MUS20850 UCD Choral Scholars 2

Academic Year 2022/2023

*Note that entry to this module is by AUDITION, and will be permitted only if you have been awarded a choral scholarship by University College Dublin.

Collaborative ensemble singing requires the study of style and an understanding of performance-practice problems. In this module students explore issues of performance through a study of works by three living composers on the texts of James Joyce: Laura Shiels (IRL), Tim Stephens (USA) and Natasa Paulberg (Australia). In exploring this repertoire students will mutually engage with peers (at-distance via video/recording or in person in group) to express and develop skills and a collective artistry. Score study and selected performance-practice scholarship will form the backbone of discussions about how contemporary choral music might be approached in performance or studio. Accepted performance practices are showcased and approached by the entire group and demonstrated either through a “work-in-progress” performance, video or recording of selected repertory.

Technology will be used to assist the preparations of repertoire within the context of a blended model of learning that involves at-distance and in-person engagement. Students will work either remotely under supervision or in small-group rehearsal in Memorial Hall, Richview, using a combination of conferencing technology (sectionals and tutti ensemble), audio tracks, video recordings, use of conductor-marked scores and a Choral-Trainer digital application. When working together, students will be given constant feedback as music is made, understood and shaped.

Students will have the opportunity to hear directly from one of the composers in seminar about their approach to composition and factors influencing their formation as a composer.

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Curricular information is subject to change

Learning Outcomes:

Participation in this module will enable students to:
Encourage new and innovative approaches to personal musical practice, with the aid of technology;
Approach the development of repertoire within a small group over a limited time frame;
Develop musical communication skills;
Consider aspects of group dynamics and collaboration in rehearsal or at-distance;
Explore a specific sample of choral repertoire that is reflective of a specific style and genre (contemporary choral repertoire);
Perform or record a "work-in-progress” concert programme (or recording) of assigned repertory during the semester.

Indicative Module Content:

Engaging with contemporary choral music: rehearsing and recording contemporary Choral works based on the poetry of James Joyce.

Student Effort Hours: 
Student Effort Type Hours
Autonomous Student Learning


Small Group






Approaches to Teaching and Learning:
Small-group rehearsal (sections)
Small-group rehearsal (one-voice-per-part)
Ensemble Rehearsal
Self learning that includes the use of technology and recordings
Remote or in-person lecture/discussion of performance musicology
Critical analysis of professional recordings 
Requirements, Exclusions and Recommendations

Not applicable to this module.

Module Requisites and Incompatibles
Not applicable to this module.
Assessment Strategy  
Description Timing Open Book Exam Component Scale Must Pass Component % of Final Grade
Studio Examination: A small-group examination of a single piece performed (or videoed remotely) one-voice-per-part or in ensemble. Unspecified n/a Graded Yes


Practical Examination: A collaborative grade will be awarded to the entire ensemble for the standard of the final “work-in-progress” performance, video or recording related to the module. Unspecified n/a Graded No


Continuous Assessment: A semester-long continuous-assessment component worth 60% will include:
Group Process
Aesthetic Aspects
Varies over the Trimester n/a Graded Yes


Carry forward of passed components
Remediation Type Remediation Timing
In-Module Resit Prior to relevant Programme Exam Board
Please see Student Jargon Buster for more information about remediation types and timing. 
Feedback Strategy/Strategies

• Feedback individually to students, post-assessment
• Group/class feedback, post-assessment
• Peer review activities

How will my Feedback be Delivered?

The nature of collaborative performance rehearsal is such that feedback is consistently given in rehearsal. The Studio Examination piece will be presented once in Week 3 or 4 with no weighting (to enable formative assessment) and again in Week 9, 10 or 11 with a weighting of 20% (to allow for a summative approach).

Timetabling information is displayed only for guidance purposes, relates to the current Academic Year only and is subject to change.
Practical Offering 1 Week(s) - 20, 21, 22, 23, 24, 25, 26, 29, 30, 31, 32, 33 Thurs 19:00 - 20:50
Practical Offering 1 Week(s) - 20, 21, 22, 23, 24, 25, 26, 29, 30, 31, 32, 33 Tues 19:00 - 20:50