Choral Sketches 2023 Composers Announced

The Contemporary Music Centre, Ireland and Chamber Choir Ireland are pleased to announce that composers Timothy Ethan Doyle, Brian Keegan and Conor McGlone have been selected to participate in the 2023 Choral Sketches programme.

Photo by Ben McKee

The Choral Sketches programme call out was expanded for 2023, inviting applications from any composer born or based on the island of Ireland, without the stipulation of representation by CMC. All submissions were anonymised before review by the selection panel, with the final three composers selected by unanimous vote. Of the applications received, there was a 50/50 split between women and men composers.

Choral Sketches is a unique professional development opportunity for composers who wish to develop their skills in writing choral music with mentoring from renowned Irish composer, Rhona Clarke. The purpose of the programme is to provide a creative and open environment for composers to deepen their experience in writing for voices in a choral context. 

On the announcement of the 2023 Choral Sketches participants, Composer Mentor Rhona Clarke said:

I am really looking forward to working with the three composers selected this year. From seeing their applications, very different styles and personalities emerge; it will be really interesting to see what paths they take – twists and turns in developing their own brand of choral music for Chamber Choir Ireland.

The Choral Sketches composers will meet this month for one-to-one mentoring ahead of submitting their sketches later in March. These sketches will be the focus of a public workshop led by conductor Sofi Jeannin with Chamber Choir Ireland on Thursday 20th April 2023, in the National Concert Hall, Dublin as part of New Music Dublin 2023. 

Following this workshop there will be a further mentoring session before the composers submit their finished pieces in early August 2023. The works will have a final performance reading by Chamber Choir Ireland in Mid-September 2023 marking the culmination of the programme.

Meet the Choral Sketches 2023 Participants:

Timothy Ethan Doyle

Timothy Ethan Doyle is an Irish composer of chamber, orchestral and electronic music. He first studied music at the Newpark Music Centre where he earned an honours degree in Jazz Performance. Timothy then moved to New York in 2013 where he worked with some of the city’s most exciting performers and improvisers before returning to Ireland and commencing his graduate studies in composition at University College Cork. He currently resides in Lyon, France. His work has been performed throughout Europe including premieres by, amongst others, the RTÉ Concert Orchestra, Crash Ensemble, the Hard Rain Ensemble and the ConTempo Quartet. Timothy's music has also received numerous awards including the Jerome Hynes Young Composers' Award (2020), the West Cork Chamber Music Composition Prize (2019) and the Peter Rosser Composition Award (2017).

Brian Keegan

With a background in contemporary music composition, sound design and linguistics, Brian Keegan has composed contemporary classical music for live performance and has collaborated with artists in the areas of dance, film and theatre. He has composed music for the RTÉ Concert Orchestra, members of the NSO and ensembles including Concorde, ConTempo and the Donegal Camerata Quartet. His contemporary classical music has featured on RTÉ lyric FM and has been played in the National Gallery of Ireland, the Hugh Lane Gallery, New Jersey, Milan and the Centre Culturel Irlandais Paris. His music for film has featured in numerous film festivals in Ireland and worldwide.Brian’s composition for screen includes feature-length dramas, documentaries and numerous short films. Recent music for theatre includes the stage productions On a House Like a Fire, Bealtaine At Home Festival, Smock Alley (2021) Bang!, Dublin Theatre Festival (2021). His compositions have been recognised with an award from Germany’s DAAD and with the François de Roubaix music composition award.

Conor McGlone

Conor McGlone is an organist, pianist, and composer from Rostrevor, County Down. Conor began composing as a student at St Colman’s College, Newry. Having written for string quartet as well as piano, Conor delved into choral composition at the age of 17 as part of the Composers in the Classroom programme. His setting of Emily Brontë’s Spellbound was performed by Chamber Choir Ireland at the New Music Dublin Gala concert in 2018. Conor returned to the poetry of Brontë while studying music at the University of Oxford, writing for voice and piano. He has since written a set of short pieces for piano and in 2021 made choral settings of texts from James Joyce’s Chamber Music. Conor is excited to be a part of choral sketches 2023 and is looking forward to returning to explore choral music and composition with Rhona Clarke and Chamber Choir Ireland.