With the ambition of ensuring everybody gets the opportunity to sing in the Festival, we invite you to come and take part in The Big Sing 2014. The very first three Big Sings in 2011, 2012 and 2013 were a huge success with a year on year increase in the number of people turning out to each, making each of them the largest choirs ever to have sung at the Choral Festival! The Association of Irish Choirs (AOIC) sponsors this event that encourages group singing. Singing with others can bring people together in a unique way and provides an unbeaten feel good factor!
This year we hope to make The Big Sing even bigger and better, and invite you to join us in the City Hall and be part of the experience. You don’t need to be able to sing, it’s simply about lending your voice and experiencing first-hand the enjoyment and sense of community that lies at the heart of choral singing.
In just 45 minutes, accomplished composer and conductor John O’ Brien will teach the opening Chorus from this year’s Festival Opening Gala Concert Carmina Burana to the attending crowd, supported by some of our national choirs. This famed choral work is performed regularly around the world, and features frequently in movies, television programmes and commercials.
The Big Sing is open to everyone and admission is free. Music and lyrics will be handed out on the day, and there’s no preparation necessary – just sing from, and for, the heart!
John O’Brien is a conductor, director and composer based in Cork.
He was a scholarship student at the Schola Cantorum, St. Finian’s College, Mullingar. He then completed a first honours Bachelor of Music degree, followed by a Master of Arts degree in Conducting at the Cork School of Music. For many years, John also attended the Canford Summer School for Conducting with George Hurst .
Recent work includes: directing and musical direction Kiss of the Spider Woman – Half Moon/Cork Opera House; Orpheus – Everyman Theatre; musical direction and arranging Maria de Buenos Aires – Cork Opera House; musical direction Spindle – Big House Festival; conducting, co-directing and arranging Pagliacci at the Everyman (winner Best Opera Production Irish Times Theatre Awards); directing and designing the set for the acclaimed production of Dido & Aeneas at the Cork Opera House which toured across Ireland; directing the dance film Inner Landscapes, musical direction for the premieres of two modern operas Thamyrus and Time for Earthenware at the Ashmolean Museum in Oxford; creating the Voice Effect choir which performed with the RTÉ Concert orchestra at the recent Steve Reich festival in Cork; and writing the music for the feature film Tree Keeper.
Other recent projects include conducting and designing Sweeney Todd at the Everyman and Cork Opera House; a tour as conductor of contemporary Irish choral music with ArtLifeCulture to Pecs, Hungary and to the world EXPO in Shanghai, China; working as musical director and pianist on Side by Side by Sondheim at the Everyman; conducting West Side Story, directing and conducting Candide (both at Cork Opera House); The Magic Flute (Cork Opera House and regional tour); and completing an Irish national tour as director and pianist on The Nina in Me.