For 120 years the Culwick has maintained an unbroken tradition of music-making in Dublin. The skill and musicianship of the succession of conductors of the Culwick has been crucial to its success and, from Dr James Culwick onwards, the Society has been most fortunate in being led by musicians who could lead a large group of amateur singers to a professional standard of performance. The present Musical Director, Bernie Sherlock, follows a long line of distinguished conductors.
With over 80 members drawn from all over Dublin and surrounding counties, we rehearse every Thursday between September and June in Wesley House, Leeson Park, Dublin 6.
A major choral performance each Spring and a concert of seasonal music at Christmas are standard features of our busy season. Between 1990 and 2012, a performance of Handel’s Messiah for charity in St. Patrick’s Cathedral each winter became an established feature of the Dublin musical calendar.
In addition to these activities the Choir has also been involved in several events with other choirs, notably Haydn’s Creation (1998), Verdi’s Requiem (1999), McAuliffe’s Return to Old Ireland (2000) and Dvorak’s Stabat Mater and Walton’s Belshazzar’s Feast (2004).
The Society has over the years performed most of the major choral works and has been involved in many Irish premières, including Fanshawe’s African Sanctus, Bernstein’s Chichester Psalms, the Missa Pro Victoria by Tomás Luis de Victoria and Return to Old Ireland by the modern Irish composer, Mary McAuliffe and in 2016 is delighted to premiere Roxanna Panufnik’s Westminster Mass.
We have recorded two CDs of our performances: Hallelujah! Highlights from Handel’s Messiah recorded in St Patrick’s Cathedral, Dublin, 10 & 11 December 1997; and Brahms’ Ein Deutsches Requiem (A German Requiem), Op.45, recorded at the National Concert Hall, Dublin, 21 May 2005.
In 2005, we were honoured by the Vocal Heritage Association of Ireland at a concert/ceremony in the Bank of Ireland Arts Centre where the choir was privileged to receive the ‘Santa Cecilia Choral Award 2005’, a tribute to its founder, Dr. James C. Culwick and to the choir’s contribution to the cultural and civil life in Dublin since its founding in 1898.
In September 2006, the Culwick was chosen as the Ryder Cup Choir to participate in the opening and closing ceremonies of the celebrated golfing tournament at the K-Club in Co. Kildare and this year many of our members participated in A Nation’s Voice, a 1000-voices strong choir to commemorate the 1916 Easter Rising.