Premiere’s Almost Here!

Take a look at this, friends. Just stop for a sec to take it in. It is no exaggeration.


This is the outside of the National Concert Hall in the heart of Dublin. The outside. Can you imagine what the inside looks like? Well, imagine no more.


(Organists, in case you’re interested, it’s a four manual, 56 rank instrument built by Kenneth Jones in 1991 and upgraded in 2006 to include a rank of trompette en chamade. A full list of stops and other technical specifications can be found here.)

I was at the NCH tonight as the guest of Dr Sean Doherty, professor of music at Dublin City University. Dr Sean is a musicologist, composer, inger, ansd choral conductor, and his charming new piece for choir and piano, The Happy Grass, had its premiere there tonight.

Dr Sean and his colleagues at DCU are presently developing a Master’s programme in Choral Studies. We’ll be talking about that on Friday, so I’ll tell you more details then — but for now, let’s just say that we had a delightful talk and dinner ahead of the concert, and that he thought I had some very . . . useful . . . ideas.

He also said he’s going to use all three books I’ve co-authored with Dr Blake Henson
(The Composer’s Craft, From Words to Music, and Arranging) as the core texts for the curriculum, along with the choral primer Working with Voices that’s still in the process of being written.

Not bad for a day’s work. And even though it’s quarter past midnight here, I’m still very geeked — and a little nervous, because tomorrow is the first time the singers and the orchestra will rehearse, and the first time I will hear what my orchestration sounds like and see whether it works.

My former student Kris Kehrer, who among other things is a fine musician as well as the technical guru behind this blog, has figured out that RTE can be picked up on the North American side of the Atlantic. So if the concert is going to be live streamed, I will be sure to provide that information to you. As far as I know, it will begin at 8:00 PM Dublin time (or 2000 GMT), which works out to be 2:00 PM in the Eastern Time Zone, just in case Kris is right and some of you actually want to listen.

Anyway, more tomorrow. It’s cold and I’m wet. Time for tea and crackers, and then to work on the Theory III final exam draft. Never a dull minute around here.