Kilcormac Cantata

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Artist: Vincent Kennedy
Title: Kilcormac Cantata
Location: Kilcormac Co.Offaly
Commissioner: Offaly County Council
Carried Out: February - Sept 2011
Commission Type:
Limited Competition - Offaly Per Cent for Art Panel


Musician and composer Vincent Kennedy worked with the community of Kilcormac to create an original musical work. With the help of facilitator Eleanor Lamb, local musicians and school children a score was composed and performed to the community. The score was entitled Kilcormac Cantata.

Contributors included: The Music Ensemble, Colaiste Naomh Cormac Grupa Ceoil, St Cormac's Choir, Scoil Mhuire agus Chormaic, St Kieran's National School, The Frankford Rockers. Liam Currums, Sean Craven, Jessica Brophy, Ann Egan (Poet), John Mahon, Anna Egan and Tony Dalzell (Poet).

Musicans: Adele O'Dwyer (Cello) Stephen O'Sullivan (Violin), Nicole O'Sullivan (Violin), Saffron O'Sullivan (Violin), Aisling Kennedy (Soprano), Karen Abe (Piano), Cormac Nolan (Singer), Noel Larkin (Guitar)


Kilcormac Cantata Press Articles

Kilcormac Cantata - shortlisted for Award

The community music project, the Kilcormac Cantata by Vincent Kennedy, the CD of which was recently launched by Minister for Arts, Jimmy Deenihan TD, has been shortlisted for an Allianz Business to Arts Award for Best Commissioning Practice. The project which took place in 2011, involved composer Vincent Kennedy working with the schools, local choirs, singing groups, poets and musicians towards a suite of music, which tells the story of Kilcormac from pre Christian times, folklore and hopes for the future.

The project, which was commissioned by Offaly County Council and who are shortlisted alongside the composer Vincent Kennedy, was funded through the per cent for art scheme. This means that Offaly County Council ‘commissioned’ Vincent Kennedy to undertake the project. Being one of 4 projects shortlisted nationally, it means that the council is being recognized for a high and innovative standard for the use of this fund in the community.

Speaking of the news, Cathaoirleach of Offaly County Council, Cllr. Peter Ormond said, “we are delighted to be shortlisted and for a project in small rural communities to be recognized on national level is significant. We know that this nomination would not have  been possible without Vincent Kennedy’s absolute dedication and expertise and for this we are extremely grateful.”

The Allianz Business to Arts Awards attract significant media coverage, including a dedicated Sunday Independent supplement on all the shortlist. The awards take place on September 4th in the Bord Gais Energy Theatre in Dublin, and they will be presented by the Minister for Arts, Heritage and the Gaeltacht, Jimmy Deenihan TD. The Kilcormac Cantata CD is available for free locally, in shops or a copy can be requested from the Arts Office on 057 9357400 or by email


THIS spring and summer an exciting community music project will take place in Kilcormac starting off with a FREE Concert by Rathfarnham Concert Band and Vincent Kennedy on Saturday Feb 26th at 8pm in St. Joseph's Community Centre.

Over the coming months, musician and composer Vincent Kennedy will work with the community of Kilcormac to create an original musical work, which will be rooted in the unique heritage of Kilcormac and its people. The expected outcome is a performance of a unique piece of music created by and with the people of Kilcormac, which will be also recorded on CD. Vincent Kennedy is being commissioned by Offaly County Council from a panel of artists who applied to be considered for projects like this across Offaly.

The project is being funded through the Dept of Environment Per Cent for Art scheme, which is a ring fenced budget arising out of capital works that Offaly County Council has undertaken in Kilcormac over the past few years. Offaly County Council are ensuring that funding available for this scheme is maximised for the benefit of the entire community.

There is great scope for participation right across the community from school children to talented musicians and singers within the community. Even if not involved in making music directly, community support is welcome to help with rehearsal space, catering, promoting the project and events.

All are welcome to the opening concert and an evening of uplifting music, and an opportunity to meet with Vincent Kennedy who will lead this exciting project over the coming months. Entry is free on the night. For more information contact 057 9357400

Kilcormac Music premier - building momentum

Rehearsals are in full swing for the world premier of "Kilcormac", the new musical composition by Vincent Kennedy in collaboration with the local community. Students from Broghal National School, Scoil Mhuire and Scoil Naomh Cormac as well as local choirs, singers and instrumentalists are all busy rehearsing elements of the musical composition, which is inspired by the stories, events, history and poetry of many facets of life in Kilcormac, past and present.

In addition Vincent has invited Offaly native Eleanor Lamb (pictured here) to work alongside him with the national school children making their own instruments and also using the enormous array of percussion instruments Eleanor has collected from all parts of the world. Under Eleanor's guidance the children are creating their own compositions and sound pictures for the performance inspired by the bog and local field names.

Also performing in Vincent Kennedy's Band for this world premiere is Matthew Manning (Oboe), Adele O'Dwyer (Cello), Oisín Kennedy (Percussion), Patrick Hughes (Saxophones), Niall O'Sullivan (Trumpets), Aisling Kennedy (Soprano), Cliona Warren (Bassoon), Karen Abe (Keyboards and Trumpet).

The great dual star Offaly GAA man Liam Currums (only man alive to win back to back All-Ireland medals in football and Hurling and also to receive All Stars in both Football and Hurling), a native of Kilcormac has also accepted Vincent's invitation to narrate the opening of Kilcormac.

The premier of "Kilcormac" will take place on Sunday Nov 27th at 4pm in the Church of the Nativity in Kilcormac, and earlier that day the piece will be recorded and put on CD as a lasting record for the community.