Irish Premiere – Howard Goodall’s ‘Invictus: A Passion’

Bray and Wicklow Choral Societies will perform the Irish premiere of Howard Goodall’s new work – ‘Invictus: A Passion’ on Saturday 9th February at 8.15pm in St. Andrew’s Church in Westland Row. Soloists are soprano Sarah Power and tenor Ross Scanlon. Tickets €20 available from Eventbrite – Westland Row or at the door on the night.

Mr Goodall will attend the Irish premiere of ‘Invictus: A Passion’ and will introduce the work to the audience.

‘Invictus: A Passion’ is a musical retelling of the passion of Jesus Christ. The work is unusual in that the story is told from the perspective of women using texts written by women. It describes human suffering and persecution, but also the transformative power of love in the face of tyranny.

Howard Goodall CBE is one of Britain’s best known composers. His choral masterpiece ‘Eternal Light: A Requiem’ has been performed by hundreds of choirs all over the world since its premiere in 2008. He has written scores for many films and television programmes, such as the ‘Mr Bean’ series, ‘The Vicar of Dibley’ and ‘Blackadder’. He is a regular presenter of television programmes on music. He was Britain’s first ever ambassador for singing from 2007-2011.

Bray and Wicklow Choral Societies, under the musical direction of Mr Frank Kelly, are choirs with a long tradition of performing works from the classical and modern choral repertoire. Wicklow Choral Society performed the Irish premiere of Howard Goodall’s ‘Eternal Light: A Requiem’ in 2010.

The work will be performed a second time by the choirs on Sunday 10th February at 8.00pm in the Church of the Most Holy Redeemer, Main St., Bray. Tickets €15 available from Eventbrite – Bray , at the door on the night, or from a choir member.

Season’s Programme 2018-19

As always the Bray Choral Society has an exciting programme of performances in the coming season.  We hope that this programme may entice some singers to join us, all who can hold a note are welcome.  If not a singer, but someone who likes to hear great works performed well then here is a summary of the concerts with dates for your diary, further details closer to the individual events.  Do check back regularly as there may be other concerts added to the programme as the season progresses.

Meet and Greet – Tuesday 28th August, Esplanade Hotel, Strand Road Bray, from 7.30pm.  Learn more about the society and check us out.

First rehearsal of the season – Tuesday 4th September – St. Kilian’s Community School, 7.30pm.  If new, just turn up, you will be made welcome.

Come and Sing – Karl Jenkin’s The Armed Man – Sunday 11th November, Christchurch Bray, 100th Anniversary of Armistice Day WWI.

Christmas Carols – Saturday 15th December, Holy Redeemer Church, Bray, proceeds in aide of a local charity.

Irish Premiere of Howard Goodall’s Invictus: A Passion – Saturday 9th February – St. Andrew’s Church, Westland Row, Dublin.

Second performance of Invictus – Sunday 10th February – Holy Redeemer Church, Bray.

Summer Concert – Saturday 18th May, Mozart’s Requiem and the Hummel Mass, Holy Redeemer Church, Bray.


Summer Concert – The Peacemakers by Karl Jenkins

For this year’s summer concert Bray Choral Society have chosen a contemporary work, The Peacemakers by Karl Jenkins.  This work follows Jenkins more famous anti-war work The Armed Man.  In The Peacemakers Jenkins puts the words of many famous peacemakers, such as Martin Luther King Jr., Nelson Mandela, Sister Theresa, St. Francis etc., and extracts from religious texts to music to create a work of short movements all under the theme of the necessity for world peace.  It is an appropriate work in the current climate of international political volatility.

The concert will be performed in the Church of the Most Holy Redeemer, Main Street, Bray on Saturday the 5th May at 8.00pm.  The choir will be accompanied by an orchestra.  Tickets are the usual good value at €20 (€15 concession), available at the door on the night or from a choir member in advance.

The concert will also feature the shorter work of John Rutter’s Gloria.  The work has been described as “exalted, devotional and jubilant”.  It is performed at a brisk pace with plenty of brass accompaniment.  Appropriately, this work is being performed on the anniversary of its premiere on the 5th May 1974.

Give yourself a treat on the bank holiday weekend and come along to hear great singing and music which will lift your spirits for the summer.

Summer Concert – Mozart Extravaganza

You can never have too much Mozart.  From the beautiful simplicity of the short Ave Verum Corpus to the complexity of the Great Mass in C minor, there is nothing quite like Mozart.  His different works have the ability to both energise us and to calm us.  There are studies which suggest it can lower our blood pressure and even help us in exams.

So why not come along on the 3rd June to the Holy Redeemer Church in Bray for a Mozart Extravaganza and experience it live for yourself.  The society accompanied by the Degani Orchestra lead by Alan Smale will perform the Great Mass in C minor along with other choral and instrumental Mozart works.  The Great Mass is considered one of the big challenges for a choir and the society’s members are rehearsing well for what promises to be a vibrant concert.

Save the date, tell your friends and come and join us on the night, you won’t regret it.  Remember the wonderful music of the movie Amadeus, well this will be more of the same!

Christmas Concert 2016 – 10th December

Following our 30th Anniversary Season, Bray Choral Society continues its tradition of a Christmas Concert.  The concert takes place on Saturday 10th December, in the Church of the Most Holy Redeemer, Main Street, Bray, at 8pm.

As always our Musical Director is Frank Kelly.  In the society’s tradition of supporting young soloists we will once again be joined by four talented local singers.  The repertoire on the night will include: Handel’s Messiah Part 1 with the addition of the Hallelujah chorus, Holst’s Christmas Day and many favourite carols such as O Holy Night, Silent Night, O Come, All ye Faithful and This Christmastide.  There will be ample opportunities for the audience to sing out also.

Tickets are €15, available from any choir member or at the door on the night.

World Premiere New Irish Work – ‘Mary Gordon’

Bray Choral Society are honoured to have been asked to collaborate in this County Wicklow performance on Saturday 5th November in the National Concert Hall.  Featured choirs from around County Wicklow include: Bray Choral Society, Wicklow Choral Society, West Wicklow Voices, Get Vocal Choirs and the children of the Holy Rosary National School from Wicklow Town.

Wicklow County Arts Office in association with the RTE National Symphony Orchestra present a world premiere of ‘Mary Gordon’, a new oratorio for massed choirs, solo vocalists, narrator and symphony orchestra.  This is a major new choral commission where events of 1916 intertwine with folklore and the mythology of Blessington Lakes in County Wicklow.

With music by Brian Irvine and Neil Martin, author Marina Carr has created a gothic folklore about a 1916 love story and the flooding of the Poulaphouca Reservoir in Blessington as the basis for this oratorio.

Conducted by Fergus Shiel (Opera Theatre Company), narrated by Sean McGinley with soprano Sarah Power and Tenor Gerard Schneider.

Tickets: €20 (concession €18) from the National Concert Hall, 01 417 0000 or  Early bird price of 15 up to 15th October using promo code ‘Early Bird’.

Gala 30th Anniversary Summer Concert

BCS 30th Ann PosterThis season is a milestone season for Bray Choral Society as it is 30 years since Frank Kelly founded the society with a small group of enthusiastic singers.  The society has grown since then and has had many successful performances.

This season is no exception and we hope that you will join the society in its 30th Anniversary celebrations by attending our Gala Summer Concert.  The programme includes Gounad’s Messe Solennelle de Saint Cécile; Bizet’s Te Deum and a number of opera choruses.  This will be a joyous concert with plenty of French pomp and circumstance and the choir will be accompanied by long term associates the Degani Sinfonia led by Alan Smale.

The soloists for the concert will also be singers who have performed with the choir on a number of occasions.  Soprano: Sarah Power, Tenor: Ross Scanlon and Bass: John Molloy.

The concert takes place in the Church of the Most Holy Redemeer, Main Street, Bray on Saturday 14th May at 8pm.

Tickets: €20 (€16 concessions) from a choir member or on the door.

Wicklow Sings Choral Festival 2016

Bray Choral Society will be one of 13 choirs who will perform in the Wicklow Sings Choral Festival in Templecarrig School, Blacklion, Greystones on Saturday 16th April at 7.30pm.

A musical evening featuring the best of County Wicklow’s choirs, from School to Choral Society and from Gospel to Male Voice there is something for everyone in this event.

Proceeds in aid of Five Loaves (Bray) and Move4Parkinsons, the latter have a choir performing at the festival.

Tickets: €10 (concession €5)
Enquiries/Sales: 086 814 6926 / 087 271 8766

Christmas Concert – 12th December, 2015

In our 30th Anniversary Season, we are proud to perform the Fauré: Requiem and Saint-Saëns: Christmas Oratorio.  The concert takes place on Saturday 12th December, in the Church of the Most Holy Redeemer, Main Street, Bray, at 8pm.

As always our Musical Director is Frank Kelly.  We will be joined by soprano Leah Redmond, mezzo-soprano Carla Snow, counter-tenor Kevin O’Sullivan, tenor Eoin Hynes and bass Ben Russell.  The organist will be David Leigh.

Providing the musical accompaniment will be the Degani Sinfonia under the direction of Alan Smale.

Tickets are €15, available from any choir member or at the door on the night.


30th Anniversary Season 2015-2016

Bray Choral Society was formed by its musical director Frank Kelly in 1986.  So the 2015-2016 season marks the 30th Anniversary of the choir.  A few of the current members were there for that first formative season.  The choir has developed in many ways since those early days and the list of past concerts is a long one.  The society intends to celebrate this landmark anniversary in style, so watch out for many events over the coming months.

If you are a singer please join us for this exciting season, you do not need to be a Bray resident.  Current members hail from South Dublin to north Wexford.  Whether or not you are new to choral singing please come along this autumn and check us out.  While it does help, you do not need to be able to read music, many members do not.  Learning CDs are available for all major pieces.  Give it a go, you will not be disappointed.  Yes, it involves hard work, however, the buzz from having performed well in a concert with like minded friends is well worth it.  It has been medically proven in many studies that choral singing is beneficial to both your mental and physical health.

So what are you waiting for?  Call into St. Kilian’s Community School, Ballywaltrim, Bray on Tuesday 1st September or any Tuesday night at 7.45pm and you will be assured of a warm welcome.