. This select group of 16 -18 senior boys have to audition for their most coveted place. Only the very best make the grade. This group was established for the older more experienced choir members to seek greater challenges in choral singing. The repertoire varies from Classical to Barbershop but what consistently links these styles is close harmony. They rehearse on Mondays afternoons from 4:00- 5:00pm in the College Chapel.
The Chamber Choir perform at the Carol Service and Musical Evening annually as well as at competitions. They also have made regular appearances at the Annual Belvedere Union dinner and in the Helix.
Events During The Year
Annual Carol Service
Every year, the Belvedere choir sing at the Annual Carol Service, with music, readings and prayer. It’s a really special evening, one not to be missed!! It is really important that all of the Trebles, Altos, Tenors and Basses boys participate in Full choir for this.
Choir Competitions, Wesley Interschools Music Festival and Feis Ceoil Every year, choirs from all around Ireland compete against each other to see who are the best choir in the country. Belvedere and Mount Sackville, or Full Choir, along with the Junior, Senior and Chamber Choirs compete against lots of other schools in both the Wesley College Competitions and the Feis Ceoil Competitions in the RDS. At both of these events you will see and hear and array of musical talent from other schools and you will get to show off your skills too as part of this choir and sing on stage in front of hundreds of people. You will hear feedback off the adjudicators at the end before they announce the winners. The pieces we bring to competition are generally quite difficult rhythmically and harmonically so perfecting them takes time and a lot of concentration! When you don’t win in competition, it’s a brilliant experience, when you win it’s even better.
Musical Evening, O Reilly Theatre
The Belvedere Musical Evening is a showcase for all the musical talent that is going on in Belvedere, and there is a lot going on. College Orchestra, Chamber Orchestra, Wind Bands, Jazz Band, Trad Group, many talented individual performers and of course, the choir. The 4 different choirs perform many pieces throughout the night and it is a real highlight for the students, parents and staff alike. If you like the idea of singing music in harmony in front of about 500 people on one of the largest stages in Ireland with a huge orchestra, you should probably join the choir.
All the choirs sing a variety of music from Pop, Gospel, Traditional, Folk, Classical, Contemporary, Soul, Barbershop and anything else that sounds good. The challenge to you, the singer, is to know your harmony line as best you can. When everyone gets to know their line, that’s when the music starts coming together. The music can be in 2 parts, 3, 4, even up to 8 part harmony. But once you know your line and you’ve practiced at home, then it should be no problem to you. We supply you with line recordings to listen to. Harmony homework. Happy Days! More about that on the notice board in the music department.
Voice placing is assessing how high or low you can sing and what range is most comfortable for you. In a choir, you are a treble, an alto, tenor or bass. It is not an audition. You will be asked to sing a few notes to get an idea of your range so that we know where to put you in the choir. If you were in the choir before, you still need to be voice placed.
HOW TO JOIN THE CHOIR
If you are interested in singing in the choir, please send in an email to email@example.com; and let us know the following three things.
1. Student’s Name and Form Class
2. Email Addresses for both Student & Parent / Guardian
3. Mobile Phone numbers for both Student & Parent / Guardian
***If you’re returning to choir and your details haven’t changed since last year, then you need not do anything***
Our contact is mainly through, firstname.lastname@example.org; but should you need to ring and talk to someone in the choir, ring or text either Fran on 087 640 4797, or Ruaidhrí on 086 3733 496.
If enquiring about Junior Choir, please contact Fran Stoker-Phelan directly on email@example.com or by text on (087)6404797.