Limerick Choral Festival
Friday 3rd - Sunday 5th March 2023
Mr. Peter Stobart is the Director of Music of St Fin Barre's Cathedral, Cork, Republic of Ireland, having taken up the post in October 2015. He is also Director of the Diocesan Church Music Scheme in Cork, Cloyne and Ross, and the Education and Events Officer for the Royal School of Church Music, Ireland Committee.He is also a Bronze and Silver Awards Examiner for the RSCM.
Since arriving in Ireland Peter has established a strong link between the cathedral and schools in the diocese, with the aim of securing the future of sacred choral singing. The Cathedral Choir boasts 30 children in its top line, divided up into girls and boys.
The cathedral now holds an annual Schools Singing Workshop, at least two Come and Sing Events per year, and annual training days for parish organists and choral conductors. The cathedral organ was recorded by Priory Records in April 2017 and the CD is now available from their website.
The Cathedral Choir appeared on RTÉ television in October 2017, broadcasting a one hour service including a Bach Cantata, for the 500th anniversary of the Reformation. They produced a CD of Christmas Carols in November 2017 and they toured Wales in Easter 2018.
Originating from Yorkshire, Peter has spent the last eight years forging his musical career in London. He studied choral conducting for two years at the Royal Academy of Music with Patrick Russill and Paul Brough. He was the winner of the Alan Kirby prize for choir training 2007/8 and the Thomas Armstrong Prize for Choral Conducting 2008/9 and took part in masterclasses with David Hill and the BBC Singers.
Peter began his career working as the organ scholar of Liverpool Metropolitan Cathedral and as the organ scholar at the College of St. Hild and St. Bede, University of Durham for three years. It was here that he read a degree in music and also directed the Durham University Chamber Choir. After graduating, he sang as a Lay Clerk in Peterborough Cathedral choir and he conducted the chamber choir St. Peter’s Singers, and the Peterborough Children’s Choir.
Whilst he lived in London he was the Head of Co-Curricular Music at St Dunstan’s College, Catford, he directed the Southampton University Chamber Choir, the Hogarth Singers, the A Cappella Singers of Weybridge, and the vocal chamber group Novem Altare. He was also Director of Music and Organist at Christ Church, East Sheen.
He is primarily a choral specialist and voice trainer who has led workshops and choral days with singers of all ages. He has run ‘Come and Sing’ events on Handel’s Messiah and Mozart’s Requiem and has curated a series of Bach’s Cantatas and Passions and Handel’s Chandos Anthems. He has a particularly enthusiasm for Baroque music and uses period instrument ensembles regularly.
As a Tenor, Peter has recently sung solo roles in performances of Handel’s Messiah, Bach’s St John Passion and Magnificat, Mendelssohn’s Elijah, Mozart’s Requiem, Monteverdi’s 1610 Vespers and Orff’s Carmina Burana. He has also been a regular deputy singer at Westminster Abbey.
In 2014 Peter became the Artistic Director for the Voices of Hangzhou Youth Choir based in a large city near Shanghai. He ran a summer school there during July and August 2014 for fifty children aged 8 to 16 and performed on Chinese National Day. He ran a similar course in August 2015, and the concert was broadcast on Chinese National Television as part of the 70th Anniversary celebrations for the end of World War II.
Dr. Orla Flanagan completed her undergraduate degree in music at Trinity College, Dublin. She received an Advanced Diploma in Choral Conducting, Solfege and Pedagogy from the Zoltán Kodály Institute of Music, Hungary, where she studied conducting with Péter Erdei, and was awarded the degree of Doctor of Music in Performance (Choral Conducting) from the Royal Irish Academy of Music in 2012. Orla has also participated in conducting courses and masterclasses throughout Europe with Gary Graden, Carlo Pavese, Anders Eby, Celso Antunes and George Hurst. Orla's mixed-voice choir, The Mornington Singers, has been awarded numerous prizes throughout Ireland and abroad.
In 2006, 2011 and 2014 Orla gained the International Jury Award (the MacCurtain and McSwiney Trophy) to a conductor at the Fleischmann International Trophy Competition, and in April 2009 she was awarded a special prize for the interpretation of the compulsory Slovenian work at the 10th International Choral Competition, Maribor, Slovenia. Under Orla's direction, the choir has recorded three CDs: Solas (2008), Water Night (2010) and Noel (2013).
Orla is in demand as an adjudicator at Irish choral festivals, most recently in Arklow, Cork, Derry, New Ross and Waterford. She directed Milltown Chamber Choir, a nine-voice professional vocal ensemble based in Milltown Church, Dublin, from 2006-2011, and has recorded and performed as a guest conductor with the National Chamber Choir of Ireland, including the Spring Tour 2011 and a trip to Washington DC in March 2011. She has toured as a conductor in the USA, Canada, Italy, Slovenia, Hungary and Estonia. Orla has lectured at TCD Department of Music since 2002.