March 6, 2009

Irish priests’ concert to air March 8 on most PBS stations

Criterion staff report

“The Priests in Concert at Armagh Cathedral,” which will be broadcast at 5:30 p.m. on March 8 on WFYI Channel 20 in central Indiana, celebrates music and the faith that it inspires in people. (Check local listings to verify the broadcast date and time on other PBS stations.)

Father Eugene O’Hagan, Father Martin O’Hagan and Father David Delargy are diocesan priests from Northern Ireland who were brought together by their shared faith and passion for music.

The men, all in their late 40s, are tenors who grew up singing together as they studied for the priesthood. They have spent their lives using music to spread the word of God by finding time between their busy parish ministries to sing together.

Trained vocalists from an early age, the brothers and their closest childhood friend deliver inspiring and uplifting performances in “The Priests in Concert at Armagh Cathedral,” filmed at one of Ireland’s most prestigious cathedrals before a specially invited audience.

The New Dublin Voices Choir and St. Patrick’s Cathedral Choir, with the Irish Philharmonic Orchestra, accompany The Priests, who sing some of the world’s best-loved songs in English, Spanish, German, Italian and Latin.

The song selection includes eternal classics, such as “Ave Maria,” “Pie Jesu,” “O Holy Night,” “Gloria,” “Panis Angelicus,” “Irish Blessing” and “Be Still My Soul.”

Two special guests, legendary flutist Sir James Galway and Moya Brennan of Clannad, join The Priests during this concert. Lady Jeanne Galway and Liam O’Flynn collaborate on Celtic selections.

The Priests’ self-titled debut album (Sony BMG) is available in more than 30 countries, including the U.S., mainland Europe, Brazil, Argentina and the Philippines, fulfilling an unprecedented global demand.

“The Priests,” which was recorded in Ireland and in the Choir Chapel of St. Peter’s Basilica in Vatican City, features spiritually inspired tracks, such as “Pie Jesu,” “Ave Maria” and “Panis Angelicus” as well as classical arias, traditional Irish tracks and Irish blessings.

They have stipulated that a percentage of the proceeds from CD sales will go to a charity or charities of their choice.

Growing up, the brothers and their closest friend shared an interest in music, enjoyed singing together and were devoted to the Catholic faith. The three boys—who were nicknamed “Holy, Holy, Holy” by schoolmates impressed by their piety—answered God’s call to the priesthood.

Intent on using music to spread the word of God, and despite the ministry demands of their busy parish life, they have continued to perform together.

(Catholic News Service contributed to this story.)

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