Come and Journey With Me

Are you ready to embark on a musical adventure that will take you to new heights of creativity? The Irish Church Music Association (ICMA) is thrilled to announce its 2023 Summer School “Come and Journey with Me” taking place from July 5th to 7th in Maynooth, Co Kildare.

Come and journey with us through a series of workshops and classes focusing on church music. Whether you are new to the genre of liturgical music or an advanced musician looking to develop your skills, ICMA’s 2023 summer school is the perfect place for you!

You will have the opportunity to learn from some of the best Irish church musicians and composers in the world, who have years of experience in teaching and performing the genre. As you explore the many different aspects of liturgical music, you will develop your skills in sight reading, improvisation, harmonisation, song selection and choir leadership.

In addition to gaining valuable knowledge and experience, we will create a special and safe place to meet new people and share experiences. Our 2023 summer school will also offer a variety of social activities such as musical evenings, quizzes and performance. These events create the perfect platform to make life-long friends and build relationships. 

Our summer school participants will gain a greater connection and appreciation of liturgical music, which is so special and beloved to our church. Let yourself be inspired and develop your musical talent! 


Wednesday 5th July 2023

09:00-10:00 Registration

09:30-10:00 Morning Prayer (St. Mary’s)

10:00-10:45 Input Session 1 (Chris Walker)

10:45-11:15 Tea/Coffee

11:15-12:00 Input Session 2 – Workshop Part 1 (Ian Callanan)

12:15-13:00 Input Session 3 – Workshop Part 1 (Marian Gaynor)

13:00-14:30 Lunch with free time

14:30-15.30 Input Session 4 – Workshop Part 2 (Marian Gaynor)

15:30-16:00 Tea/Coffee

16:00-16:45 Recap Session (Chris Walker)

17:00-18:00 Opening Eucharist  (College Chapel)

18:00-19:00 Dinner

19:00-19:45 Evening Entertainment – Share Your Gifts

20:00-20:45 Night Prayer – As Nighttime Falls (St. Mary’s)

Thursday 6th July 2023

09:00-10:00 Registration 

09:30-10:00 Morning Prayer  (St. Mary’s)

10:00-10:45 Input Session 1 (Chris Walker)

10:45-11:15 Tea/Coffee

11:15-12:00 Input Session 2 – Workshop Part 1 (Sr Marie Dunne)

12:15-13:00 Input Session 3 – Workshop Part 1 (Liam Lawton)

13:00-14:30 Lunch with free time

14:30-15.30 Input Session 4 – Workshop Part 2 (Liam Lawton)

15:30-16:00 Tea/Coffee

16:00-16:45 Recap Session (Chris Walker)

17:00-18:00 Evening Prayer  (St. Mary’s)

18:00-19:00 Dinner

19:00-20:00 AGM

20:00-21:00 Table Quiz

Friday 7th July 2023

09:00-10:00 Registration 

09:30-10:00 Morning Prayer (St. Mary’s)

10:00-10:45 Input Session 1 (Chris Walker)

10:45-11:15 Tea/Coffee

11:15-12:00 Input Session 2 – Workshop Part 2 (Sr Marie Dunne) 

12:15-13:00 Input Session 3 – Workshop Part 2 (Ian Callanan) 

13:00-14:30 Lunch with free time

14:30-15.30 Input Session 4 – Workshop Part 3 (Ian Callanan)

15:30-16:00 Tea/Coffee

16:00-16:45 Recap Session (Chris Walker)

17:00-18:00 Closing Eucharist  (St. Mary’s)

18:00-19:00 Dinner followed by social gathering


Saturday 8th July 2023

10:00 Morning Prayer (for those who wish to stay over)


Guest Director

Christopher Walker

As a renowned lecturer and choral conductor, Christopher Walker is also widely recognized as one of the Church’s most accomplished and versatile composers. Born and educated in England, he earned his degree in music from Bristol University. He served as the first director of music for 18 years at Clifton Cathedral in Bristol and has appeared on BBC T.V. and radio, with his music frequently broadcasted. His extensive catalog includes popular works such as the “Celtic Alleluia,” “The Lord Is My Light,” “At the Name of Jesus,” “Be Still, and Know that I am God,” and “Laudate, Laudate Dominum.” He also has published several collections for children and believes that authentic text should take precedence over music in worship. He was named the NPM Pastoral Musician of the Year in 2012 and now resides in Santa Monica, California.

Workshop Team

Ian Callanan

Ian Callanan, an Irish liturgical composer born in 1971 in Cork, is known for his contributions to the Catholic Church’s musical tradition. He blends traditional Irish melodies with contemporary harmonies, resulting in compositions that are popular among Catholic and secular audiences. Callanan’s music is praised for its ability to convey a sense of reverence and spiritual uplift while being joyful and accessible. He is known for capturing the essence of the texts in his compositions and continues to inspire and uplift people of all ages and backgrounds. He is a respected and beloved figure in the world of liturgical music.


Sr Marie Dunne CFH

Sister Marie Dunne, a member of the Congregation of the Sisters of the Holy Faith, is a Dublin-born church musician with over 30 years of experience in the field. She has served as a musical director and organist for parish choirs, the Dublin Diocese, and the Saint John of God Provincial Choir for 30 years. She is also the director of the Holy Faith Past Pupils’ Choir. As a composer of liturgical and religious music, Sister Marie has written music for her own congregation, the Hospitaller Order of Saint John of God, and other religious groups. In addition, she works full-time in music and faith/prayer ministry, leading liturgical workshops and retreats and offering music therapy for children with special needs and adults with dementia.


Marian Gaynor

Marian is a native of Carlow, and a graduate of NUI Maynooth and is currently studying an MA in Professional Practice (Voice Pedagogy) – specialising in Singing for Health and Wellbeing with Voice Workshop UK and University of Wales. Her professional development has encompassed the study of voice and choral conducting with the CME Institute (U.S.A); A.B.C.D. London; CNC, Ireland, and the Estill Voice System, U.K. Marian specialises as a vocal music educator and group singing leader for all ages. Additionally, her work field expands to working a musician educator and as a clinician and organist with the Diocese of Kildare & Leighlin, presenting choral, cantor and song leadership workshops and training and designing and facilitating participatory music-making programmes for the wider community.


Liam Lawton

Liam Lawton is a well-known liturgical musician from Ireland, known for his compositions in the Celtic idiom. He has been composing for over 20 years, and his collections have been featured in major television broadcasts throughout Europe. He writes in both Gaelic and English, drawing inspiration from ancient prayers and traditions of Ireland. His music is characterized by a sense of joy and is suitable for all assemblies, blending contemporary and traditional instruments. Fr. Lawton is a priest of the Diocese of Kildare and Leighlin.




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Irish Church Music Association
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