During this year Cois Cladaigh are celebrating the 30th anniversary. As part of this we have travelled to Paris and visited some of our Irish islands, Inisbofin and Clare Island.
We were also invited to sing in Collins Barracks, Dublin at the Remembrance Day ceremony in the presence of Irish president Michael D. Higgins.
In February we looked at the American composers in a workshop and concert under the baton of Donal Doherty, conductor of Derry Choir Codetta. Later in October Mark Duley, choir master of Resurgam, took us through our paces in music of the Renaissance and early Baroque period where we explored early chromaticism in the music of Lassus, Vicentino, Purcell and others. We were joined in this venture by eminent musicians Malcolm Proud (organ), Nina Treadwell (theorbo), Sarah Groser (viol) and Claire Duff (Baroque violin).
We featured on television in a "Nationwide" documentary and on radio in a "Newstalk" programme called "Talking History" in October.
While in Seville, in November 2011 we learned that Michael D. Higgins wanted us
to sing at his inauguration as President of Ireland and this was
a hugely exciting prospect. We had some time to rehearse the selected
music and also had one Monday rehearsal in Ireland before heading
up on a coach to Dublin Castle at 7.00 a.m. Friday morning (11 November 2011). On
the way up, we heard that Morning Ireland (Radio 1) had mentioned
us a couple of times during the news and that gave us the first
of many fillips that day. We rehearsed immediately with the composer
Shaun Davey and singer Rita Connolly for the Deerâ€™s Cry and then
with the Army Band conducted by Mark Armstrong for the hymns "Be
thou my vision", "Make me a channel of your peace"
and the Irish National Anthem "AmhrÃ¡n na bhFiann" before
sound checking Eamon Murrayâ€™s Beannacht. Shaun, Rita and Mark
were very easy to work with. We then headed off to get changed and were
quickly brought back to St. Patrickâ€™s Hall where we saw the event
starting â€¡¡ã dignitaries of all sorts and political heavy hitters
were in abundance and the sense of the occasion started to unfold.
The inauguration ceremony was very dignified and we are delighted
to be part of it.
After the ceremony, we mingled with the guests and were delighted
at the positive response the audience had to all the music but
they particularly liked Eamonâ€™s piece and The Deerâ€™s Cry. We gave
an impromptu performance in one of the halls later on which was
very warmly received before getting back on the bus for Galway,
beaming from cheek to cheek.
Cois Cladaigh had great success at this year's Cork International Choral Festival. The choir competed for its 5th time in the Fleischmann International Choral Competition against ten other choirs from Germany, Norway, Slovenia, Italy, the U.S. and Ireland. Cois Cladaigh came in a very credible 5th place but not only this, was awarded the Lady Dorothy Mayer Memorial Trophy Special Award for the performance of a piece in the Fleischmann International Trophy Competition for the performance of Molamï¿½s go leir an tAon-Mhac Criost by Br. Ben Hanlon. "We are absolutely thrilled" Brendan O'Connor said "as it is our first win in the International section of the Festival". Br. Ben too was delighted that his piece brought success to the choir and said that "the spirited performance brought out the energy and rhythmic character of the piece". The choir was also involved in the first Masterclass workshop for conductors organised by the Association of Irish Choirs and the Cork International Choral Festival. This was given by Ragnar Rassmussen from Norway and he and the conductors taking the Masterclass were warmly appreciative of Cois Cladaigh's input to the event which is planned to be an annual part of the Festival.
The choir finished off its participation in the Festival with performances of Loch Lomond and The Great Figure on Sunday night as part of the closing Gala concert.
Cois Cladaigh took part in the International Competition
in the Cork Choral Festival 2008 and while there gave extra performances
around Cork City.
We premiered a Regina Coeli by Meg Pol at a concert in March in St. Nicholas Collegiate Church.
In May we performed with the Orlando Consort in
the Galway Early Music
Festival. The piece "Scattered Rhymes"
was written by Tarik O'Regan a young British Composer, who often
sets old texts to music.
In 2008 we sang pieces of Irish composer Eamonn
Murray set to poetry by Langston Hughes. The pieces were premiered at the
Cork Choral Festival.
We are embarking on our tour to Poland right now.
Cois Cladaigh launched their second, third and fourth
CD, "An Equal Music", "Beatus Vir" and "Puer
Natus" in November 2008.