A group of 19 members of the choir, accompanied by a number of partners and led by guest conductor David Leigh, made a very enjoyable and sociable visit to northern Germany from July 9-18, 2022. The focus of the trip was a visit to Loccum Abbey in Lower Saxony, where Corinna and Joachim Diestelkamp, former members of the choir and previously joint pastors in St. Finian’s Lutheran Church, Dublin, are now pastors. They have instigated an annual performance in the abbey church each summer of a Bach cantata as part of the morning service and we were delighted to be invited by them to take part in the performance this year, which took place on Sunday morning July 17th.
After flying to Hamburg, we stayed in Zarpen, near Lübeck, in Stade, an historic Hanseatic town near Hamburg and finally in Loccum. In addition to singing the Bach cantata in Loccum, we also gave concerts of our own to welcoming and appreciative audiences in the churches at Hamberge (near Lübeck), Gnarrenburg (near Bremen), Groß Berkel (near Hamelin) and ending with a concert in Loccum Abbey church on Sunday evening July 17. We also sang during the morning service in Zarpen church on July 10 and after the midday prayer service in St.Michael’s church (the Michel) in Hamburg on July 12, as well as taking in some sightseeing and leisure time in Lübeck, Hamelin, Stade and Hamburg.
To see photos of our trip and videos of some of our performances there, go to goethechoir.ie/gallery.
Corinna and Joachim Diestelkamp are returning to Ireland for a visit later this month with a party of travellers from Germany and will be at St. Finian’s Lutheran church in Adelaide Road in Dublin for the morning service at 11am on Sunday August 14th. Members of the Goethe Choir are delighted to be able to welcome them to Dublin by joining the service to sing some of the pieces that we recently performed in Germany.
The Goethe Choir is delighted and honoured to be taking part in an evening of music in aid of Ukraine, being held in St. Finian’s Lutheran Church, 24 Adelaide Road, Dublin 2 at 7pm on Thursday 12 May. We will be performing a number of works from our recent concert in Christ Church cathedral in Dublin, as well as some additional pieces. The concert will also feature Cuore Chamber Choir along with other performers. All donations received will go to the United Nations Refugee Agency (UNHCR).
Following our resumption of normal rehearsals earlier in the year the Goethe Choir is delighted to announce a return to the Dublin concert scene after an absence of over two years with our Spring Concert for 2022, which will be taking place at 8pm on Sunday 24th April in Christ Church cathedral in Dublin. The programme will consist of a range of choral and instrumental works by composers including Bach, Eccard, Fauré and Telemann, ending in a performance of the final chorus from Bach’s glorious B minor mass – ‘Dona Nobis Pacem’ – which gives our concert its very appropriate title.
Tickets cost €20 (€15 for students and unwaged) and may be obtained via choir members or booked online via Eventbrite at https://bit.ly/3DbZneP. Tickets unsold in advance will be available for purchase at the door. Go to our website Events page for more information about the concert programme and about those taking part.
Following our recent recording of a Prayer for Ukraine (see our website blog entry for more info), three choir members – Werner Blau, David Denby and Geraldine Hynes – were invited in to the RTE Radio studios in Dublin to talk about the piece and the recording, as part of the Leap in Faith programme which was broadcast on Radio 1 on the evening of St. Patrick’s Day, March 17th.
If you’d like to hear the discussion, which is followed by our performance of the piece, go to https://www.rte.ie/radio/radio1/the-leap-of-faith/programmes/2022/0317/1287074-the-leap-of-faith-thursday-17-march-2022/. The item starts 33 minutes into the programme.
Like people all over the world, members of the Goethe Choir have been shocked and appalled by the brutal Russian invasion of Ukraine. During our rehearsal on 1st March, the members of the choir, directed by John Dexter, decided to learn and record Mykola Lysenko’s Prayer for Ukraine as a sign of solidarity with Ukrainian friends and colleagues, and all the Ukrainian people under siege in their own country. You can view a video of the recording here.
Please remember the suffering of the people of Ukraine when you listen to it and share with friends.
Many thanks to choir member Brian McIvor for producing the recording and the video.
Despite our disappointment in having to cancel rehearsals and our annual Christmas concert in early December due to the increasing Covid infection rates, some members of the Goethe Choir met on Sunday December 19th to sing a piece of seasonal music which was due to be sung by the choir in the cancelled concert, as it is in our Christmas concert every year – ‘Stille Nacht’ with verses in English, Irish and German.
The choir gathered in the open air on the steps of the 1937 Reading Room in Trinity College in Dublin, suitably attired for the December weather and wearing masks as a cautionary measure, which may have had an impact on the visual appearance of the choristers but in no way affected the clarity and quality of the singing. The performance can be seen and heard at https://youtu.be/qdMYGT9qtxA.
We hope to be able to perform again for an audience as soon as possible in 2022. In the meantime, happy Christmas from the Goethe Choir!
Nollaig shona! Nadolig llawen! Frohe Weihnachten!
After having to cancel our annual Christmas concert last year due to Covid19 restrictions, we’re delighted to be able to announce that we’ll be returning to the National Concert Hall in Dublin at 8pm on Monday December 6th this year for our Christmas concert. We will still be subject to restrictions in terms of physical separation of choir members during the concert and will be performing with organ and a number of individual instrumentalists instead of our usual orchestral accompaniment, but it will be great to be back singing to a live audience once again. We are now back in full rehearsals working hard in preparation for the concert.
The programme will consist of Part 1 of Bach’s Christmas Oratorio and a selection of other works by composers including Handel, Purcell and Fauré. For more details go to our Events page.
Tickets will be available for ordering online from 10am on Friday 12 November via the National Concert Hall website at www.nch.ie.
We are delighted and honoured to have again been invited to sing by the German Embassy on Remembrance Day – Sunday 14th of November – at the Glencree Centre for Peace and Reconciliation. The service is always very moving and the location of course very beautiful. Can’t wait!
Our 2020/21 season came to an end with our final rehearsal on Tuesday May 27th. It’s been a very strange year, as we’ve been unable to meet physically, but fortunately we have managed to keep active through weekly video rehearsals and Zoom sessions. A big vote of thanks must go to our musical director John Dexter for facilitating this by recording a series of rehearsal videos each week throughout the year for members to follow at home on Tuesday evenings. We are still unsure of the situation in September but we are hoping to be able to get together again in some form for our weekly rehearsals every Tuesday evening in the Lutherhaus, Adelaide Road, Dublin 2.
As a memento of our rehearsals in lockdown some of the choir members remotely recorded one of the pieces that we worked on over the last term, ‘Cantique de Jean Racine’ by Fauré. Each member recorded themselves at home, the individual recordings then being mixed with a keyboard accompaniment (played by John Dexter) and a solo cello (played by John’s son Patrick) to produce the composite performance. You can see and hear the result at https://youtu.be/ZPbH9ON_tCQ.
As the German Embassy in Dublin is not able to organise their traditional Christmas Concert this year, they have asked the European Embassies in Ireland for their favourite Christmas song, which they will post on their Facebook and Instagram sites during Advent.
As part of this project, the Goethe Choir has been asked to represent the German Embassy and in response to this request we have recorded the traditional German song ‘O Tannenbaum’. As we are currently unable to meet for rehearsal, choir members recorded themselves individually at home and the recordings were then mixed together for a composite video, conducted by our music director John Dexter.
The embassy will launch the project by posting our video together with a contribution from ambassador Deike Potzel on Sunday November 29th, the first Sunday in Advent. This will be followed in stages during Advent by posts of contributions from the embassies of Romania, Slovakia, Sweden, Hungary, Greece, Latvia, Denmark, Cyprus and Malta and from the European Commission Representation in Ireland. The final post will be on December 24th.
Posts will be published in the late afternoon and can be viewed at https://www.facebook.com/GermanEmbassyDublin/ and https://www.instagram.com/GermanEmbassyDublin/