Staf Gebruers Memorial Award

Staf Gebruers Annual Memorial Award

Staf Gebruers Annual Memorial Award


The annual prize, sponsored by Tom and Ann Jago, is in honour of Staf Gebruers (1902-70). From 1924, Staf Gebruers was carillonneur, organist and choirmaster of St Colman's Cathedral in Cobh and for almost fifty years played a major role in the musical life of his adoptive town and country. Further details about him may be found at Staf Gebruers Application


  • The prize is open to applications from final-year undergraduate students at UCC who are taking Music as a major subject: i.e. applicants must currently be registered in Fourth Music, or Third Arts-Music (Joint, Major or Single Hons), or Third Arts Drama and Theatre Studies where Music is a Joint Hons subject.
  • The value of the award is €2,000.
  • The purpose of the award is to support financially the awardee's musical studies at postgraduate level in the next academic year. There is no restriction on the field of studies: this award is open to those wishing to pursue postgraduate studies, whether at UCC or elsewhere, in music scholarship or music composition or music performance.
  • Applicants are therefore expected to describe in detail their plans for postgraduate study in the coming year, and to describe how the receipt of this award will be beneficial to those plans. Applicants who have not yet achieved a place on a postgraduate programme in Music for the coming year, should instead describe their aspirations for postgraduate study and the applications that they are in the process of making.
  • The deadline for applications is the end of April.
  • Applications should be word-processed using the form available at and submitted to the office of the Department of Music or sent by email direct to the Head of the Department of Music.
  • The award will be made on a competitive basis, taking into account (a) the quality and viability of the application (which may include an interview too); and (b) the applicant's UCC degree result in the current year (as determined in the Summer Examinations). The winner of the award will be announced in early July when those results are ratified.

STAF GEBRUERS (1902-1970)

STAF GEBRUERS (1902-1970)

Born in Antwerp (Flanders), Staf Gebruers received his early education at the local Jesuit schools and then at the Antwerp Conservatoire and the Lemmens Institute for Church Music in Mechelen. He also studied under Jef Denyn, the man responsible for the renaissance of the carillon art in our time, and with the charismatic composer Jef van Hoof. In 1924, he was appointed Carillonneur, Organist and Choirmaster of St Colman's Cathedral in Cobh and for almost fifty years played a major rôle in the musical life of his adoptive town and country. He also fulfilled regular guest engagements abroad. He taught singing in primary and postprimary schools and for many years was Professor of Music at Mount Melleray Seminary in County Waterford. He was responsible for countless musical productions in Cobh and elsewhere, ranging from operetta through oratorio to grand opera. A prolific composer and arranger, he was also a gifted conductor, particularly of choral music. Throughout his career, he was resident conductor of several choirs, including the Irish Naval Service Choir, the Verolme Cork Dockyard Male Voice Choir and the Cork City Choral Society. During the 1960s, he directed the latter choir through three successful and highly acclaimed tours of Belgium, The Netherlands and Germany. He was much in demand as a lecturer and also did a considerable amount of work for radio and television. He was a frequent prize winner at the Oireachtas and the Dublin Feis Ceoil and on at least five separate occasions was the recipient of the much coveted Milligan Fox Gold Medal for original composition. Other honours received included the Key to Washington D.C. (1957), the Medal of Honour of SABAM (The Belgian Artists' Association) (1958) and the Papal medal "Pro Ecclesia et Pontifice" in recognition of outstanding work for church music (1969). Staf married a Cobh girl, Maureen Kidney, and became a native of the town. They had two children, Mary and Adrian. Mary, her husband Dermot and family live in Bunclody, County Wexford, where she has taken an active part in the musical life of the community as music teacher, choral conductor and organist. Adrian followed in his father's footsteps since Staf's death in 1970. He lives in Cobh with his wife, Liz, and family and is currently the Carillonneur and Organist at Cobh Cathedral.The tradition, therefore, survives, with 2007 marking 80 years of continuous Carillon and Organ playing by father and son.



Since 1994 the Department of Music at UCC has annually offered course-options in carillon to its students in the BA and BMus honours degree programmes, and this is one of the many aspects that make studying music at UCC an unique and enriching experience unmatched by any other institution in Ireland. Students (including international visiting students) may study, with Adrian Gebruers, both carillon performance and the history and repertory of the instrument. Classes include visits to the carillon in St Colman’s Cathedral, Cobh, and tuition using the Department’s own digital carillon console built in 1998 by Royal Eijsbouts Bellfounders in the Netherlands. Students are then examined in performance by giving short recitals in Cobh.

Department of Music

Riverside and City Campus, St Vincent's, Sunday's Well , T23 HF50