From a’capella to world to sacred music, Limerick Choral Festival

A'capella with Ardhú Vocal Ensemble

A STRING of city churches will thrill to the sound of choral composition for the weekend of Friday March 2 into Sunday 4, with choirs travelling from Mayo, Offaly, Kilkenny, Dublin, Cork, Galway and Kilkenny. From Wisconsin alone in the US, some 80 choristers will fly into perform with the 40 or so groups whose performances range from contemporary to gospel to early music and sacred.

Naturally a musical city such as Limerick is up for the big sing and organiser Dr Michael O’Brien lists the local choirs taking part: Limerick Educate Together NS Choir, Thomond Primary School Choir, Crecora N.S. Choir, Limerick Gospel Choir, and Sacred Heart Church Choir.


This year’s adjudicators are Blánaid Murphy from the Pro-Cathedral in Dublin and our own Máire Keary-Scanlon.

The public highlight away from the competitive content is Friday 2’s opening number at St Mary’s Cathedral, 8pm in concert.

“The a’cappella group Ardú Vocal Ensemble from Dublin, under the direction of Ciarán Kelly, will be joined by Limerick Chamber Choir and director Máire Keary-Scanlon to give an unmissable performance of sacred and secular choral music,” says Michael, himself an organist and cantor at St John’s Cathedral. “Another significant event will be the closing concert in Sacred Heart Church, The Crescent on Sunday March 4 at 5pm when the 80-strong Hudson High School Choir from Wisconsin will give a joint performance with the Limerick Youth Choir, directed by Máire Keary-Scanlon.

“There will also be several organ pieces performed by guest Bernadette Kiely. This promises to be a wonderful evening sacred polyphony and organ masterworks.”

Free in but donations are welcome. Book for other events at and tickets at the door.