About Cantairí Avondale


In 1970, Dr. Seán Creamer, then a Department of Education Music inspector, organised  a group  to sing at a mass for the beginning of the primary school academic year. That group formed the nucleus of the choir which became Cantairí Avondale. The choir to date has had two musical directors, Dr. Creamer and Dr. Mary O’Flynn and at present is under the baton of Ruaidhrí Ó Dálaigh, who took over  in 2008. 

Since its foundation, Cantairí Avondale has always performed a wide variety of choral music, including sacred and secular part-songs, modern and jazz classics, plain chant and oratorio.  Over the past forty three years Cantairí Avondale has won awards at almost every choral festival in this country. Most recently, in February 2013, the choir won three awards at the Feis Ceoil,  namely the Corn Hardebac for Irish Music, the Lombard Murphy Cup for Church Music, and the Oliver O’Brien Cup awarded to the overall best choir. This year also, the choir won the National Competition for Mixed Voice Choirs at the Cork International Choral Festival, and the Celtic Language Competition at the Mayo International Choral Festival.

Cantairí Avondale has a large following for its concerts,  particularly the Christmas concert which features traditional Christmas music from around the world, which would not be very well known. In June 2012, the choir celebrated the beginning of its fifth decade with a performance of the Mozart Requiem in St Patrick’s Cathedral. Other major works performed by the choir over the years include Handel’s Messiah, Mendelssohn’s Elijah, Bach’s Mass in B Minor, Fauré’s Requiem, Tavener’s Svyati, Bernstein’s Chichester Psalms, Hayden’s Harmony Mass and Mozart’s Requiem.

The choir has also a proud tradition of commissioning choral works by Irish composers such as John Buckley (Jabberwocky), Marion Ingoldsby (An Scread), Rhona Clarke (Song for St. Cecilia’s Day) and Michael Gallen (Pursuing Moths). These last two were commissioned in tribute to Seán Creamer and Mary O’Flynn respectively. 

The choir rehearses in Scoil Chaoimhín (Department of Education), Marlborough Street, Dublin 1 on Mondays from 7.30 to 10.00pm. New members are very welcome and auditions are held in late August and January every year. An ability to sight-read is an advantage but not a requirement.

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