Aidan a finalist in prestigious composing competition

Wednesday March 10th 2021

St Polycarp's Chorister Aidan MacLean is also a talented musician and composer.

St Polycarp’s Chorister Aidan MacLean is also a talented musician and composer.

Aidan MacLean, a chorister at St Polycarp’s Parish Church, Finaghy, has reached the final of the prestigious ORA Singers’ composing competition.

The competition is open to aspiring composers in the state school sector right across the UK, and Aidan is one of 10 finalists who, along with 20 other ORA apprentices, will participate in a mentoring programme with some top names in the world of composing.

Aidan, 17, is studying at AS Level at Friends’ School, Lisburn, and has been a chorister in St Polycarp’s since the age of seven. But his musical interests are wide-reaching, and include being lead singer and playing bass guitar in his own rock band Neon Apathy, which you can check out on Spotify and YouTube!

As well as singing with his parish choir as lockdown restrictions allow, Aidan is a member of the Belfast Philharmonic Chamber Choir, the Cross Border Youth Choir and the National Youth Choir of Northern Ireland and is also in the Cross Border Youth Choir Composers’ Club.

This is the second time Aidan has entered the ORA Singers’ competition and he says he is ‘over the moon’ to have reached the final.  

His successful entry is a piece he composed for his Music AS – a classical choral setting to the WB Yeats’ poem, When You Are Old.

Judging will take place at a final concert to be held in London later this year – hopefully in person. In the meantime, Aidan will receive mentoring from film composer Harry Escott.

Aidan lives in Lisburn with his parents Gillian and Bruce and younger sister Hannah who is also a member of St Polycarp’s Choir. His grandparents, the Revs Robert and Elizabeth Henderson, are retired clergy who both served in Connor Diocese. He is studying Music, Biology, Maths and Chemistry at AS Level.

  • You can read a full interview with Aidan in the Spring issue of Connor Connections, which will be delivered to parishes in the next few weeks.

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