CMC hosts a public workshop on choral composition with James MacMillan

BBC Singers

The Contemporary Music Centre will host a free public workshop on choral composition with internationally acclaimed composer James MacMillan and the BBC Singers on Sunday 24 March from 12–3pm in the Kevin Barry Room of the National Concert Hall.

Four Irish composers will be selected to have their work featured and discussed at the event, which will explore the artistic and technical challenges in writing for voices. The workshop will appeal to composers, choral directors and singers, as well as anyone with a general interest in new music and composition.

Following the workshop, one of the featured Irish pieces will be selected for publication in Choir and Organ magazine and the sheet music made available for download with an accompanying studio recording by the BBC Singers.

Born in Scotland in 1959, James MacMillan is among the foremost composers of his generation. He is also active as a conductor and is Principal Guest Conductor of the Netherlands Radio Kamer Filharmonie and was Composer/Conductor of the BBC Philharmonic from 2000–2009. In addition to numerous operas and orchestral pieces, choral music forms an important part of MacMillan’s output. To date, he has composed over 100 choral works, which range from short, simple works for local amateur choirs to pieces written for many of the world’s top ensembles.

CMC’s choral workshop is one of several events taking place as part of a concert tour of the BBC Singers conducted by Fergus Sheil, in which the choir will perform MacMillan’s Seven Last Words from the Cross with ConTempo string quartet, as well as Irene Buckley’s Sanctus and works by Britten and John Tavener. Concerts take place in St Peter’s Church, Drogheda (21 March), St Nicholas’ Collegiate Church, Galway (22 March) and St Ann’s Church, Dawson Street, Dublin (23 March).

In advance of the concert on Saturday 23 March, the Association of Irish Choirs will host a public interview with James MacMillan at 7pm in the Mansion House, Dublin, during which the composer will discuss his influences and approach to composition. Seating for this event is limited. Ticket holders for any of the three concerts may reserve a place by emailing or leaving a message at

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