Yesterday we said good-bye to our wonderful Pierce Cullen.
Pierce started out as an extremely able boy chorister at 8 years of age. I am pleased to say that I noticed very early on his talent and exceptional love of music.
He went on to become a fine Head Chorister and then a Junior Gentleman and Gentleman of the Choir.
For the last nearly 2 years Pierce has been my Assistant.
Pierce has been superb in this role: he is leaving a wonderful legacy of excellent standards in training our boy choristers, designing our web-site, type-setting, composing and all round pushing the boundaries of what is possible.
It has been a source of great pride for me to see him grow into the wonderful musician that he is today.
I know that he will be greatly missed by the boys, the gentlemen and by all the musical staff at the Pro-Cathedral.
We all wish Pierce all the very best in the next phase of his professional development.
I know he will be no stranger to us.
A big bualadh bos for Pierce from all members of the Palestrina Choir, past and present.
(Blánaid Murphy, Director of the Palestrina Choir)
Last day of choir year - Sunday 25th June 2023!
After an action-packed year, the choir is now on its summer break until September.
At the end of 11am Mass this morning, 25th June 2023, chorister Simon Maughan, who was graduating from the choir today, was presented with the Palestrina Choir Medallion to mark his sterling service as a choristers over the last 7 years. The whole community at the Pro-Cathedral wish to thank Simon and wish him all the very best.
After a pizza lunch, and presentation of certificates and a summation of the year by the Choir Director, it was time for everyone to go home and take a break.
Apart from the regular liturgies at which we sing, some high-lights this year have included:
Friends of Cathedral Music Choral Vespers
Fauré Requiem performance in a November concert “Remembering”
Christmas Concert in the National Concert Hall
Art & Music on a Marian Theme in a collaboration with Adrian LeHarivel, National Gallery of Ireland
Choral Vespers on the Feast of the Annunciation
Mini tour to Cork and Mount Melleray Abbey
Tour to Palestrina and to Rome to sing at the Papal Mass for Pentecost, at the Irish College and in the Basilica of San Silvestro
Hosting visiting choirs from both Helsinki and Stockholm
Re-Joyce! Exploring James Joyce and sacred music in Ulysses and other works
A busy and most fruitful year!
We also said good-bye to assistant Pierce Cullen. Please see our next blog entry about Pierce.
Enjoy the break - mind those voices - see you all again in September!
TOUR TO PALESTRINA AND ROME - MAY 26-30 2023 - UNDOUBTEDLY ONE OF THE HIGHLIGHTS OF THE CHOIR’S 120TH CELEBRATIONS!
On 26th May, a group of 47 - 26 boy choristers, 14 Gentlemen, 5 Chaperones, our Choir Director and Cathedral Administrator flew to Rome. And, of course, many Parents independently made their way there too.
First stop was a wonderful afternoon in the City of Palestrina: a visit to the Museo Casa Natale, Giovanni Pierluigi da Palestrina, the special opportunity of singing at all Palestrina programme – Missa Papae Marcelli, Ave Maria and Exsultate Deo – in the beautiful Cathedral in Palestrina (Duomo di Palestrina; Cattedrale di Sant'Agapito martire) and the opportunity to meet the Director and members of the Fondazione Giovanni Pierluigi da Palestrina.
On a day of sight-seeing – Roman Rome – the Choir and friends were warmly welcomed by Fr Paul Finnerty to a reception and to sing at Mass at the Pontifical Irish College.
And then it was time to baton down the hatches and get ready for an early start to be in St Peter’s Basilica robed and seated by 8.30am for a rehearsal with the Sistine Chapel Choir under Monsignor Pavan and the Guido Choir under Fr Ramon before singing a 20 minute programme before Mass and joining in singing at the Papal Mass for the Feast of Pentecost on Sunday 28th May celebrated by Pope Francis. And then some much needed gelato and a most enjoyable visit to the Leondardo da Vinci museum.
On Monday, after a visit to the Baths of Caracalla and St Paul Outside The Walls, the Choir gave a recital, generously hosted by the Irish Ambassador to the Holy See, Frances Collins, in the exquisite Basilica of San Silvestro in Capite. And, on Tuesday, some last minute sight-seeing and shopping – Piazza Navona, Roman Stadium under the Piazza and the Pantheon and a last slice or two of piazza before heading to the airport with our wonderful guide Massimo.
A wonderful tour - WE WILL BE BACK!