Q&A - National Children's Choir

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Q & A

National Children’s Choir
Cór Náisiúnta na nÓg

Questions and Answers

How do I get involved?
Email nationalchildrenschoir@gmail.com to request an affiliation form. The form should be completed and returned to the address on top of form together with payment by cheques/PO. We also accept online payments, details are on the form.

How much does it cost?
The affiliation fee is €6.00 per pupil. In addition you will need a vocal score and CD pack which costs €60.00. A piano score is also available but this is optional.

What is the affiliation fee spent on?
The affiliation fee of €6.00 per child goes towards the costs of insurance, copyright, orchestration, musical
directors’ fees, legal and accountancy charges, printing, postage and telephone charges, provision of
training for teachers etc. All affiliated children benefit from these services equally.
All concerts, including those in the National Concert Hall are financed by ticket sales.

Who can take part?
Affiliation is open to 4 th, 5 th and 6 th classes in Primary schools. You may affiliate one or two  class grades, but not three. (eg: 4 th and 5 th; 5 th and 6 th; 5 th only etc.) There is no upper limit to the numbers of pupils you may affiliate.

Can I affiliate my After School Choir?
No, the ethos of the National Children’s Choir, in accordance with the vision of its founder, the late Dr. Sean Creamer, every child from an affiliated class learns the repertoire. The repertoire may be taught to whole class groups only during their regular school day.  It is for every child, not just children who elect to join. This is the fundamental principle of the National Children’s Choir.

How many songs will we learn?
This year there are 15 songs from a variety of genres- church music, classical, popular, modern, Gaeilge etc. Moon River, Don’t stop me now (Queen), Panis Angelicus, Fill a Rún Ó, May We Never have to Say Goodbye (Shaun Davey, composed for the Special Olympics) are some of the songs selected for this year.

Do I have to teach both Sopranos and Altos?
Yes. It is essential that every school teaches both the soprano and alto part. In keeping with the ethos of the National Children's Choir, every child participating experiences singing as part of a full choir in their own school. Even if you have a small number, is recommended  that you teach both parts. (Teaching the Soprano 1 (descant) part is optional.

How often are group rehearsals?
Every school affiliated is allocated a rehearsal cluster group with up to 250 members. There are three cluster rehearsals, led by an Assistant Musical Director during the year. Where possible, one of these rehearsals will be conducted by one of our three Musical Directors, Órla Gillan, Anne Purcell and Mairéad Déiseach. Rehearsal 1 is during the week beginning 14 th November, and the other two are in the second term.

Where are group rehearsals held?
Rehearsals are usually held in schools. What works best is if several schools in a cluster can offer their hall, this means that you will host one rehearsal and travel to two, to cut down on the transport costs.

Where do we perform?
Each area will have its own Regional Concert, organised by a local committee. In Dublin these concerts are held in the National Basketball Arena, other venues are listed on our website. Every child who learns the repertoire will sing in the Regional Concert. Each school will then send a small representative  group of children to sing in the National Concert Hall at the end of May.

Who sings in the National Concert Hall?
Each school may send10% of their Sopranos and 10% of their Altos. The National Organiser will notify each school of the number of allocated places  before the end of April. NB Schools who have elected to teach only  one part eg. Sopranos, will send  5% of that part. They may not send 10% of their choir.  Children selected to sing in the National Concert Hall must have excellent singing voices, must know all the words and music and be prepared to sing every song. The Parents/Guardians of the children selected for the National Concert Hall will be required to sign a media release form on behalf of their children.

I’m new to this, what supports do I have?
You will be allocated to a rehearsal group with other experienced teachers who will be more than willing to offer support and advice. Your area organiser will be your key contact here. Our Musical Directors may be contacted directly by email to answer musical queries, and the National Organiser nationalchildrenschoir@gmail.com is always on hand to help.

I’m not that confident about reading music.
Don’t worry, each vocal score comes with 4 CDs: Soprano, Alto, Performance, and Accompaniment.
The Musical Directors will arrange a refresher course for teachers wishing to learn/brush up on the repertoire in early October. This will take place on a Saturday in Dublin. Details will be emailed to all affiliated schools and will also be posted on the website.

Any other questions?
Send an email to nationalchildrenschoir@gmail.com enclosing your phone number and I’ll give you a call.

Pauline Lennon
National Organiser NCC

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