Irish Church Music Association Summer School concludes in Maynooth

9 Jul, 2016 | News

Up to 200 people attended the 47th annual Irish Church Music Association Summer School which concluded today, Saturday 9 July, in Saint Patrick’s College, Maynooth, Co Kildare.

The four day programme for this year’s school included a blend of contemporary and traditional choral pieces with emphasis on psalms, the sacraments, ritual and music for the liturgical year in schools. The workshops provided opportunities to develop the skills of cantors, organists and instrumentalists in addition to parish choirs and folk groups.

Of particular interest at this year’s Summer School were the workshops, one which focused on music for funerals, weddings and baptisms, and another which highlighted music for special occasions in parish life such as pilgrimages and reconciliation services.

Bishop Francis Duffy, Bishop of Armagh and Clonmacnois, presided and preached the homily at a celebration of the Eucharist on Thursday 7 July. In his homily Bishop Duffy focused on the theme of this year’s Summer School which was ‘God, Full of Mercy’.

This year’s guest director was Tony Alonso, one of the most prominent voices in contemporary liturgical music. His music reflects an understanding of the multicultural needs of the contemporary church as well as a commitment to strong ritual music. In addition to several published collections of liturgical music, Tony’s music appears in compilations and hymnals throughout the world. Tony has shared his musical gifts as well as his love and knowledge of liturgy at conferences and events across North America and Europe. He is also the published author of several books and articles related to liturgy and liturgical music.


Tony holds a Bachelor of Music degree in choral conducting from Northwestern University and a Master of Arts degree in theology from Loyola Marymount University. An emerging theologian, Tony is currently pursuing a PhD in the Graduate Division of Religion at Emory University in Atlanta, Georgia, where he is focusing on liturgical and ritual studies.

The musical director team at this year’s Summer School included Ian Callanan, Sharon Lyons, Father Paul Kenny, Ciaran Coll and Karen O’Donovan.

Young people attending the school this year had an opportunity to participate in the New Generation Youth Choir.

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