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Arts Council
a nation's voice

Massive concert to mark 1916: 1,100 singers from 32 choirs join forces with RTÉ orchestra

The Easter Sunday show will be broadcast live on RTÉ tomorrow.

DOZENS OF THE country’s best choirs will be showcased in a major open-air concert marking the Easter Rising tomorrow.

The free event at Collins Barracks in Dublin features the premiere of a specially commissioned work, One Hundred Years a Nation, by composer Shaun Davey and poet Paul Muldoon.

RTÉ’s National Symphony Orchestra and conductor David Brophy will lead 1,100 singers from 32 choirs during the performance, which has been months in the planning.

Seán Ó Riada’s Mise Éire orchestral suite, commissioned for the 1959 film of the same name, and a choral performance of the famous Hallelujah Chorus from Handel’s Messiah are also on the programme.

A Nation’s Voice is a collaboration between the state broadcaster and the Arts Council, in association with the National Museum of Ireland, the Association of Irish Choirs and education programme Music Generation.

The Easter Sunday show will be presented by Miriam O’Callaghan and broadcast live at 2.30pm on RTÉ One, RTÉ Radio 1 Extra and on longwave.


The choirs, some of which have been formed especially for the occasion, include 18 adult and 13 youth groups, as well the 140 person-strong RTÉ Philharmonic Choir.

RTÉ estimates that 66,000 voluntary hours have gone into the project. Around 25,000 kilometres have been travelled by buses bringing participants to rehearsals, it says.

The singers come from 18 different counties and are aged between eight and 85.

Muldoon said it was a privilege but “unnerving” experience to write for such a big occasion.

“Our hope is that it’s a piece that will give people something to think about as they look back on the remarkable achievements of our first century and look forward to meeting the challenges presented by the next one,” he said.

The performance, which lasts around an hour, is free to the general public. Tickets have already been allocated through a lottery system.

Read: Documentary claims 1916 British massacre of Dublin civilians was due to ‘unclear orders’

Read: Last surviving child of executed 1916 leader awarded Freedom of Dublin

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