On 22nd November 2020, St Cecilia's Day, we celebrated our 25th anniversary.
Sadly, the Covid-19 pandemic made it nearly impossible to meet face to face during the anniversary season. However, we still celebrated it in style. The season concluded on Sunday 15th August with performances in St Patrick's Catholic Cathedral, Armagh. We sang at Mass for the Feast of the Assumption of the Blessed Virgin Mary, celebrated by Archbishop Eamon Martin. This was followed by a short concert (programme details here). On this excerpt from the concert you can hear us singing "Be Thou My Vision" by Stephen Chatman followed by a reflection from Archbishop Martin on the impact of the pandemic on singing.
We were very grateful that our silver jubilee season was sponsored by Power NI.
Earlier in the season we released a 25th anniversary video, filmed in five of our favourite churches in Belfast, which you can view from this page. There is more information in the description on YouTube, and you can find out more about the buildings - and why they are special to us - here. These are only a small number of the 117 venues in which we performed in our first quarter century.
We were delighted to have an hour long feature dedicated to sacred music and our first 25 years broadcast by BBC Radio Ulster Classical Connections on the day of our anniversary. In this programme, John Toal interviewed Archbishop Eamon Martin, Sir James MacMillan, founder members Frs David Delargy, Eugene O'Hagan and Martin O'Hagan, our Musical Director Donal McCrisken and member Sheelagh Greer.
You can view an extract from our members' Christmas event with Wynne Evans. At Christmas, we also presented carols at St Anne's Cathedral, Belfast, in aid of the Black Santa appeal - you can read more here. We also ran a series of Prestige Talks and Workshops, holding online events with Dame Kiri Te Kanawa, Sir Simon Keenlyside, Sir Thomas Allen, Dame Felicity Lott, Brindley Sherratt, Harry Christophers, Linda Ormiston, Giselle Allen, Ailish Tynan, Ingrid Surgenor and Della Jones. BBC Classical Connections broadcast extracts from three of these events.
In this series we also showcased some of the top young vocal stars from the island of Ireland - you can watch excerpts with Dr Gavan Ring, Kevin Neville, Ava Dodd, Mary McCabe, Rebecca Murphy and Margaret Bridge.
The following timeline shows just some of the memorable events of our first 25 years, and at the bottom of the page you can view a video photo montage covering some highlights from our first quarter century.