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Kevin O'Carroll Music - About Us

  About Us


Kevin O’Carroll comes from a very musical family in Waterford. His father, Fintan O’Carroll was a music teacher, violinist and internationally recognised church music composer. His mother, Josephine is a fine contralto and was a member of many local choirs. 
Of his five surviving siblings, one is a retired music teacher, one a violin/viola teacher, one a professional horn player, one a professional bassoon player and one is a fine amateur violinist – so no pressure to be a competent musician!
Kevin started his formal music education by attaining a scholarship to the renowned Schola Cantorum at St. Finian’s College, Mullingar. At St. Finian’s and under the guidance of Fr.Frank McNamara, he was trained as an organist and church musician. At that time, he also studied French Horn at the Royal Irish Academy of Music with Victor Malirsh - again by way of scholarship from the Irish Youth Orchestra. 
Having started a Music degree course in University College Dublin, he left after his second year without completing the degree. Those two years in Dublin were not wasted however, as it was in those two years that he was regularly employed as a deputy French Horn player with the RTE Concert Orchestra and the RTE Symphony Orchestra (now the National Symphony of Orchestra of Ireland).
Having left college, Kevin managed to get a “real” job – working for a bank, where he remained for almost thirty years. During that time, however, he was busy with his musical life freelancing as a French Horn player, in addition to working as conductor and musical director with choirs and musical societies. 
In 1981, following the death of his father, the previous incumbent, Kevin took over as Organist and Choirmaster at the Cathedral of the Most Holy Trinity, Waterford, a post he held from 1981 to 1996.
In 1982, Kevin conducted his first musical – Finian’s Rainbow with the Carnew Musical Society. He has always been grateful to Carnew for giving him his first break into the world of musical theatre. Invitations followed from many different societies including Enniscorthy Musical Society, New Ross Musical Society, Edmund Rice Choral and Musical Society, De La Salle Musical Society, De La Salle School Musical Society and also from musical societies in Scotland and Wales. He has received a number of AIMS awards for his work with musical societies.
Kevin has also gained a bit of a reputation for being the person to turn to in an emergency - especially where musical theatre is concerned! He has stepped in (literally) at the last minute to conduct several shows including Cabaret, Honk, Oklahoma and The Arcadians. These last three were all in international competitions, for which  he was nominated each time as best musical director!
In 1993, he began conducting the chamber choir Madrigallery. With this choir, he has won awards at most of the choir festivals in Ireland – Cork Choral Festival, Sligo Choral Festival, Navan Choral Festival, Arklow Music Festival, New Ross Choral Festival. The repertoire covered by this choir extends from Madrigals to Brahms and from Rutter to world premier performances by Eric Sweeney, Marion Ingoldsby, Greg Scanlon and Colin Mawby. An occasional composer himself, Kevin’s compositions have been broadcast on national radio in Ireland and on KOHM – the Texas equivalent of Lyric fm. Over the years, Kevin has conducted groups from many countries including Sweden, Denmark, Estonia, Australia, Taiwan and the USA. 
Since 2000, Kevin has been busy studying in order to increase his specialist knowledge.   In that time, he studied conducting with the internationally renowned conducting pedagogue and clinician, Dr. John Dickson at Texas Tech University, USA.   He has also worked with David Hill (King’s College, Cambridge), Tim Brown (Clare College, Cambridge) as well as the well-known British composer and conductor Bob Chilcott.  Having secured a Master of Music degree in 2008, Kevin is currently working on a PhD Arts Practice at the University of Limerick.  The topic of his research concerns the impact of modern music notation on the performance practice of Renaissance polyphony. 
Now recognised nationally as a choral specialist, Kevin no longer works for the bank but is in demand as a teacher and choral consultant for workshops and guest lectures. He has also been adjudicator for several choral competitions throughout Ireland including Kilkenny, Midleton, Arklow and the AIMS Choral Festival in New Ross in addition to the Irish Choir of the year in Navan and Cork Choral Festival. He is currently on the lecture and examination panel for the Post-Graduate Diploma in Choral Conducting at St. Patrick’s College, Drumcondra (DCU) and also lectures on conducting for the Diploma in Church Music at NUI Maynooth in addition to providing lectures for the University of Limerick on their BAVAD course.  He is also a member of the panel of Examiners at the Royal Irish Academy of Music. 
He has been Guest Director (2009) and Tutor for Special Choir (1995) at the Irish Church Music Association Summer School and in addition has lectured at the Irish Association of Choirs Summer School (2009, 2014). He has delivered a variety of workshops for the Association of Irish Musical Societies on a number of occasions.  He has been a Guest Clinician at the Cork Choral Festival since 2011.
In 2009 Kevin established a Waterford based series of orchestral concerts for primary schools with the newly formed Waterford Concert Orchestra. These concerts were a tremendous success with over 3,000 people attending the concerts over a four day period in June2010.  This series ran until 2014.  It is hoped that this series can be reinstituted once Kevin's current studies are completed.
2012 saw further developments with conducting consultant work on a flim being produced for BBC - Loving Miss Hatto.  March 2012 also saw Kevin conduct the RTECO for the first time.
2013 was another milestone in Kevin's varied career when his first book on choral conducting  Choral Conducting - A handbook for Irish Choir Trainers and Conductors was published.  This was alos the year he took up the position of Music Director at Wexford Festival Singers.
Kevin holds a Dip. ABRSM in Choral Conducting , a B.A. (Hons.) in Music and Business Management and a Master of Music degree in Choral Conducting performance.




September 2013

May 2008   

Commences PhD studies at University of Limerick

Master of Music Choral Conducting – Texas Tech University

December, 2005   B.A. Music and Business Management – The Open University


2010 Dése Den - Public competition for new businesses supported by Waterford City Enterprise Board, Waterford City Council, Eagle Dreams - web design, Price Waterhouse Coopers Accountants and Waterford Local Radio - WLRfm.
 2008  Bursary from National Arts Council of Ireland to study at Texas Tech.
January 2007 Diploma in Musical Direction (Choral Conducting) from The Associated Board of the Royal Schools of Music, London
July 2002  Professional Diploma in Management – The Open University
July 2004 Diploma in Music – The Open University
1974 - 1978 Scholarship to Royal Irish Academy of Music (French Horn)
1973 – 1978 Scholarship to Schola Cantorum (specialisation in Church music) from Irish Catholic Bishop’s Council







Part time Lecturer University of Limerick

Guest Lecturer Association of Irish Choirs Conducting Summer School

Part time lecturer in Choral Conducting NUI Maynooth

Appointed to the Board of Examiners for Royal Irish Academy of Music Local Centre Examinations.

2010 Examiner for Post Graduate Diploma in Choral Conducting, St Patrick’s College, Drumcondra, Dublin (DCU)
2010 Lecturer and post graduate supervisor for Post-Graduate Diploma in Choral Conducting, St Patrick’s College, Drumcondra, Dublin (DCU)
2009 August Guest Lecturer, Irish Association of Choirs, Conducting Summer School      
2009 July  Guest Director of Irish Church Music Association Summer School
2009 June Course Evaluator for new Church Music Diploma, Waterford Institute of Technology
2008 Guest conductor of Royal Irish Academy of Music Wind Band, National Concert Hall, Dublin
2002 – to date Musical Director of Waterford International Festival of Light Opera

Texas Tech University (TTU) School of Music, Lubbock, TX, Assistant Conductor, Texas Tech Madrigal Singers, Assistant Conductor Lubbock Chorale, Lubbock TX, Mentor to TTU post-graduates and seniors.  University lecturing covering illness at TTU.

2003 – 2005 Artistic Director of international choir festival Waterford Sings
2001 – 2003 Conductor of Waterford Summer Orchestra
2000 Guest lecturer for Association of Irish Musical Societies
1997 – 1999 Director of Waterford Choral Workshops
1997 to date Guest director for various Choral Workshops
1996 to date Conductor of chamber choir Madrigallery
1995  Guest Director of Special Choir for Irish Church Music Association
1993  Guest lecturer for Irish Association of Choirs
1981 French Horn tutor for Irish Youth Orchestra
1981 – 1996 Choir Director and Organist at Roman Catholic Cathedral, Waterford
1981 to date Conducting – beginner to Post Graduate
  French Horn – beginner to post Grade 8 ABRSM
  Piano – beginner to Grade 6 ABRSM
  Organ – beginner to Grade 6 ABRSM
  Music Theory -  beginner to Grade 5 ABRSM
Association of Irish Musical Societies Using the many voices within
Irish Association of Choirs Choir Management
Association of Irish Musical Societies Introduction to Musical Direction
Irish Association of Choirs The Benefits of Choir Voicing / Rehearsal Technique
Irish Church Music Association The Benefits of Choir Voicing
Irish Church Music Association Score Preparation/Preparation for success
DCU Diploma in Choral Conducting Score Preparation/Preparation for success
Irish Church Music Association The Effect of Gesture on Sound
DCU Diploma in Choral Conducting Non-Standard Notation in 20th Century Choral Music







Cork Choral Festival

Limerich Choral festival

 Cork Choral Festival

Arklow Music Festival

Arklow Music Festival, AIMS Choral Festival - New Ross, Féile an tSamhraidh - Midleton, Kilkenny Music Festival

2010 Kilkenny Music Festival
2009  Navan Choral Festival (including Irish Choir of the Year)
2009 Kilkenny Music Festival
2005 Kilkenny Music Festival
Director Waterford Choral Workshops Guest tutors: John Rutter, Nigel Perrin




De La Salle College Choir, Waterford

Cork Chamber Choir

Pfizerphonics, Cork

St. Mary's College, Derry 

St Finian's College Mullingar

Mullingar Choral Society

Castledermot Male Voice Choir

  Ulysses Choir, Dublin
  Unity Singers, Kilkenny
  Waterford Male Voice Choir






2012 December

2012 November

2012 September

2012 April

2012 March

2011 September


Magnificat - Pergolesi

Magnificat - Rutter

Mozart Spatzen Messe

Gershwin - Rhapsody in Blue (Finghin Collins)

Mozart Requiem

The Snowman - WCO

Classical Movie Classics - WCO

Masterpieces of Opera and Ballet - National Concert Hall, Dublin

Conducting consultant on BBC film Loving Miss Hatto

Conducting trial with RTECO.

Appointed conductor of The Glory Day Singers - a ladies choir based in Clonmel, Co. Tipperary.

2011 (April) Launch of Waterford Concert Orchestra
2011 (February) Launch of Choral Ensemble Vocalis
2010 (June) Founder, Promoter and Conductor of Schools Orchestral Series - an introduction to the orchestra for Primary Schools
2010 (May) Founder, Promoter and Conductor of the South East Choral Alliance - an alliance of three award winning choirs to perform symphonic works.
2010 (May) Guest Conductor - Dublin Symphony Orchestra
2010 (May) Dvorak: Te Deum, Brahms: Academic Festival Overture
2010  Mozart: Missa Brevis in C K220, Whitacre: Five Hebrew Songs
2009 Rutter:Requiem
2008 Cantloube: Songs of the Auvergne, Series I & II, Lubbock, TX  (A joint international project part facilitated by the Arts Council of Ireland)
2006  Charpentier: Messe de Minuit
2005  Karl Jenkins: The Armed Man
2003 to date Musical Director of Waterford International Festival of Light Opera.  Orchestra prepared for at least eight different shows per year since 2003. Shows include: West Side Story, Jesus Christ Superstar, Godspell, Les Miserables, Yeoman of the Guard, Pirates of Penzance, HMS Pinafore, Ruddigore, Oklahoma, A Little Night Music, Into the Woods, Guys and Dolls and many more
2001 – 2003

Conductor Waterford Summer Orchestra-  Wagner: Sigfried Idyll, Schumann: Symphony No.2, Mozart : Horn Concerto No. 2, Scanlon: Concertino Latino (World Premiere), Copeland: Billy the Kid, Shostakovich: A Festive Overture, Scanlon: A Waterford Overture (World Premiere), Holst: Brook Green Suite

1995 Guest Musical Director, St David’s Musical Society, Wales – Oklahoma
1993 to date Conductor of chamber choir Madrigallery.  Major works conducted - Vivaldi: In furore iustissimae irae, Vivaldi: Gloria, Mozart: Missa Brevis, Faurè: Requiem, Duruflè: Requiem, Jenkins: The Armed Man - A Mass for Peace. Bach: Brandenburg Concerto No.3
1992 Guest Musical Director, Pantheon Musical Society, Scotland – Honk!
1987 - 1990 Fiddler on the Roof, Brigadoon, A Funny Thing Happened on the Way to the Forum.
1986 Emergency conductor – De La Salle Musical Society – Cabaret
1984 - 1986 Musical Director Edmund Rice Choral and Musical Society, Waterford – Oklahoma, Fiddler on the Roof, The Arcadians, New Moon, Guys and Dolls
1993 Emergency conductor Edmund Rice Choral and Musical Society – Patience
1981 – 1983 Musical Director Carnew Musical Society – The Wizard of Oz, Finian’s Rainbow, Fiddler on the Roof
1981 – 1996  Waterford Cathedral Choir

PERFORMANCE (Non Conducting)



2012 October


 2012 September



Wexford Opera Festival (Horn) - A Village Romeo & Juliet - Delius

Tristan & Isolde (Horn) National Symphony Orchestra of Ireland -Grand Canal theatre, Dublin

Off Stage ensemble (Horn) Wexford Opera Festival

1982  Chorus member – The Desert Song – Edmund Rice Choral and Musical Society
1981  Go To – The Mikado, De La Salle Musical Society, Waterford
1980 The Pirate King – Pirates of Penzance, De La Salle Musical Society, Waterford
1979 – 1983 Deputy French Horn Player RTE Concert Orchestra
1979 – 1983  Deputy French Horn Player RTE Symphony Orchestra (Now known as the National Symphony Orchestra of Ireland)
1979 to date Freelance French Horn
2008 Subject-ed -SATB
2007 Anach Cuan – Bar solo, SATB with divisi
2006  Kyrie (after Rug Muire Mac do Dhia) a capella SSAATTBB
1986 Mass of the Resurrection – Choir & Organ
1984 A Simple Mass – Choir & Organ
2006-2008 Dr. John Dickson, Conducting Professor
1984-1985 Kathleen Tynan (Voice)
1974 – 1982 Victor Malir (Horn)
1974 – 1980  Rev. Frank McNamara (Organ)
1973 - 1980 Dorothy Horan , John Gibson, Mabel Swainson (Piano)






Choir Voicing Review :-

‘Having seen this technique in action, it was fascinating to observe the change in vocal tone and unity that it brought about in the choirs that Kevin worked with. The result was obvious for the singers themselves but even more so for the listener. Every choir would find this technique to be beneficial.’ -                     Dermot O'Callaghan CEO of Association of Irish Choirs

For an independant review on the book Choral Conducting click here.