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Setanta Sings in Carnegie Hall

The Trip of a Lifetime

The Trip of Lifetime. Setanta sing in Carnegie Hall! Setanta recently returned from a very successful trip to New York were they took part in a performance of ‘The Peacemakers’ in Carnegie Hall. At the end of May 2014 an email from Distinguished Concerts International New York City (DCINY) was received announcing that Ms. Una Murphy and Setanta Choir had been invited to participate in a performance of Karl Jenkins’ The Peacemakers on the DCINY Concert Series in New York.

This performance would be at Carnegie Hall on Monday, January 19, 2015 as part of Martin Luther King Day Celebrations. We would join with other choristers from around the world to form the Distinguished Concerts Singers International, Dr. Karl Jenkins would be present as composer-in-residence with DCINY’s Artistic Director and Principal Conductor Jonathan Griffih as conductor of the performance and clinician for the residency.

Could this be true?

Yes, it was! Setanta had performed this work the previous May in St. Joseph’s Redemptorists Church Dundalk to a full house and were only waiting for another opportunity to perform it again. We were thrilled to have been invited to perform, so, after a lot of discussion and juggling of finances etc. the decision was made that we would make the trip.

Setanta Members outside Carnegie Hall

How do you get to Carnigie Hall??

On January 15th 2014 a group of 20 singers and 10 ‘groupies’ headed to the ‘Big Apple’.

It was a very busy few days with various functions, receptions, rehearsals and of course the performance itself. A visit to the Irish Consulate on Friday afternoon turned out to be a very special occasion indeed. We were very well looked after and it was lovely to meet the Deputy Consul General Anna McGillicuddy and her staff.

Setanta at the Irish Consulate NYC

Setanta Entertain at the Irish Consulate, NYC

Performing The Peacemakers

Setanta perform at Carnegie Hall, NYC

A lot of time was also of course spent in rehearsal with Jonathan Griffith. Jonathan is an acclaimed conductor, educator and lecturer and has led performances across North America, South America, Europe, and Asia.

He is co-founder and artistic director of DCINY and was recently awarded The American Prize in Conducting. We were all hugely impressed with him.

Jonathan Griffith conducts orchestra and choir

Jonathan is so clear in his instruction, his rehearsal techniques were inspiring, showing great respect for everyone and even though we were part of a large choir we all felt we had an important role to play.

Following several intensive rehearsals that lasted for 3 hours at a time, yet seemed like only minutes, we eagerly looked forward to the performance.


Carnegie Hall, the most famous concert venue in the world, and we were there!

The performance took place in the beautiful Stern Auditorium and the excitement mounted as we waited to take our place on the world famous stage.

Standing there looking down into the auditorium was like a dream….and then, we noticed our fellow travellers waving furiously from their seats in the auditorium to get our attention and we realised we had a job to do, one that would make us all proud.

Maestro Jonathan Griffith took to the podium settled his charges and led us through the piece. Before we knew it, it was all over. The ovation was long, loud, and enthusiastic.

Mr. Jenkins took to the stage and modestly bowed while saluting all the performers. It was an exceptional evening of music and we were thrilled to have been there.

Was it worth it, absolutely.

Karl Jenkins at Carnegie Hall
Karl Jenkins, Composer of ‘The Peacemakers’ takes a bow