Choir News



Our new Musical Director

Susan is a graduate of Trinity College of Music, London. Her career moved from performance and teaching to music therapy in 2005 when she graduated as a music therapist from Bristol University. This achievement followed a long held conviction about the healing properties of music making and listening.

Her choral experience is broad ranging and her musical interests eclectic. Growing up she gained musical training, in part, through singing with church choirs. As a student she sang with the London Choral Society and the BBC choral society. Susan also regularly performed professionally with smaller chamber ensembles. Her vocal journey led her into singing with an overtone choir, performing music for film and leading the chamber choir, Careless Vespers.

Conducting the premiere of The Embracing Universe at the Uillinn Arts Centre last year
Working as a music therapist at Coda Music Trust

Susan has worked with choirs in school and community settings and was actively involved in the ‘singing for the brain’ movement in collaboration with the Dorset NHS Speech and Language Therapy team. After arriving in West Cork Susan began leading a local church choir. She also founded the Project Choir and directed the world premier of a new oratorio by local composer Justin Grounds. She is hoping to continue Diana’s excellent work by promoting the West Cork Choral Singers in bringing great choral repertoire to West Cork.

on Heir Island

PS. Susan says that playing the harp is very much a hobby and that flute and piano accompaniment were her many studies.

Choir News

WCCS October Blog

West Cork Choral Singers in a time of Covid.

There have been times over the past few months when we would be forgiven for thinking that the world of choral singing was over. Following my appointment as the new Choral director in January this year we started working on a programme entitled ‘A breath of French air’ to include Faure’s gorgeous requiem and some other French delicacies. This was not to be as the choir, along with so many others, went into lockdown so that rehearsals and the programme went into a state akin to suspended animation.

As the summer advanced we felt the need to connect and to sing in spite of continued uncertainties and measures to control the spread of Covid. Zoom came to the rescue. Although it’s not designed for singing together it has allowed us to meet up and to work on some new repertoire with the intention of introducing a programme of a capella music to perform outdoors in 2021.

National Singing Week

We had the first taste of how this might be when Sing Ireland invited choirs across Ireland to contribute videos of themselves singing as part of National Sing Week. We only had a few days to produce something so I came up with the idea of creating a mini documentary. This involved creating backing tracks, collecting recordings and holding recording sessions in various locations across West Cork individually and in small groups. The tracks were mixed together and photographs taken. The result was a video slide show documentary and performance of a piece by William Byrd, Non Nobis Domine.

Members of the choir singing while socially distanced
WCCS members and friends during National Singing Week.

Click on the link above to see our efforts.

Best wishes

Susan Nares, Choral Director

KP andSN 3
Rita solo
Uwe & Noreen
Theresa 1
Sarah Doyle

Poem By Margaret Newcombe

The West Cork Singers just love to sing
Good four-part harmony is their thing
But now we must all stay at home on our own
And practice online or over the phone.
It isn't the same as the all-around sound
Which lifts our spirits and makes our hearts pours.
But we'll stick to the rules, keep washing our hands
And wonder what's happening to all the live bands.
One day the world will find out how to cope
With this virus, till then we live in hope
Of the day we can all cheer and say Hooray!
And joyfully get back to singing Fauré.

Concerts Past performances

In The Mood

On 1 December, the West Cork Choral Singers will perform a very special evening of music at their beloved Abbeystrewry Church in Skibbereen.

The evening will signal the end of an era for the choir, as Diana Llewellyn – the choir’s musical director since 1998 – will take her final bow.

Diana took charge of a fledgling choir twenty-one years ago and guided it to unimagined heights, including several notable ‘firsts’, an Irish premiére for The Armed Man in Schull in November 2008 plus partaking in the world premiére of Sing the Music is Given in Carnegie Hall, New York, in January 2018.

So, while this may be an evening of a little nostalgia, it will also be an evening of diverse and fun-filled music, an early invitation to get into the mood for the upcoming festive season.

Past performances

The Crucifixion


Group photo

Concerts Irish premiere Past performances

An Irish premiere


An Irish Blessing

Concerts Past performances

Unleashed: Christmas Concert

The West Cork Choral Singers’ Christmas concert was a festive potpourri, with the choir as a whole performing a seasonal repertoire. In addition, various choir members teamed up in smaller units to sing, play an instrument or read poetry. The variety of the ‘acts’ made for a lighthearted evening of entertainment, with the mulled wine and mince pies adding to the spirit of the evening and of the season.

Past performances

Christmas Concert, 2017

Your last chance to see the West Cork Choral Singers perform live – ‘Unleashed for Christmas’ – before they partake in the New York premiere of Sing! The Music was Given in Carnegie Hall on 15 January.

Past performances

The Creation

On Sunday 8 October 2017 at 8pm the West Cork Choral Singers will perform The Creation
by Haydn (Sung in English) in Abbeystrewry Church, Skibbereen – admission: €15

Director: Diana Llewellyn
Pianists: Annabel Adams & Antoinette Baker
Soprano: Deirdre Moynihan
Tenor: Ryan Morgan
Bass: Jeffrey Ledwidge

Tickets available from Thornhill Bros, Main Street, Skibbereen
Also available at the door