Musical Director

Frank Kelly

Frank Kelly is a leading figure in choral music in Ireland. He is Musical Director of Wicklow Choral Society, Bray Choral Society and Newtown Male Voice Choir. He was organist and choir master at the Church of Our Lady of Victories in Sallynoggin for over twenty years, during which time he also taught music at St Killian’s School in Bray. He is an accomplished singer and pianist who performs regularly with his family group Classic Harmony

Frank graduated with an Honours Degree in Music from Trinity College Dublin.  While at university he studied piano with John O’Conor at the Royal Irish Academy of Music, and singing with Veronica Dunne at the Dublin College of Music. He attended Master Classes with internationally known pianists Pascal Rogé and Alex Kelly. He was a prize winner at Feiseanna in Dublin, Cork and Arklow and won all major scholarships and prizes at the R.I.A.M. including ‘Student of the Year’ . Frank was a finalist in R.T.E.’s ‘Musician of the Future’ competition and played a number of recitals on R.T.E. radio.

Frank’s conducting career began in when he studied with Dr Brian Boydell at Trinity College Dublin and Dr Geoffrey Spratt at the Cork School of Music. Following his graduation Frank went to Paris to study piano for two years on a French government scholarship.

Frank founded Bray Choral Society in January 1986. In 2004 he became Musical Director of Wicklow Choral Group, now Wicklow Choral Society. Both choirs have performed major works every year since their inception across a wide repertoire from the Baroque period to the 20th century. Notable successes include Bach’s ‘St. John Passion’ and ‘Magnificat’, Beethoven’s ‘Mass in C’, Handel’s ‘Messiah’, Haydn’s ‘Creation’, Mozart’s ‘Solemn Vespers’, Rossini’s ‘Petite Messe Solennelle’, Mendelssohn’s ‘Elijah’, Requiem Masses by Mozart, Fauré, Verdi and Rutter, Karl Jenkin’s ‘Armed Man’, Howard Goodall’s ‘Eternal Light’, Ola Gjielo’s ‘Sunrise Mass; and Morten Lauridsen’s ‘Lux Aeterna’.

Frank has conducted on many occasions at the National Concert Hall, most recently directing performances of Orff’s ‘Carmina Burana’ and Jenkin’s ‘The Armed Man, a Mass for Peace’. In May 2000 he led a choir of over 120 voices from County Wicklow in two fine performances of Verdi’s Requiem in celebration of the Millennium.

In November 2010 Wicklow and Bray Choral Societies joined together for a gala performance of Verdi’s ‘Requiem’ to celebrate Bray Choral Society’s 25th anniversary. In 2013 the choirs collaborated again in a performance of Beethoven’s ‘Choral’ Symphony. Both choirs sang with other choirs from Wicklow in a performance of ‘Mary Gordon’ in the National Concert Hall in 2016. This was a specially commissioned work to commemorate the anniversary of the 1916 Rising.

Frank and Bray Choral Society were presented with the ‘Endeavour Award for Culture’, sponsored by the Bray and District Chamber of Commerce in 1991, 2001 and 2010.

As well as teaching and conducting Frank is very active as a piano teacher at all levels. He also performs with his own family group Classic Harmony