Contemporary Music Centre at ACDA National Conference 2017, Minneapolis

This March the CMC, in partnership with Limerick Sings Festival and the Association of Irish Choirs, attended the American Choral Director’s Association National Conference. ACDA promotes excellence in the field of choral music and has a membership of over 22,000 choral directors, representing over a million choral singers. The conference, held across five days in Minneapolis, is the biggest of its kind and hosts over 5000 delegates and 8000 choir members from across the United States. Exhibiting at the conference was part of CMC’s plan to promote choral music from Ireland to a wider international audience, and this was CMC’s first time attending this important conference.

CMC’s library coordinator Susan Brodigan co-hosted the Choral Ireland stand along with AOIC and Limerick Sings Festival, and formed part of the the Choral Ireland showcase on Friday 10th March as part of the conference.

Throughout the four-day conference Susan had the opportunity to promote a wide range of new choral music from Ireland. Choirland is an anthology of fifteen choral works from Ireland produced in partnership with the AOIC and Chamber Choir Ireland. The works range in difficulty and the volume includes support notes for conductors and a complementary recording.

Susan Brodigan addressing the ACDA delegates

CMC’s three graded choral catalogues, curated by composer Rhona Clarke and choral directors Dr Anne Barry (Director of Choral Activities at Lake Forest College, IL) and Dr Desmond Earley (Artistic Director, University College Dublin Choral Scholars) are a resource for choral directors looking for new contemporary repertoire.

Susan Brodigan:

The vibrant exhibition hall was full of delegates every day excited to find out more about choral music from Ireland and the wealth of choral activity happening in the country. I took the opportunity to connect with many choral directors and choir members, explaining the work that the Contemporary Music Centre does and showing the choral catalogue resources available via the CMC website. There was great interest in choral music from Ireland from delegates.

On Friday 9th March, the Choral Ireland stand presented a showcase session as part of the conference. This showcase, led by Dr Anne Barry, was a vibrant and lively sing through of a range of excerpts of choral works with over 200 delegates. CMC were delighted to have the opportunity to present details of Choirland, its choral catalogues and resources available on the CMC website.

We received wonderful feedback from the delegates at the showcase. They were excited to explore more choral works available from our catalogues and have had the opportunity to sing through samples of choral music from Ireland.’

Susan Brodigan.

Delegate Catherine John:

I visited the Choral Ireland booth at the 2017 ACDA national conference in Minneapolis, where Susan Brodigan shared with me about the Contemporary Music Centre and its collection of Irish choral repertoire that is being made available throughout the world. I also attended the Choral Ireland showcase and enjoyed a demonstration of some of the repertoire, which was very well received by the American and international conference attendees. As a former music student in Ireland, I was thrilled to re-encounter the rich Irish musical tradition in my home country.

CMC is grateful to Culture Ireland for the kind support received towards attended the conference.

For any queries about choral works by Irish composers, contact Susan at