Membership information/auditions

Thank you for your interest in joining Cantóirí Choir.

Cantóirí is an amateur, mixed-voice adult choir. We sing unaccompanied short pieces, in 4-8 part arrangements and aim for a varied and eclectic repertoire. Our Musical Director, since 2006, is Ben Barnes, a talented musician, singer and conductor.

The Choir’s Usual Activities & Repertoire

Monday night is Cantóirí night and members are expected to attend rehearsals each week in term-time (Sept-June), 19:15-21:30. There are no rehearsals on Bank Holidays and we take a few weeks off over Christmas.

In a normal year, the choir sings 2-3 concerts (a mixture of free, charity & ticketed) and takes part in 1-2 weekend choral festival competitions somewhere in Ireland. We also organise occasional vocal workshops & social events (e.g. Christmas party, end of year BBQ). The work of running the choir falls to a voluntary committee of members, elected at AGM each June.

In terms of repertoire, we usually have a mixture of renaissance/classical songs, folk songs from different countries (sung in their original language), modern choral compositions and pop songs on the go. A full repertoire is about 15-20 songs, worked on throughout the year, with the aim of achieving performance standard. A folder of sheet music is provided to each member and we go through and learn pieces together at rehearsals. A small amount of individual practice during the week (1-2 hours) is recommended and expected. Line recordings are not routinely provided, but for more difficult pieces, Ben will circulate these. Members within each section also support each other by sharing learning resources and meeting occasionally for sectional practices outside of the main rehearsal. We sing off by heart in concerts and competitions. Christmas is an exception – we always use folders then.

Joining a choir is much more like joining a team, than attending a class. Every person (and their voice!) is necessary and important. We ask that each member does their best to make all rehearsals and events.


All potential new Cantóirí members are asked to undertake an audition. Auditions are held in September and January each year. The next audition night will be Mon 9th September 2024, in pre-booked 15 min slots from 19:15 on. The auditions will take place at our usual rehearsal venue: Wesley House, Leeson Park, Ranelagh, D06 N5P0.

If you are interested, please e-mail to book in for an audition.

Our auditions are short and we try to put people at ease. A member of the choir committee will meet and welcome you and ask for your name and contact details. Then they’ll introduce you to Ben, our Director. Ben will ask you to sing a verse or two of a song. Choose any song you enjoy singing and that suits your voice. It’s fine to refer to lyrics or music and Ben will happily give you a starting note. Then Ben will also ask you to do a quick ear test i.e. to sing back a short phrase after he plays it, and he’ll check your range: how high and low you can sing.

Because Cantóirí is a mixed SATB choir, Ben has to consider part balance. He can’t always offer places to everyone who auditions, but we will be in touch by text or e-mail as soon as possible after audition to let you know, one way or another.

Spring-Summer Term Jan – Jun 2024

This term, we’re focusing on learning new pieces, brushing up on songs carried over from before Christmas (help will be available for new members to catch up on these) and preparing for upcoming concerts and competitions. Events planned for the term include: vocal workshop, Navan Choral Festival Competition, Joint-Concert with a visiting French Choir, Member Rehearsal Garden Party & End-of-Term Outdoor Singing Event.

Membership Fees

The choir’s costs are covered through subscriptions contributed by members each term. These costs include: rehearsal venue rental, Musical Director’s fees, insurance, purchase of music, competition entry fees and photocopying.

The year is split into two terms Sept-Jan and Feb-June. The fee per term is €170 (with a reduced rate of €140 available). New members joining can attend rehearsals free of charge up until the end of Sept/Jan,  thereby having a few weeks to sample the choir and confirm their commitment to joining before paying fees. Fees can be paid in cash to the committee treasurer, or by bank transfer to the Cantóirí account (BIC & IBAN will be emailed around to members before each due date).

Any Other Questions?

Feel free to e-mail or to phone Eilín (committee member) on: 0863173669.