The Guinness Choir has been established for more than 65 years and is one of the most prestigious choirs in Ireland. It boasts an extensive repertoire of both classical and modern works from Monteverdi’s 1610 Vespers to Andrew Lloyd Webber’s Requiem. The choir has also sung works by Haydn, Bach, Handel, Beethoven, Britten, Rutter, Taverner and Part to name but a few.
As well as our major annual concert, we like to hold a Christmas Concert comprising well known carols with some less known, but beautiful, pieces. In recent years we have invited a Special Guest to join us. In December 2016, Paul Brady was our Special Guest and in 2017 we were joined by Eleanor McEvoy. In December 2018 we were joined by Kathleen Turner.
In addition to our Dublin based concerts, we have a tradition of performing around Ireland including Belfast, Longford, Birr, Waterford and Wexford.
If you enjoy singing as part of a sociable group, with professional orchestras and soloists, and performing the great choral works and if you are committed to attend our rehearsals, then you will definitely enjoy and benefit from becoming a Member of The Guinness Choir.
Members of the choir are friendly and approachable. There are regular opportunities to socialise with other members as well as organised workshops and away trips.
Here’s what some recent members have to say:
Olwen Grindley, Soprano
I joined the Guinness Choir because I love singing and meeting new people, and because they rehearse just down the road from where I live! It is great to meet like-minded people when you are new in an area, and the Guinness Choir provides in that regard. It is lots of fun, as well as challenging, to learn complex pieces like the Bach “Mass in B Minor” (June 2018) and the satisfaction levels are fabulous once you get the hang of it! We sing a good mixture of pieces, from classical (my favourite) to modern (hmmm…), so it keeps everyone happy at least SOME of the time!
The Guinness Choir is different to other choirs I have sung in, due mainly to the fact that we get a tea (and chat) break. This is fantastic as you get a chance to walk around and talk to different people, not just those you sit beside. And a refreshing cup of tea and a biscuit (or cake if you are quick!) sets you up for the rest of the rehearsal.
Singing is great because you narrow your focus to one thing and it keeps everything else out, which is great at the end of a tough day, or when there are too many things running around in your head. It is a great antidote to the normal stresses of life. It also has many side effects that are, for once, beneficial! Even the scientists agree that singing in a choir is GOOD FOR YOU!
Judith Ring, Tenor
I re-joined the choir when I saw that they would be performing Bach’s Mass in B Minor again (April 2018). It’s such an incredible feat of composition and, having sung as an alto in the choir about 20 years ago, I thought it was a good idea to try the tenor line! It’s more challenging and more exposed.
As a composer of contemporary music I find that singing in a work like this gives great insight into the compositional processes that Bach used and helps me gain valuable knowledge of the complexity of the harmonic structures that he built upon. It has also helped me train my sight-reading skills which has been very rewarding. People often give out that they find contemporary music hard to access, but that is often because they have never heard the piece before. I imagine Bach’s Mass in B Minor (performed by the choir at the NCH on 16th June 2018) must have been a tough listen for the contemporary ears of the time as it is incredibly intricate and involves quite a few compositional strategies that can be found in today’s contemporary music world.
To be immersed in Bach’s musical language and to sing amongst a hundred other voices is a thrilling experience and thanks to my fellow choir-mates and to David Milne for having me along for the ride!
I might just stay…
Philip Thompson, Bass
The Guinness choir has been part of my life for the last two years now. The reason I joined the choir was because I knew that David Milne was involved. David had been a music teacher in my secondary school and conducted me in both the senior choir and the chamber choir in Kilkenny College. I have always admired David’s ability to make a choir do exactly as he wanted. I also knew of his particular attention to the details in the music and I wanted to work with him again.
I first started singing in a formal choir in secondary school. In boarding school, the choir was where I took time for myself and where I could escape from school and exam pressures. I always left the rehearsals rejuvenated and with a little pep in my step. Now, I sing because I love both the challenge of learning a new piece and ultimately because singing makes me feel good!
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