Dunshaughlin Choral Society was formed in 1975 by Roisin De Blacam and Marie Naughton. It has a membership of around 45 singers. The Musical Director is Clare Dixon.
Bringing live music to the village of Dunshaughlin was the main aim of the Society and its whole ethos was, and is, about local involvement and development.
In the early years, we staged Musicals including “Oklahoma!”, ” Calamity Jane”, “South Pacific”, “Viva Mexico”, “Oliver”, “The Sound of Music” and “Singing in the Rain”. In recent years, we have competed at choral festivals in New Ross, Sligo, Cork and Navan.
We have sung in the National Concert Hall for President Mary Robinson, in “3,000 Voices in Concert” in Lansdowne Road under the baton of Gearoid Grant and again with him in “Voices of the World” in Rome. We were honoured by the presence of President Mary McAleese at our thirtieth anniversary concert.
We celebrated our 40th year in existence in 2015 with a very successful 2 night concert in the ‘Solstice Theatre’ in Navan accompanied by Eurovision winner, Paul Harrington.
Guest artistes who have participated in our concerts included Bernadette Greevy, Louis Browne, The Garda Band, Ronan Tynan, Paddy Cole, Kenneth Rice, Honor Heffernan and Joanna (of Tequila Sunrise fame).
During the period of Covid lockdown in April 2021, Róisín Freeney and the 45 members of Dunshaughlin Choral Society were awarded a grant by the Irish Hospice Foundation to support creativity in the community and went on to record an original collaborative piece to reflect the loss of members and loved ones in their village.
'Absent Voices' is a poignant piece of music that pays tribute to lost loved ones in the community including choir member Joe Fitzpatrick who sadly passed away at the end of January 2021 from the virus. The piece is called Absent Voices because covid has pushed us online rather than rehearsing in St Patrick’s Hall as we would normally do very Monday.
Roisin Freeney, who composed the song along with Suzanne Keegan, explains how the project came together: ”It is an original piece compiled in collaboration with the choir. Our musical accompanist, Ciara Vaughan, put it into 4 parts and the choir recorded the piece completely by zoom under the guidance of our musical director, Clare Dixon.”
We rehearse every Monday evening from 7.45pm from September till May. At the moment, practise takes place in the Pastoral Centre, behind SS Patrick & Seachnall Church. We hope to return to our usual practise venue in St Patrick’s Hall from January 2022. New members are always welcome!
Current Musical Director
Newry born Mezzo-Soprano, Clare Dixon is a graduate of Queen’s University, Belfast, where she completed her BMus and MA Degrees. In 2010 Clare was awarded the IKS Scholarship, which enabled her to study Voice and Pedagogy at the Kodály Institute, Hungary. A post-graduate scholarship from the Balassi Institute, Hungary enabled her to continue her studies from 2011-2012. In 2016 Clare completed a further Masters of Performance Degree (Voice) at DIT Conservatory.
Following completion of her MMus Performance Degree, Clare performed regularly as a recitalist and concert soloist. Performances include the Alto Solo in Mozart’s Requiem and Coronation Mass, and... more >
Musical Director 2018
Musical Director 2017-2018
Musical Director 2008-2017
Roisin De Blacam
Musical Director 1975 - 2008
Deirdre Kilrane, Eimear Kirwan, Evelyn Naughton, Fionnuala Fitzpatrick, Grainne Fitzpatrick, Isabella Molloy, Jennifer O’Dowd, Margaret Keane, Mary Connolly, Mary Hickey, Mary Connaughton, Moya Brady, Patricia O’Reilly, Roisin Freeney, Suzanne Keegan, Una Callan.
Carol Englishby, Catherine Jennings, Jenny Copeland, Joan Rawdon, Karen Jazinski, Rosanne Meenan, Sarah McIntyre, Suzie Farrell, Trish O’ Loughlin.
Brian Sheridan, David Tyrrell, Liam MacRaghnaill, Martin Kelly, Michael Donnellan, Peter Fahy, Shay Fitzpatrick.
Billy Hughes,Brendan Leonard, David Mercer, Jim Ryan, Liam Brazil, Peter Geraghty, Tony Brady.
who have passed away in recent years
Alice Kenny Anne Murphy Benny Downes Betty Carey Ciaran Murray Clare Browne David Gleeson
Des Grey Dympna Lynch Frank Conlan Geraldine Wickham Gerry O’Sullivan Snr. Helen Moran Imelda Smith
Joe Fitzpatrick John Donnelly Liam Carey Marie Naughton Mary Dennis Mary McEntaggart Snr. Nancy Bennett
Nancy Englishby Patricia McAuley Phyllis Smith Regina Kenny Robert Clarke Ron Bennett Rose Tormay
Performances include the Alto Solo in Mozart’s Requiem and Coronation Mass, and Saint-Sëans Oratorio de Noël, with the Jubilate Choir. The Alto Solo in Britten’s Rejoice in the Lamb (UCD Choral Society), and Vaughan William’s Mass in G Minor (Guinness Choir, Dublin). In September 2016, Clare made her NCH debut as a soloist with the Orchestra of Ireland performing the Alto solo in Patrick Cassidy’s oratorio, The Children of Lir.
In Opera, Clare made her debut playing the role of Mrs Noye in Britten’s Noye’s Fludde, with DIT Conservatory. Clare has also performed the roles of the Third Lady in Mozart’s Magic Flute, and the Mother and the Witch in Humperdink’s Hansel and Gretel, with North Dublin Opera. Clare has also performed the role of Armelinde in the Irish premiere of Pauline Viardot’s Cendrillon with NDO along with the title role in Gluck’s Orfeo. As a chorus member, Clare has performed with Northern Ireland Opera in their production of Puccini’s Turandot, and Madame Butterfly with RTE Opera Chorus (under the direction of John Wilson). Clare now sings professionally with the Dublin 6 Consort.
Clare is currently Musical Director of Il Coro Italiano di Dublino and Dunshaughlin Choral Society, and has recently been appointed as an Examiner with the Royal Irish Academy of Music. In addition to performing, conducting and examining, Clare enjoys teaching solfége and musicianship. Recently, Clare taught Levels 1 and 2 for Kodály Ireland’s series of online solfége classes and joined the international faculty as musicianship tutor on their summer course.