The choir's history

In September 2005, Hilary Reynolds formed the nucleus of what has now become The Orpheus Choir, an adult, mixed-voiced, community choir based in Fermoy with 20 members hailing from North and East Cork to West Waterford. It is an unaffiliated choir with a refreshing difference, specialising in the performance and promotion of the great repertoire of secular choral music of the 18th, 19th, 20th and 21st centuries. The Orpheus Choir was invited to sing its inaugural concert at the opening of the 2007th. North Cork Classical Music series and, since then, has given many successful concerts in Conna, Cappoquin, Castlelyons, Fermoy, Mitchelstown, Tallow, Youghal, Ballincollig, Kildorrery, Kilworth, Cobh and Watergrasshill. In 2010, The Orpheus Choir celebrated its fifth anniversary with a Gala Concert in St. Fin Barre's Cathedral, Cork City and, on entering, for the first time, into two choir competitions, won a third prize in the first, the Feis Maitiú in Cork City, and a first prize in the second in the Féile an tSamhraíd in Midleton, Co. Cork. The choir has also been invited for guest performances on a number of occasions; amongst others, for a concert given by the famous Cork-born soprano, Mary Hegarty and, in December, 2012, The Orpheus Choir took part in a Gala Variety Concert entitled 'The Palace, Past, Present and Future', in The Palace Theatre, Fermoy Community Youth Centre, Fermoy, Co. Cork, which was a fundraiser for a stairlift in the Centre, and it made a number of recordings which have been published on Youtube. In April of 2013, the choir, together with the female voice choir 'Cantabile Vocal Ensemble', gave a concert in Ballincollig and, in May, it entered for the first time into the Cork International Choral Festival. In 2014 the choir was invited to sing twice in February, made a 'flash-mob' appearance in Kilworth Art Centre in April, gave a Spring concert in St. George's Church, Mitchelstown and made another visit to the Cork International Choral Festival in May. 2015 saw the tenth anniversary of the choir, which was celebrated in grand style with an Opera Gala Concert in St. Fin Barre's Cathedral, Cork City, with the distinguished guest soloists, Caroline Holt, mezzo-soprano, just graduated from the Royal Irish Academy of Music and presently doing a post-graduate degree at the Royal Academy of Music in London, and Andrew Thomson, a celebrated Scottish baritone, as well as an exceptional pianist, Criostóir Ó Loingsigh, heralded Young Musician of the Year 2014. The proceeds of the concert went to the choir's chosen charity: Médecins sans Frontières/Doctors without Borders, and a representative from that great organisation honoured the event with an opening address. After this important milestone, the choir has gone on to participate in a Celebrity Concert for the Cope Foundation and give a Musical Evening in the iconic Heritage Centre in Cobh in 2016 and lately brought a very successful concert series in the spring of 2017 entitled 'On Wings of Song', together with special guests, the fabulous male-voice quartet, 'Vocavalry' and their new, Russian, choir accompanist, Galina Badmaeva.

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Hilary Reynolds - Musical Director

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