Reviews and News

January 2024

After almost 20 years as a member of White Raven we are very sad to say goodbye to tenor Robert Getchell. We thank him for many years of wonderful concerts, great music-making together and many years of friendship.

We wish him well on his new path with The Kraken Consort.

We are delighted to welcome Matthias Deger as our new tenor.

Matthias is a founding member of the ensemble Zeidlang  http://www.zeidlang.comexploring the traditional sounds of his native Bavaria.

Matthias has already sung as guest tenor with White Raven over the past number of years so is already a familiar face to our concert audience.


Hugh Lane Gallery, Dublin

White Raven made their Irish debut in May 2003 with appearances in the Cork International Choral Festival and at venues in Macroom, Galway and Dublin. Their performances were received enthusiastically by audiences and critics alike.

White Raven at the East Cork Early Music Festival >>

Irish Times, May 22nd 2007
Hugh Lane Gallery, Dublin

Macroom-born soprano Kathleen Dineen`s day job is at the Schola Cantorum Basiliensis in Switzerland where she teaches voice and medieval music performance, two enthusiasms of her student years at UCC.

Since forming her vocal trio White Raven in 2001, Dineen has combined her childhood love of Irish traditional song with the medieval and renaissance music she encountered in college. The result of this union has been Irish song in a sort of 15th century fauxbourdon style, with the two accompanying voices moving in parallel motion with the tune. Critically, Dineen`s delicate, unfussy arrangements in this manner are always in keeping with the trio`s started objective of preserving the songs`”original quality and simplicity”.

On this occasion most of the material was from Dineen`s native Cork. She sampled moods from sorrow to joy to humour with songs such as The Boys of Barr na Sraide, Mo ghile mear, I know my love by his way of walking and Rory Og mac Rory.White Raven`s hybrid of style and repertoire might attract little attention were it not for the extraordinary quality of their performances. Dineen`s soprano is clear like spring water but as warm as sunshine.Her companions -American tenor Robert Getchell and Latvian baritone Raitis Grigalis – are ideal matches.

Together they sing with an exceptional unity of blend, shaping, colour and thought, with narrative always in the forground.

For this concert they were joined by fiddle player Gerry O`Connor. As well as occasional dicreet accompanyment in certain songs, O`Connor gave beautifully phrased solos of polkas from Cork, a Breton soldier song – Le Retour de Madagasger – and, from his own north Louth, the intriguing The Chicken’s Gone to Scotland.

Irish Music Magazine

Irish Music Magazine
CD Review, The Place where life began – White Raven.

The trio White Raven are no strangers to these pages with live gigs in Dublin and their last album have all received glowing reviews in this mag.

To those who don`t know of their music, to put it simply, it is pure vocal music, some of it in three-part harmony, a rare thing within the Irish tradition. There really is a dearth if harmony vocals-only albums within the vast library that makes up Irish Traditional music, The Press Gang, Anuna, MacAlla, bits of the fallen Angels, the specialist Warp Four, possibly a few tapes of the unrecorded Garland and of course the bench mark for many, The voice Squad ( and White Raven came as close as a cigarette paper to those godfathers on Mo Ghile Mear and the Boys of Barr na Sraide).

Back to the back catalogue, it barely adds up to a dozen albums in forty years, so this new release recorded in 2005 in France, has the potential to be in select company and to make an instant mark.

A look at the track listing places the album in the standard folk catagory, with songs such as The Boys of Barr na Sraide (from which came the album`s title), All Around My Hat, The Dawning of the Day( superbly sung by Robert Getchell), Sinse Maggie went Away and Eric Bogles“All the Fine Young Men.There`s a lively jig, The Rose in the Heather from guest musician Gerry(fiddle) O`Connor which adds a centre to pivot around track 8. There`s a mellow combination of fiddle and vielle( from Shira Kammen) on the Scottish slow air dark island. Ten out of ten to the band for including all the song words in the liner notes.

The overall sound is more Feis Cheoil than Fleadh Cheoil, the trio takes a classical approach, so don`t expect the edgy-experimental harmonies of Cran or Teada. The music here is always measured, with precise singing, impeccable diction and well-conceived harmonies. In a way the music harks back to a time of less histrionic performances, before the era of Bob Dylan and his ilk, and as such it needs an effort on behalf of the casual listener to re-tune the antennae to this older more studious approach

IRISH TIMES – May 2004

IRISH TIMES – May 2004

White Raven Hugh Lane Gallery, Dublin

The three voices that make up the White Raven vocal trio are as pleasing as you will hear anywhere.

Tenor David Munderloh, an American whose first professional position was with San Francisco’s outstanding male-voice ensemble Chanticleer, sings with warm purity and easy, unfussy projection. He performs with London’s Consorte of Musicke alongside White Raven’s baritone, Raitis Grigalis, from Latvia. Grigalis matches Munderloh like a vocal clone, just with a deeper register.

The two men arrived in Switzerland in 1999 to study singing at the Schola Cantorum Basiliensis, where they met the Macroom-born singer and teacher Kathleen Dineen. Dineen, a beautifully clear-voiced soprano with a special interest in medieval, renaissance and Irish traditional music, formed White Raven with Munderloh and Grigalis in 2001. The now nearly three-year-old trio sang at Sunday’s Hugh Lane Gallery concert with a remarkable oneness of breathing, phrasing, enunciation and emphasis. Words were clear, stories told and emotions expressed. Their programme, a change from that advertised and entitled To The Waters And The Wild, ranged from arrangements of Irish traditional songs, including one in sean-nós style, to renaissance love songs to Robert Burns and settings of Yeats.

The three-part arrangements, many of them by Dineen herself, were expertly crafted and delicately effective, mostly in a fauxbourdon style, with the three voices moving up and down together in parallel motion.

The selection they presented on this occasion, while coming close to overdoing the fauxbourdon, was leavened with a few songs in which Dineen accompanied on the piano or harp.

Their lone foray in to music with independent, imitative lines, Va-t-en Regret by the 15th-century French composer Loyset Compère, not only revealed another facet of this exceptional ensemble but also provided some welcome contrast.

Michael Dungan

THE IRISH TIMES – May 24, 2004

THE IRISH TIMES – May 24, 2004

The candle-lit concert of Songs for Kings & Commoners by the vocal trio White Raven provided music-making of altogether finer finish. This is another multi-national group, with soprano Kathleen Dineen hailing from Country Cork, tenor David Munderloh from the United States, and baritone Raitis Grigalis from Latvia.

The music ranged from the 12th century songs of St Godric up to Spanish songs of the 15th century, and beyond to 20th century arrangements by the late John Fleagle, who set early texts for which no music has survived. And the voices accommodated to each other with such an apparent ease of clarity and blend that one could almost imagine the three singers had spent a lifetime performing together.

It didn’t seem to matter what musical material White Raven reached out to, or whether it was accompanied or not – Kathleen Dineen also played harp, and the trio were joined by Shira Kammen on vielle.

Everything they touched seemed to turn to purest gold.

Michael Dervan

The Irish Times 2003

The Irish Times (16.05.03)

White Raven
Hugh Lane Gallery, Dublin

The declared aim of White Raven is to bring traditional Irish song into the realm of three-part harmony without the songs losing any of their original quality and simplicity. Kathleen Dineen (soprano), David Munderloh (tenor) and Raitis Grigalis (bass) have succeeded to an astonishing degree thanks to an unusual clarity of articulation and an exquisite vocal blend.

Some of the songs were collected from the late Elizabeth Cronin of Macroom; Dineen, from the same area, has a natural feel for the folk idiom, which she has transmitted to her partners, respectively from the US and Latvia. To hear them singing with the greatest fluency in Irish, Spanish and English was a joy.

Dineen sang Lord Gregory unaccompanied in true folk style and must have drawn tears to many eyes; hardly less moving was Grigalis when he sang The Lass of Aughrim, accompanied by Dineen on a small harp. She also played for The Last Rose of Summer, sung by Munderloh. Thomas More is not now esteemed as once he was, but this song and, more especially, Oft in the stilly night, sung by the trio, show he can still find a way into the heart.

Before one heard of Bach or Beethoven, one had heard many of these songs, including I know my love by his way of walking and The water is wide, I cannot get over, and to hear them so lovingly recreated was not only a trip down memory lane but also a revelation of their power still to stir the heart.

Douglas Sealy

Irish Examiner 2003

Irish Examiner (06.05.03)

White Raven
Cork International Choral Festival

The International Choral Festival continues to astonish. Just when I think I have heard everything beautiful that can be done by the human voice, a new group adds yet another dimension.

So it was that I found myself in the Cathedral of St Mary and St Anne (the North Chapel) at 10.30pm on Friday, listening in awe to the remarkably lovely music made by two very different vocal groups – Banchieri Singers from Hungary and White Raven from Switzerland – wondering whether there is any thing that singers cannot do.

……Kathleen Dineen (Macroom), David Munderloh (Wisconsin) and Raitis Grigalis (Riga, Latvia), collectively known as White Raven, brought yet another dimension to part-singing that was as unexpectedly beautiful as it was delightful. Singing in block harmony, very sweetly and simply, with impeccable diction, their approach suits the music remarkably.

Their performances of Sean O’Casey’s Down where the bees are humming and the ballad, The Parting Glass, in particular, were superb examples of wonderfully restrained showmanship.

Declan Townsend