Choral Sketches 2020, with new composer mentor Kevin Volans

Deadline: 17 February 2020 17:00

Chamber Choir Ireland and the Contemporary Music Centre announce the fourth year of Choral Sketches, with new composer mentor Kevin Volans

Chamber Choir Ireland is the country’s flagship choral ensemble and national chamber choir, under the artistic direction and baton of internationally celebrated and multi-award-winning conductor Paul Hillier.  The Contemporary Music Centre is Ireland’s national archive and resource centre for new music, supporting and developing the work of composers throughout the island of Ireland and documenting, developing and promoting new music from Ireland at home and abroad.

Following the success of the Choral Sketches projects in 2017, 2018 and 2019, Chamber Choir Ireland and CMC have renewed their partnership in 2020 to present this unique professional development opportunity for composers who wish to develop their skills in writing choral music with mentoring from esteemed composer Kevin Volans.  The purpose of the Choral Sketches initiative is to provide a creative and open environment for composers to deepen their experience in writing for voices in a choral context.  The project is open to composers registered with the Contemporary Music Centre.

What happens in the Choral Sketches project? 

  • A maximum of three composers will be selected to take part in Choral Sketches 2020 following an anonymous submission process.
  • The selected composers will receive online mentoring from composer mentor Kevin Volans at intervals from mid-April 2020 to early May 2020, leading to the development of a series of compositional sketches for new choral works.
  • The selected composers must submit their scores for copying to the Contemporary Music Centre no later than Friday, 15 May 2020, at 5.30pm.
  • These sketches will be the focus of a public workshop led by Kevin Volans with Chamber Choir Ireland on Friday, 5 June 2020, in the National Concert Hall, Dublin.
  • Each composer shall be allocated c. 40 minutes to workshop their choral sketches with input from Chamber Choir Ireland, conductor Paul Hillier and composer mentor Kevin Volans.
  • Composers will then be invited to take part in a workshop with four singers from Chamber Choir Ireland.
  • Chamber Choir Ireland will make provision to present performance readings of the final works from the Choral Sketches 2020 project in January 2021.

A feature report on Choral Sketches 2019 can be found here:

Chamber Choir Ireland and the Contemporary Music Centre are now seeking applications for Choral Sketches 2020

Would you like to apply for the Choral Sketches 2020 project?

In order to make a submission, composers must submit the following by email to by 5pm on Monday, 17 February 2020.
- A short proposal outlining how Choral Sketches will enable you to explore your compositional ideas and develop your skills. Please provide this in pdf format along with your contact details.
- Two recent completed scores in pdf format (not excerpts) and mp3 recordings or electronic realisations of each score. Please ensure that both scores and mp3 recordings do not have any identifying features.

Please note - the selection process for Choral Sketches 2020 will be anonymous, and any scores or recordings with any identifying features may preclude the applicant from consideration by the panel.  Please include your name and contact details on the email only.

Final performance read-through of the pieces from Choral Sketches 2019

The final performance read-through of the pieces from Choral Sketches 2019 will take place on Friday, 24 January 2020, in the National Concert Hall.  This is a free ticketed event; however, places are limited, so early booking is advised.  Please see the following link for more details:

If you are planning to apply for Choral Sketches 2020, this is a unique opportunity to see what is involved in the project. 

For queries on Choral Sketches, please contact Keith Fennell, CMC Production Co-ordinator

Call: CMC on 01 - 673 1922

PDF iconchoral_sketches_2020_final.pdf