Category Archives: Performances

Messiah 2 – autumn 2016


On 22 October 2016, Dublin County Choir performed Handel’s Messiah (Part 2) in the Church of St. John the Evangelist, Ballinteer Avenue, Ballinteer.

The choir was supported by an orchestra led by Alan Smale, leader of the Irish Film Orchestra, and an outstanding feature of the evening was a performance of a movement of the Bach Double Violin Concerto by David O’Doherty of the Dublin DIT School of Music, and his 13-year old pupil.

Christmas Concerts 2015


Altogether, nearly 1,900 people came along to our two shows on 13 December, and enjoyed the promised sparkling performances from our guests – the RIAM Concert Band, in better form than ever, the two magnificent choirs from Notre Dame Junior School and Mount Anville, and the  4-in-a-Bar barbershop quartet whose wonderfully melodious material ranged from modern Christmas favourites to the sixteenth-century Magnum Mysterium from the Spanish composer Victoria. The choir, if we say it ourselves, wasn’t too bad either: we had fun joining the RIAM band for Chris de Burgh’s ‘A Spaceman Came Travelling‘, and along with the band, the school choir and the mighty NCH organ, the finale, ‘O Holy Night‘,  brought the house down as always. It goes without saying that our inimitable soprano/compere, Niamh Murray, and our longtime collaborators, the Billie Barry Stage School, delivered performance value in spades.

We’re already looking forward to next year!



Messiah (Part 1) October 2015

MessiahFlyerFinalWe returned on 17 October to our old stamping-ground of St John’s, Ballinteer where we finally put the Messiah into our CV, opening the concert with a performance of the first part of Handel’s great oratorio.

Our large audience seemed to enjoy that and the other items on the programme, particularly the Haydn trumpet concerto and the spiritualSteal Away‘ from Tippett’s oratorio A Child of Our Time. Our four young singer soloists, along with the seasoned professional musicians – many of them National Symphony orchestra members – of the string ensemble, and of course organist David Leigh, did the programme full justice.

Spring concert 2015

Haydn and Jenkins at Christ Church Cathedral

Saturday 16 and Sunday 17 May 2015

Christ Church May 2015 640 pixels wide

We spent two memorable summer evenings in the company of Joseph Haydn and Karl Jenkins in Christ Church Cathedral. Following our sell-out Fauré concert there the previous October, the choir, accompanied by a full orchestra and with top-notch soloists, showcased all of its choral prowess in performing Haydn’s beautiful Maria Theresa Mass. The programme  also included  Karl Jenkins’s The Peacemakers. Blending the classical 18th-century Haydn with the 21st-century Jenkins proved to be a special  event in the spectacular surroundings of Christ Church. The choir, unusually, performed for two successive nights and attracted a substantial audience each evening in this glorious venue.

Christmas concerts 2014

Dublin County Choir - A Christmas Family Gala 2014Once again we gave our popular family Christmas concert in the National Concert Hall, at 2.30 pm and 7 pm.   This year we welcomed the Sandford Park School Choir, strong contenders in the 2014 All-Island School Choirs competition;  our other new attraction for 2014 was the witty and polished barbershop sound of 4-in-a-Bar, who proved firm favourites with the audiences.



‘Magic Moments’ concert 11 May 2014
















We featured favourite songs by Burt Bacharach, many of them composed in collaboration with his principal lyricist Hal David. Some of these numbers were arranged specially for the choir by one of our basses, Brian Ingoldsby.

There were also many great Beatles songs, in new and vibrant arrangements by our Musical Director Colin Block.

We had the great singer and trumpeter Keith MacDonald as our front man for the evening, and a five-piece band led by bassist Philip Myatt.

It turned out to be a mighty evening!

Christmas concert 2013

Christmas Family Gala 2013

Nearly 2,000 people joined the Dublin County Choir in the National Concert Hall on Sunday 8 December 2013 for our annual celebration, featuring

  • musical director John Dexter,
  • soprano Niamh Murray,
  • the Royal Irish Academy of Music Concert Band (conductor Fergus O’Carroll)
  • the Billie Barry Stage School
  • accompanist Celine Kelly

and lots more!

For our matinée performance, at 2.30 pm, we were joined by the Notre Dame Junior School Choir from Churchtown under their director Liz Foster. They impressed us with their varied choice of repertoire, including a lovely novelty number I can’t get to sleep, which ended with the choir in a somnolent posture. The 7 o’clock performance featured the Choir of St Brigid’s National School, Castleknock, whose director Niamh Williams drew a wonderful choral sound from her more than 80 charges.

As another addition to our regular line-up, this year we secured the services of a vibrant performing group, the Sax Sisters. This is all-female saxophone quartet performed on this occasion with a Sax Brother, standing in for one of their regular members who had just become a mother; they gave us a varied set of mainly Christmassy numbers, with polished and united sound.

Fergus O’Carroll’s RIAM Concert Band had audience and choir joining in with a great  medley of Christmas favourites. Soprano Niamh Murray, as well as introducing the various acts with wit and aplomb, wowed us with her solo contributions, tastefully supported by Celine Kelly on the piano. And the show culminated with the Concert Band, the Dublin County Choir, the children’s choir and Celine Kelly on piano, all under the baton of our Musical Director John Dexter, joining Niamh for a glorious rendering of Adolphe Adam’s O Holy Night.

Captain Noah and friends: October 2013

The Church of St John the Evangelist in Ballinteer, Dublin 16 witnessed a dramatic and witty recreation of the biblical Flood on Saturday 19 October 2013, when the Dublin County Choir, accompanied by Celine Kelly on the keyboard, Roger Moffatt on percussion and Neil Dexter on double-bass, gave a performance of Captain Noah and his Floating Zoo, by Michael Flanders and Joseph Horovitz. Musical Director John Dexter conducted, and Ciaran Judge (baritone) sang the parts of God, Noah—and Mrs Ham!

Joh Dexter also conducted the Choir and the same instrumental ensemble in some movements of Bob Chilcott’s Little Jazz Mass. The Choir demonstrated its wonderful vocal sound to best effect in the unaccompanied motet Locus Iste by Anton Bruckner.

The concert also featured the Rathfarnham Concert Band, under the baton of their Musical Director Vincent Kennedy, who entertained us with repertoire ranging from Bizet and Holst to Frankie Valli and Les Miserables.

And the evening was rounded off by Choir and Band under John Dexter’s musical direction with two movements—Tempus est jocundum and the dramatic final movement O Fortuna—from Carl Orff’s Carmina Burana.

This concert was part of the Choir’s continuing policy of maintaining links with the local areas from which it draws many of its members and much of its support.

Gloria! May 2013

“Gloria – The Splendour of Choir and Brass”

Saturday 18th May 2013 in the National Concert Hall at 8pm


Liz Nolan, the ever popular Lyric FM personality, was the presenter at an unusual concert titled Gloria – the Splendour of Choir & Brass given by the 120-strong Dublin County Choir at the National Concert Hall on Saturday 18 May 2013 at 8pm.

Exciting brass and percussion sounds featured right from the start with the stirring
opening piece, Fanfare for the Common Man by Aaron Copland, played by the 13-
member sforzando Brass & Percussion.

The programme was wide-ranging, from the polychoral splendour of 16th-century
composer Giovanni Gabrieli to the delightful Little Jazz Mass by Bob Chilcott.
There were Glorias for choir and brass by Gabrieli, Mary McAuliffe, and the ever
mellifluous John Rutter. This last work made a most impressive finale for the

A substantial nod towards Benjamin Britten in his centenary year was made with
his moving short cantata Rejoice in the Lamb in a version adding percussion to the
organ accompaniment.

There is compositional talent within the choir too! The programme included a Magnificat in Irish by bass Brian Ingoldsby, who is currently taking a master’s degree
in Composition at Trinity College having qualified last year as a mature student with a Bachelor
of Music Degree at Maynooth.

The choir was joined for many of the pieces by soloists, Kay Lynch, Soprano; Mark Chambers, Countertenor; Jacek Wislocki, Tenor; and Jeffrey Ledwidge, Bass, and also by John Dexter on the organ and pianist Celine Kelly. As if this were not enough, the Earlsfort Brass Quintet entertained with, among other pieces, excerpts from West Side Story.

The whole ensemble was under the baton of the choir’s musical director Colin Block, who also devised the programme.