An Irish Christmas at Kylemore

Travel to Kylemore Abbey in Ireland — virtually — for some Christmas cheer with readings, performances, and recipes. This lecture celebrates the Yuletide by showcasing choral choirs, art textile and painting, fiction, and a Victorian Christmas at Kylemore.
Jun 21, 2024

Top 10 Learning Moments

  1. The joy we see in the audience is the reason for doing our job. It’s an amazing thing to be able to share such great music, to be able to bring carols old and new, and, for the students, to have that experience of presenting something special for an audience every single year. – Desmond Earley
  2. Working with living composers allows a musician to journey to something new and ensures that one is always open to the gift of a new musical perspective.
  3. Creating music is more than writing lyrics and harmonies, it is about infusing meaning for both the listener and the performer.
  4. Christmas music provides a unique opportunity because of the Nativity and redemption imagery that can be employed and the importance that it holds for its listeners.
  5. Fairy tales don’t have to communicate conformity to one happily ever after, the dialogue can be expanded to encourage us to seek the ending that we choose.
  6. We all have different viewpoints on a story, displaying how complex and multi-layered they can be, offering different meanings to each reader.
  7. It’s about looking at something and respecting the fact that it has stood the test of time and thinking about how I can engage with this wonderful thing and how can I add to this conversation. — Betsy Cornwell
  8. Classic stories are important to the rhythm of human life because they reflect the human experience that we all share.
  9. Jazz is emerging as a sacred form of song and can be used to foster a deeper relationship with God.
  10. Ancient Gregorian Chant is a treasured, sacred art form, but adding new melodies allows for a new perspective on them and the creation of a new sound.

Interested in learning more?

This series is hosted by ThinkND, the University of Notre Dame’s online learning community that connects you with videos, podcasts, articles, courses, and other resources to inspire minds and spark conversations on everything from faith and politics to science, technology, and your career.

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Featured Speakers

Desmond Earley, Artistic Director of the Choral Scholars, University College Dublin

Ivo Antognini, Composer, Choral Scholars

Lisa Caulfield, Director of the Notre Dame Global Center at Kylemore Abbey, University of Notre Dame

Betsy Cornwell ’12 M.F.A., NYT Bestselling Author

Mark Doerries, Director of the Notre Dame Children’s Choir and Director of Graduate Studies for Sacred Music, University of Notre Dame

J.J. Wright, Jazz Pianist and the Director of the Notre Dame Folk Choir, University of Notre Dame

“The joy we see in the audience is the reason for doing our job. It’s an amazing thing to be able to share such great music, to be able to bring carols old and new, and, for the students, to have that experience of presenting something special for an audience every single year.”

– Desmond Earley

Watch Series Extras

Festive Recipes

Enjoy three cozy Christmas drink recipes and decadent holiday cooking videos straight from the Kylemore Global Centre’s kitchen with Chef David Harrison!

Follow along to learn how to make <a href="https://think.nd.edu/wp-content/uploads/2020/11/Chef-Davids-Christmas-Pudding.pdf">Christmas Pudding</a> and enjoy it with a <a href="https://think.nd.edu/wp-content/uploads/2020/11/week-1-drink-recipe.pdf">Hot Spiced Apple & Gin Drink</a>.

Follow along to learn how to make Christmas Pudding and enjoy it with a Hot Spiced Apple & Gin Drink.

Follow along the video below to learn how to make <a href="https://think.nd.edu/wp-content/uploads/2020/11/Chef-Davids-Sticky-Toffee-Pudding.pdf">Sticky Toffee Pudding</a> and <a href="https://think.nd.edu/wp-content/uploads/2020/11/week-2-drink-recipe.pdf">Mulled Wine</a>.

Follow along the video below to learn how to make Sticky Toffee Pudding and Mulled Wine.

Check out Chef David’s Chocolate <a href="https://think.nd.edu/wp-content/uploads/2020/11/Chef-Davids-Chocolate-Fondant.pdf">Fondant</a> and <a href="https://think.nd.edu/wp-content/uploads/2020/11/week-3-Chef-Davids-Eggnog.pdf">Eggnog</a>.

Check out Chef David’s Chocolate Fondant and Eggnog.

“Be All Merry”: A Collaborative Christmas Album

Artistic Director of the Choral Scholars of University College Dublin, Dr. Desmond Earley will be joined by Swiss composer Ivo Antognini to discuss their recent collaborative projects. Choral Scholars and Earley recently released their third album titled “Be All Merry” on the Signum Classics label. Recorded days before the lockdown in March 2020 when the outbreak of COVID-19 transformed the world as we know it, this album includes three new pieces written for the Choral Scholars as well as arrangements of traditional Irish, Scottish, and English carols and a number of American songs.

“O Emmanuel” by J.J. Wright ’14 M.S.M., ’17 D.M.A.

Below are tracks from the album, “O Emmanuel” by J.J. Wright ’14 M.S.M., ’17 D.M.A. and performed by the Notre Dame Children’s Choir. “O Emmanuel” is a jazz cantata for chamber orchestra, jazz trio (piano, bass, drums), children’s choir, and soloists. The work sets the O Antiphons, the final seven Magnificat antiphons of Advent, intertwining Gregorian chant, classical Advent carols, jazz music, aleatoric soundscapes, and adult and child soloists. “O Emmanuel” was commissioned by the Notre Dame Children’s Choir in 2015, and the recording debuted at #1 on the Billboards Chart of Traditional Classical Music in November of 2016 and remained there for more than seven weeks. The expansive composition fuses the historical sacred musical traditions of the Catholic Church with jazz, a musical idiom long believed to be outside the realm of sacred music.

Three Movements from “O Emmanuel”:

O Sapientia (arrangement of Gregorian chant)

O Sapientia (arrangement of Gregorian chant)

Radix (arrangement of Advent hymn “Lo, How a Rose Er Blooming”)

Radix (arrangement of Advent hymn “Lo, How a Rose Er Blooming”)

Oriens (jazz composition for choir and trio with improvisation)

Oriens (jazz composition for choir and trio with improvisation)

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