Music Student Patrick Connolly wins silver medal for composition

Beginning for the End , by DkIT Composition Master's student Patrick Connolly has been hailed by the critics as a 'work of exceptional quality' and has won the Silver Medal in the Feis Ceoil composition awards 2012. Connolly has already distinguished himself by winning Ireland's premier choral composition honour, the Sean Ó Riada Prize, awarded by Cork choral Festival. A significant contribution was made to Patrick Connolly's achievement by DkIT's own orchestra in residence, the Fr McNally Chamber Orchestra. Orchestra leader Briege McGoldrick, praised Connolly's sympathetic writing for the string idiom.

Composition lecturers Siubhán Ó Dubhain and David Stalling also congratulated Patrick, who graduated with a BA Hons in Applied Music from DkIT in 2010. Siubhán remarked 'The medium of the string orchestra is especially important to Louth and the border areas, where a tradition of performance excellence, pioneered by Fr. Brendan McNally is now firmly rooted. With an orchestra of distinction and many brilliant solo practitioners there is a wonderful opportunity for composers to add a fresh new 21st century voice to the string repertoire. A good composer should know how to write for the resources available. Patrick has already proved himself to be a highly impressive choral composer, and we are very proud of his latest recognition by an important national body. '

The new composer laureate commented on his work. "Beginning for the End ' is written for a large string orchestra with the violins subdivided into three separate groups, along with the usual violas, cellos and double basses. The need for such a large ensemble is due to the rich chordal texture that is featured throughout much of the work, and it allows for additional subdivision. My initial inspiration for the work came from the rich, polyphonic choral music of early composers such as Gesualdo and Monteverdi and I thought it was a compositional device that would transfer well to string orchestra. The remainder of the material in the work can be traced back in some way to the opening idea, either in terms of texture, harmony or pitch material. The work was recently read through by members of the Fr Mc Nally Chamber Orchestra, the resident ensemble based in DkIT. This allowed me an opportunity to hear it in completion for the first time and to make small technical amendments at the player's suggestion, which proved invaluable."

Patrick is supervised by Dr. Eibhlis Farrell, Head of Music and Creative Media.