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‘Past and Present’: DIT Conservatory Gala Concert at National Concert Hall

Posted: 19 October, 2017

DIT Conservatory of Music and Drama celebrates three decades of the Bachelor of Music in Performance degree with a gala concert ‘Past and Present’ in the National Concert Hall on November 1st.

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Thirty years ago, a group of talented young musicians gathered in Chatham Row to begin their studies on the first Music Performance degree programme in Ireland, the DIT BMus. To mark its 30th anniversary, the DIT Conservatory will present ‘Past and Present’, a Gala Concert in the National Concert Hall, on 01 November, featuring graduates of the programme, including internationally acclaimed mezzo-soprano Paula Murrihy, along with 200 Conservatory staff and students. The Concert will celebrate the contribution graduates of the BMus have made to Irish and international music.

The exciting programme will be an opportunity for music lovers to enjoy performances by some of the many stars - and rising stars - in Irish classical and traditional music who have emerged from the DIT Conservatory over the last three decades. The artists will be introduced by eminent Conservatory graduate, Liz Nolan from RTÉ Lyric FM, and will include vocalists, instrumentalists and orchestra, performing both classics and exciting new compositions. 

Announcing details of the concert, Dr Orla McDonagh, Head of DIT Conservatory of Music and Drama, said, “We are hugely looking forward to this fabulous concert, when some of our star alumni will return home to perform with our current students in an extraordinary evening at the National Concert Hall. This will be a unique opportunity for Irish music-lovers to see what is truly possible when young Irish musicians can avail of a top class performance degree at home and then head out to live their dreams on famous stages at home and abroad.”

For example, Paula Murrihy is returning from Frankfurt to perform for the first time in Dublin since she made her Met debut in March 2017. Paula is Ireland's first operatic mezzo-soprano to debut at the Metropolitan Opera House (Met) in New York. Paula will perform two well-known duets with established soprano and Conservatory lecturer Sinead Campbell Wallace, ‘Flower Duet’ from Lakme by Delibes and ‘Barcarolle’ from Offenbach’s Tales of Hoffman, along with‘Chacun a son gout’ from Strauss’s Die Fledermaus. She will be accompanied by the DIT Symphony Orchestra conducted by renowned conductor and Conservatory graduate and lecturer, David Brophy.

The Chatham Saxophone Quartet, the prize-winning contemporary and jazz ensemble who formed in 2008 while studying in the Conservatory, will explore ‘Breathing through the eye of the needle’by eminent Northern Irish composer, Ian Wilson, in an innovative collaboration with Aimee Farrell Courtney on bodhrán. Italian guitarist, Marco Ramelli, a new addition to the Conservatory guitar faculty, will perform a composition by acclaimed Irish composer and DIT graduate David Fennessy.

Conservatory alumni will be joined on stage by close to 200 musicians from the Conservatory’s much-loved orchestra, harp, traditional music and choral ensembles performing a programme packed with classical, opera and Irish traditional favourites, including excerpts from Carmina Burana, Ode to Joy, Brahms, Massenet, Gershwin, and much more.

All proceeds from ticket sales will go towards the Conservatory Scholarship Fund, a new initiative which will be launched on the night with the goal of helping to support the future of young Irish performing artists.

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For more information or imagery, please contact:

Neil Murphy  |  083 875 6726  |


  • Featured Performers: Paula Murrihy (mezzo-soprano), Sinead Campbell Wallace (soprano), Chatham Saxophone Quartet, David Brophy (conductor), Dave Fennessy (composer), Orla McDonagh (piano), Kevin Hanafin (saxophone), Edward Holly (piano), David O’Doherty (violin), Tom Doorley (traditional flute), Conor O’Riordan (tuba), Amy Ni Fhearraigh (soprano), Aimee Farrell Courtney (bodhrán), Adam McDonagh (piano), Robbie Carroll (organ).
  • Featured Ensembles: DIT Choral Society, DIT Symphony Orchestra, DIT Wind Ensemble, DIT Brass Ensemble, DIT Harp Ensemble and DIT Irish Traditional Music Ensemble. 
  • DIT Conservatory of Music and Drama is a conservatoire centre of excellence for education in the performing arts. We offer high quality, performance-based study programmes in music from age 3 through to doctoral study, an undergraduate programme in drama performance, and courses for adults. We cover the broadest range of performing arts disciplines in Ireland with degree programmes in classical and Irish traditional music, composition, musicology, music education, jazz, opera, drama and (in association with partner colleges) rock and pop music, and film scoring. Our graduates go on to make successful careers and significant contributions in the performing arts and cultural industries, in Ireland and beyond. 

‘Past and Present’ 30th Anniversary Concert

Wednesday, 1st November 2017, 8pm

National Concert Hall

Tickets: €20