Vote to support Maynooth ‘The Rising’ musical commemoration

Michael Dawson
Kildare music fans are being called upon to throw their support behind a massive project to commemorate the Easter Rising in 1916.

Kildare music fans are being called upon to throw their support behind a massive project to commemorate the Easter Rising in 1916.

National University of Ireland Maynooth Chamber Choir Conductor Michael Dawson has has submitted a major project to Arthur Guinness Projects in the hope of generating the funding for a musical work called ‘The Rising’.

By Easter 1916, ardent nationalist Michael O’Kelly – who occupied the editor’s desk of the Leinster Leader – had already acquired firearms and ammunition in response to a rumor that a rising was imminent.

On Ash Wednesday 1916, Michael O’Kelly – along with Maynooth Men Dr Ted Kelly, Donal Buckley and P Colgan and others – were informed that the Volunteer Leaders had made a plan to trigger an uprising on Easter Sunday.

‘The Rising’ will be a major musical composition for choir, orchestra and traditional ensemble that will be commissioned this year for completion by the end of 2014.

Throughout the next 18 months, the production will be developed for its premier performance in April 2016, the 100th anniversary of the 1916 insurrection.

The composition by a prominent Irish Composer will tell the story of the planning and lead up to the 1916 Rising, Easter week, the Rising itself, the aftermath and the legacy.

Work has already begun on the outline and framework of this project, and on identifying some of the many choral groups from the 32 counties that would join up will choirs from Maynooth to perform at the event.

The intention is that these groups will begin to work on the music as soon as the commissioned piece is complete. At this time rehearsals will begin in earnest to deliver a production of a scale and standard that will receive both National and International acclaim.

Michael Dawson has toured the world as a conductor and multi-instrumentalist. He has degrees in music from NUI Maynooth and the Irish World Music Adcademy, and has recorded with Anuna.

Michael’s aim is to create a composition that embraces both traditional and contemporary Irish music with influences from composer Sean O’Riada, whose music played a major part in the commemorations at the 50th anniversary in 1966, particularly the pageantry in Croke Park.

Alongside the music, a team of expert historians will be invited to help present ‘The Rising’ in a factual, tolerant and sensitive manner.

Archival film and photographic material from RTÉ and the National Archives will be used to complement the performance creating a powerful audio-visual experience.

‘The Rising’ is currently in the Top 20 of more than 130 music projects submitted to the Arthur Guinness Projects, but will need to be in the Top 12 to reach the point of being reviewed by the judging panel and to have a chance of being allocated the funds to commission the music.

“We need every vote we can get to be in with a chance and we are hoping that, the public will get behind this Idea and give it the support it deserves,” said Michael.

To back the project, log onto and vote. Voting is free and you can vote once each day.

You can also support and follow ‘The Rising’ on Facebook by logging on to

Voting closes on Friday 23rd August next.