Are you interested in singing and the arts?

Would you like to be part of an adventurous choir with a big artistic vision?


Wildsong Ensemble is an experimental choir. We make our own music & performance through singing, improvising, and dreaming big.

We welcome people of all ages, stripes & abilities, from complete beginners to professional singers & artists alike. There are no auditions. All you need is an open mind and a willingness to take a chance on your voice – whatever it may sound like.

At the heart of the choir is the belief that artistic expression is innate, and that our world needs more spaces where we can explore our artistry together: Wildsong Ensemble is one such space.

Weekly workshops take place on Wednesdays from 7-9pm in either Wexford town (the Wexford Arts Centre or the Creative Hub), or in different outdoor locations close to Wexford town when the weather is good.

Founded & led by artist & composer, Laura Hyland, in association with Wexford Arts Centre. Supported by The Arts Council.

What We do

We meet weekly for a two-hour session on Wednesday evenings from 7 – 9pm from February to November, with a break for the month of August.

The first hour is exclusively dedicated to improvisation: focusing firstly on our bodies: how do we feel physically? How do we attain and maintain physical comfort? Then to our ears: what can we hear in the environment around us? What happens when we listen? And then to our voices: how can we make and sustain vocal sound in a physically comfortable & healthy way? What sounds emerge in response to what we hear?

By continually listening and responding to each other’s sound in different configurations (solos, duos, group improvisations) we embrace and refine our capacity to create our own music. Sometimes this might be simply improvising harmonies in a conventional way (long sustained pitches that feel pleasing to sing); sometimes it incorporates all the possible vocal sounds we can make: breath, words, growls, grunts, squawks, clicks. Sometimes it veers into exploring facets of harmony or rhythm that catch our attention. Sometimes it’s all of the above combined.

The second hour is dedicated to making new work for performance. This could be developing ideas discovered through our improvisation hour, or looking at existing repertoire we might like to perform, or considering the incorporation of other art forms - such as dance, visual arts, literature, etc – that we feel could help bring our ideas to life (in which case we would draft arts practitioners from the relevant art form to come and work with us).

Participants are welcome to come for the first hour only if they so wish, and simply enjoy singing and meeting like-minded people; there is no pressure to get involved in performance, or to practice anything at home between sessions.

For those who are curious about creating and performing new work, we would warmly encourage you to stay for the second hour.

As this part of the workshop is performance-oriented, it requires a commitment to regular attendance, and to learning or developing parts at home between sessions (much like a regular choir would). As such, participants are welcome to attend this part of the workshop for one-two weeks at the beginning of a new project to see if they like it before making a commitment to developing and rehearsing a performance. Typically we would work on 1-2 projects a year.

2022 Programme

August 31st - October 26th, 7-9pm

Autumn Sessions

These 8 sessions form the research phase for our next performance piece for 2023.

We’re currently exploring the acoustics of hand ball alleys, meeting in Kilmannon hand ball alley in Cleariestown, Wexford each week, weather permitting. Click here for directions

If weather is bad we’ll be at unit 5 in the creative Hub in Wexford town - Click here for directions

June 22nd - July 27th

Summer Sessions

These are shorter sessions (7.30-9pm) in outdoor locations around Wexford county. They are a lighthearted affair, singing, improvising and sharing ideas for what we might begin working on next.

March 23rd - June 16th, 7-9pm


Rehearsing our new piece, SeeSoo, which is based on an excerpt from James Joyce’s Ulysses, for performance on June 16th Bloomsday event.


20th August 2022

Hand Ball Alley Sessions!

Having explored some beautiful outdoor spots around the county over the summer, we’ve settled on Kilmannonhand ball alley for the Autumn. The acoustics are great and it’s a nice quiet spot, reasonably close to town. We’ll reconvene there on Weds 31st of August for 8 weeks until Weds 26th October, 7-9pm (or at least until the weather breaks, in which case we’ll retire indoors at the Creative Hub again!) You can find Kilmannon hand ball alley here

18th June 2022

Summer Sessions

We’ll be taking to the great outdoors for the next few weeks for our summer sessions, from Weds 25th June through to Weds 27th July, 7.30-9pm. We’ll check out some different locations around the county. First up is the ruined church at Bannow Island; then some ball alleys! Keep an eye on our weekly posts to see locations.

1st June 2022

Bloomsday Event

Wildsong Ensemble are delighted to present Wexford’s first ever Bloomsday event on June 16th. To celebrate< both the premiere of our new piece, See Soo, based on an excerpt from Ulysses, and our debut performance, we have programmed an evening of music, poetry and talks on James Joyce and his life & works. See below for more info.

15th March 2022

Welcome to Wildsong Ensemble!

Our first Wildsong Ensemble session takes place on Wednesday March 30th from 7-9pm at Dance Hub, Wexford. All welcome and no prior singing experience is required. Please have a look around the website for more info on who we are and what we do. We look forward to meeting you!


Thursday 16th June, Greenacres, Wexford.

Bloomsday 2022

€10. Book tickets here

Click here for event press release

Bloomsday is an international annual event celebrating James Joyce's seminal novel, Ulysses, and its 'everyman' protagonist Leopold Bloom as he goes about his day in his home town of Dublin on June 16th, 1904. The book is first and foremost a celebration of a day in the life of an ordinary man, and gives a deeply empathetic and poignant account of his most intimate thoughts, fears, sorrows and hopes. In keeping with this spirit, Wildsong Ensemble in association with Wexford Arts Centre present Wexford town's first ever Bloomsday event.

We open with “Conversations on Joyce” - an introduction to James Joyce by Frank Hyland - Joyce enthusiasts, scholars and novices are warmly invited to come and share their thoughts & questions on the author and his works.

Singer & songwriter Carol Keogh and musician Katherine Atkinson take a fresh interpretation of some of the many songs referenced in Ulysses, and arrange them for voices, violin, electronics, ukelele and xylophone.

Dublin-born poet & playwright, Stephen James Smith presents a selection of his own works which are in some way inspired by, or resonant with Joyce and Ulysses.

Wildsong Ensemble perform a new choral soundscape by Laura Hyland, which came about when Bloomsday 2020 happened to coincide with the choir's weekly session: choir member, Jeni Roddy brought along an excerpt from Ulysses, which the choir used as the basis for vocal explorations for several months thereafter. Laura eventually set the words to music, taking the choir's improvisations as a starting point.

Artists’ biographies

Born and bred in Dublin, Frank Hyland first discovered Joyce in his late 20s while living abroad in the 1970s. Finding in Ulysses a deeply resonant portrait of a his home town and the characters that populated it, a life-long fascination with both the author and his works ensued. Frank has been attending the Joyce Summer School in Trieste for the past 20 years, and is always on the lookout for new angles on Joyce, and fellow enthusiasts with whom to share reflections on one of Ireland's most celebrated artists.

Songwriter Carol Keogh has been part of the independent music scene in Ireland since the 90s, both as a solo artist/band leader, and in collaboration with other artists including Sharon Shannon, Jerry Fish & Colm Mac Con Iomaire. She recently released part 1 of her new project, The Wolf Chronicles under the moniker, 'The Wicc', described as "a conspicuously individual work by an important Irish artist" (Irish Times)

Katherine Atkinson is a performer, musician and cultural manager. In 2019 she curated Your Self Made Super Human, an experimental performance event in the Wexford Arts Centre. She's performed with Anu Productions, Dublin Live Art Festival & Project Brand New, and currently performs with the Simon Quigley Ensemble.

Friends for many years through their respective involvement in the Dublin music scene, by coincidence Carol & Katherine are both currently based in Wexford, and have come together on this occasion as artistic collaborators for the first time.

Stephen James Smith is a Dublin poet and playwright central to the rise of the Irish spoken word scene. His poetry videos have amassed over 3 million views online, including ‘My Ireland’, a short poetry film commissioned by St. Patrick’s Festival. Stephen has performed extensively at top venues and events such as Electric Picnic, Other Voices, the National Concert Hall, the Abbey Theatre (Noble Call), Vicar Street (alongside Oscar winner Glen Hansard), the London Palladium, the Oscar Wilde Awards (LA), Glastonbury Festival and George Town Literary Festival (ML). His debut collection, Fear Not, is published by Arlen House with a launch due in June 2018.

Artist & composer, Laura Hyland works across composition, performance, sculpture & poetry. Current projects include Sounding Seams – an ongoing exploration of metal sound sculpture; her band, Clang Sayne (, ‘venturers in the post-genre slip stream, weaving folk, improv, art pop and contemporary classical into new material that is soft on the ear but tough as leather.’ (Irish Times); and a new commission for Ireland's leading contemporary classical group, Crash Ensemble.