Choral Scholars Initiative

St Philips

St Philip’s Church and grounds

The Sandford and St Philip’s Choral Scholars scheme was established in January 2016 to provide music students of secondary-school age with an opportunity to participate in liturgical choral singing at a high level, supported by tuition in singing and music theory. As well as providing a unique educational opportunity, the Choral Scholars enrich the musical and liturgical life of the parish, and so build upon our strong musical traditions.

Since the scheme was established, the Choral Scholars have sung at a number of services and events. They have sung the office of Choral Evensong on several occasions, and also led the singing at the parish confirmation service, the St Patrick’s Day service of Holy Communion, singing music as Gaeilge by Seán Ó Riada, as well as joining with the parish choir for a special service to commemorate the 190th anniversary of Sandford Church. They also recently appeared as special guest performers in a concert at Sandford Church with the Ranelagh Singers, and performed at a fundraising event for the charity Aware.

The scheme is open to boys and girls from age twelve upwards. The current membership ranges in age from first year of secondary school up to third-level students. Choral Scholars sing frequently at Sunday services in Sandford and St Philip’s, at Choral Compline in Sandford Church, and at other events in the parish and elsewhere.

Rehearsals and tuition take place in Sandford Church every Wednesday between 6.10pm and 7.50pm.

The Choral Scholars are directed by David O’Shea, Organist and Choir Director at Sandford and St Philip’s. David holds a master’s degree in Choral Studies from the University of Cambridge, and has a wide range of experience as a choir director. Singing and theory lessons are provided by Dr Rachel Talbot, who has 20 years of experience as a singing teacher and is tutor to the choristers of St Patrick’s Cathedral.

If you or your son/daughter is interested, please contact David O’Shea ( for further details or to arrange a meeting.

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