Musical Director

Frank_KellyFrank Kelly was born in Dublin in 1959. He read an Honours Degree in Music at Trinity College, Dublin, graduating in 1981 and completed his Higher Diploma in Education there in 1982.

While at university he studied piano with John O’Conor at the Royal Irish Academy of Music and singing with Veronica Dunne at the Dublin College of Music. He attended Master Classes with such internationally known pianists as Pascal Rogé and Alex Kelly. He was a prize winner at Feiseanna in Dublin, Cork and Arklow and won all the major scholarships and prizes at the R.I.A.M. including ‘Student of the Year’ in 1981. Frank was a finalist in R.T.E.’s ‘Musician of the Future’ competition and played a number of recitals on R.T.E. radio.

Following his graduation from T.C.D. Frank went to Paris to study piano for two years on a French Government Scholarship. He returned in 1985 to take up the post of Music teacher at St. Kilian’s Community School in Bray.

His conducting career started in 1977. He has studied conducting with Dr. Brian Boydell at T.C.D. and Dr. Geoffrey Spratt at the Cork School of Music and U.C.C. He was Organist and Choirmaster at the Church of Our Lady of Victories in Sallynoggin/ Glenageary for over twenty years, and presently trains Wicklow Choral Society, Bray Choral Society and Bray Youth Choir. He has directed musicals including Grease, Oklahoma, Calamity Jane, West Side Story and My Fair Lady in very successful school productions.

Frank founded Bray Choral Society in January 1986. Since then he has conducted a wide repertoire of works from the Baroque period to the 20th Century. Notable successes include Bach’s St. John Passion and Magnificat, Beethoven’s Mass in C, Handel’s Messiah, Haydn’s CreationStabat MaterTe Deum and Mass in time of War, Mozart’s Solemn Vespers, Rossini’s Petite Messe Solennelle and Stabat Mater, Mendelssohn’s Elijah and Lauda SionRequiem Masses by Mozart, Fauré, Verdi and Rutter, Puccini’s Messa di GloriaGloria settings by Vivaldi, Poulenc and Rutter. He has conducted on many occasions at the National Concert Hall; directing performances of Orff’s Carmina Burana and Jenkin’s The Armed Man, a Mass for Peace on the last two occasions there. He has appeared on national radio and television. Last season he conducted a challenging programme of 20th Century music by Morten Lauridsen and Howard Goodall.

In May 2000 Frank led a choir of over 120 voices from the county of Wicklow in two fine performances of Verdi’s Requiem in Bray and Arklow in celebration of the Millennium.

Frank and Bray Choral Society have been presented with the ‘Endeavour Award for Culture’, sponsored by the Bray and District Chamber of Commerce, on three occasions in 1991, 2001 and most recently in 2010.

In 2004, Frank founded Bray Youth Choir to promote choral singing among the young people of Bray and Wicklow. He also took over the direction of Wicklow Choral Group – now Wicklow Choral Society – in that year and has performed a major work with them every year. In November 2010 Wicklow and Bray Choral Societies joined together for a gala performance of Verdi’s Requiem to celebrate Bray Choral Society’s 25th anniversary. 2013 sees the choirs collaborating again in a performance of Beethoven’s ‘Choral’ Symphony.

As well as school teaching and conducting Frank is very active as a piano teacher at all levels. He also performs increasingly frequently with his own family group. They sing vocal harmony with instruments and dancing and have performed in concerts and on radio and television.