Dr Róisín Blunnie is Associate Professor in Music at the School of Theology, Philosophy, and Music, DCU. She is the Programme Chair of DCU's MA in Choral Studies and leads DCU's well-known Choral Leadership Days at the All Hallows Campus.
On the MA in Choral Studies and Bachelor of Religious Education and Music programmes, she teaches modules in the areas of choral conducting and choral leadership; solfege and music theory; aural and keyboard skills; and music-teaching for post-primary level; and she conducts the DCU Lumen Chorale, a 75-strong choir of undergraduate music students. She is currently supervising doctoral research on the British composer Ethel Smyth, the history and usage of the Alleluia, analytical considerations in children's song collections, and contemporary Irish choral music. Prior to the establishment of the School of Theology, Philosophy, and Music at DCU, she was Head of the Music Department at Mater Dei Institute in Drumcondra.
Róisín is the founder and conductor of award-winning Dublin-based chamber choir Laetare Vocal Ensemble. With Laetare, she released the critically acclaimed album Ghost Songs: Contemporary Music and Words from Ireland (Divine Art Records, 2021), featuring guest performers Marina Carr, Paula Meehan, Dairena Ní Chinnéide, Carl Corcoran, and Síle Denvir.
She is the DCU team lead for the Erasmus+ project PRESTO: Practices and Resources for Equipping Schools to Teach Music Online, working in collaboration with the Liszt Academy (Hungary), Caprice Oy/Minifiddlers (Finland), the National Youth Choir of Scotland, and Sing Ireland to produce an extensive suite of flexible digital learning resources, approaches, and activities, now available at www.kodalyhub.com/presto. Together with Dr Ciarán Crilly, Head of the School of Music at UCD, Róisín is the editor of Perspectives on Conducting, a collection of chapters by Irish and international scholar-practitioners in choral and orchestral conducting (Routledge, forthcoming).
Róisín has a PhD in Music from Trinity College Dublin, an MA in Kodály Pedagogy and an Advanced Diploma in Choral Conducting from the Liszt Academy (Kodály Institute) in Kecskemét, Hungary, and a first-class honours degree in Music and History from TCD, awarded with the gold medal of the university. Her PhD studies on cultural influences and imperial ideology in the early cantatas and oratorios of Edward Elgar were supported by the Irish Research Council and the TCD Non-Foundation Scholarship, and her studies in Hungary were funded by the Arts Council of Ireland and the International Kodály Society.
Research interests- Music in its historical and cultural contexts
- Choral conducting and choir leadership
- Choral music: analysis, interpretation, style
- Choral sound: choral-vocal pedagogy, intonation, ensemble
- Cantatas and oratorios of Edward Elgar; music in late 19th-century and early 20th-century Britain
- Music pedagogy; digital resources and teaching processes for polyphonic skill development