Brian Irvine Shortlisted for Composer Award

Brian Irvine's educational oratorio for children has been short-listed for a prestigious award

Rain Falling Up, a new oratorio for children commissioned by the Ulster Orchestra and written by its then associate composer Brian Irvine, has been shortlisted for a 2010 British Composer Award by the British Academy of Songwriters, Composers and Authors.

Rain Falling Up tells the story of Jake, a young boy who has an insatiable curiosity for all things scientific, especially gravity. The project was primarily an education event, providing children with opportunities to participate, explore and learn about music outside the classroom. It encouraged collaboration between different and diverse communities and the children were able to create artwork, animation and poetry in response to what they had discovered about gravity in school.

The unique project involved a choir of 210 children from three schools, a community choir of 240 children from a further six schools, the full orchestra and residents of a Holywood care home – all of whom performed in front of a 1500-strong audience at the Belfast Waterfront in March.

Brian Irvine said: 'I’m delighted and honoured that Rain Falling Up has been nominated for this award. It was a wonderful and exciting opportunity to work with such a diverse and creative range of participants and ended my tenure as associate composer with the Ulster Orchestra with a fantastic finale'.

Funding and sponsorship for the work were provided by the Arts Council of Northern Ireland lottery scheme and Ulster Bank.

The project has been nominated in the Community or Educational category of the Awards which will be presented at a ceremony in London on November 30. The results will be broadcast on BBC Radio 3’s Performance at 7pm the following day.