Choral Sketches Workshop - video and report
In February, composers Amanda Feery, Michael Gallen and Seán Doherty participated in a choral writing workshop led by Tarik O’Regan with Chamber Choir Ireland. They review their involvement in the project here.
Words: Stephanie Ford
Video: James Keating
Michael Dervan and Alice Goodman
Tarik O'Regan and Paul Hillier advising composer Seán Doherty
Composer Amanda Feery workshops her choral sketch
This was a brilliant event ! https://t.co/nmnqTeGM5Q
— Irishetchings (@irishetchings) February 24, 2017
I benefitted immensely from Tarik O’Regan’s insightful mentorship, as he encouraged me to explore the special opportunities available when writing for a professional choir, such as Chamber Choir Ireland. At the workshop, I received valuable feedback about my work, regarding both its rehearsal and performance, from Tarik, Paul Hillier, the choir and members of the public. The opportunity to write for a professional performing ensemble under the guidance of an acknowledged choral expert was extremely beneficial to my professional development as a composer.
I'm still buzzing from the Choral Sketches workshop! It's fuelled my motivation and imagination to continue with larger plans for my piece. It was incredibly helpful to examine the same musical material from different sides of the looking-glass, with invaluable contributions from Tarik O'Regan, Paul Hillier, and members of Chamber Choir Ireland.
I think that the most valuable aspect of the "Choral Sketches" project was how it encouraged the composers to take risks. It's so often the case that limited rehearsal time requires you to fall back on tried-and-tested musical ideas in order to ensure a fluid performance. I took "Choral Sketches" as an opportunity to try out ideas that live at the limits of my musical imagination: some worked and others didn't! It was a genuine learning experience, and I feel like I have a much more subtle sense of my musical palette having had an opportunity to test and refine those ideas. Tarik, Paul and the choir made sure that the atmosphere in the room was loose and open; I had the sense that everyone present somehow had a vested interest in each of our pieces finding their truest voice.
The future of Ireland's contemporary music is secure if the serious talents of Amanda Feery, Séan Doherty, and Michael Gallen are to go by! pic.twitter.com/JySbY30ueG
— Tarik O'Regan (@tarikoregan) February 25, 2017