Being a member of UCD Choral Scholars was the highlight of my four years at UCD. It was the exactly perfect mixture of enjoyment and challenge: a fun and participative atmosphere backboned with a culture of hard work and achievement. I think of the brilliant musicians and people I encountered, and our collaborative musical achievements in tackling difficult works and winning competitions; sharing in effort and success is a catalyst for great friendships.
As a chemical engineering student whose life was packed with numbers and deadlines, UCD Choral Scholars provided a welcome counterpoint in my University life. It exposed me both to art, through the art music we sung; and to the artistic, in working with our lecturer (Desmond Earley), and other great musicians. And despite the significant time commitment, I believe it actually was a net positive towards my academic performance—often I’d be stuck on an assignment before rehearsal, only for it to seem easy and straightforward afterwards.
Since leaving UCD in May 2010, I’ve continued to sing (with New Dublin Voices), and also occasionally with the Choral Scholars as an alumnus. I’m happy to say that music continues to be an important component of my life as a working engineer.