Seirbhís Charúil na Nollag, 4 Nollaig, Teampall Naomh Seoirse, Béal Feirste, ag 5pm. Beidh an tUrr Chris Mac Bhruitin, Sagart Cúnta in Ardteampall Macurtin, Inis Ceithleann, i mbun seirbhíse agus beidh Cór Ardscoil Wallace i Lios na gCearrbhach ag canadh iomainn i nGaeilge. Fáilte roimh chách.
The service of Lessons and Carols, as Gaeilge, will take place in St. George’s Church, Belfast this Sunday, December 4 at 5pm. The Rev Chris Mac Bhruitin, Curate in St. Macartin’s Cathedral, Enniskillen, will preside and Wallace High School Honours Choir will sing carols in Irish and Latin at the service. Everyone is welcome.
This morning Jamie O’Kane received his surplice and was welcomed as a Chorister and full member of the Choir. We hope he enjoys his time at St George’s.
We also saw Carrington Peacock, Patrick Rogan, Jonah Davey and Ben Heatherly graduate into the back row of the Choir. These lovely young men joined the Choir at eight years old and have contributed greatly to the musical life of the Parish. We are delighted that they will continue their choral education in as young men in the back row.
Advent begins this Sunday, November 27th. Our preacher at 11am Choral Eucharist will be the Rev’d Roger Thompson of the Church Mission Society Ireland. He is responsible for co-ordinating partnership links between sponsoring parishes in Ireland and those individuals who are working overseas on mission placements. Fr Thompson will tell us about the overall work of CMSI and something of the assistance to the Church in Zambia.
Our annual Advent Carol service will take place as usual at 5pm. The music of Advent, from the distant, anterior sound of ‘I look from afar’ to the reworking of ‘Veni Emmanuel’ by Philip Lawson, this Sunday afternoon will set the tone for a devotional advent season. The candlelit procession, the ‘O’ antiphons, readings and advent carols will prepare the way for Christmas. All are welcome.
On Thursday 8th December at 7:30pm the launch of Professor Brian Walker’s new book ‘A History of St. George’s’ will take place in the Parish Hall. He has been working hard on this over recent years and it promises to be an interesting and informative read. He has brought the keen eye and scholarship of a professional historian to the task and uncovered many gems and forgotten aspects of St. George’s history. The book is sumptuously illustrated with many colour plates and will make, not only an excellent read but also, a wonderful Christmas present for family and friends. Please do come along, enjoy the refreshments and buy a copy or two.
At St George’s, as we reflect upon 200 years of ministry and liturgy, we also look forward. How do we progress? A large part of the ministry and witness in St George’s is complemented by the high standard of church music. This is a delicate heritage, one which needs to be conserved and furthered.
St George’s is one of two male voice parish choirs in Ireland, our sister church, St Bartholomew’s in Dublin being the second. Our choristers, from probationer to A-level student, are on a 10 year learning programme, singing excellent music, learning the craftsmanship of the church musician, readying for further university choral scholarships before finally returning to the choir as adults with a deep appreciation for the legacy which we hold so close.
The choral scholars are well prepared for third level choral scholarships and have an excellent knowledge of the vast repertoire that is found in British collegiate and cathedral churches, as well as one-on-one voice training with Maeve Falconer.
This combination of education and Christian witness ensure that St George’s remains an excellent ambassador for choral church music; its liturgy affords good mass settings, anthems or motets; the service of Evensong also provides opportunity for the singing of canticles, responses, psalms and anthems. Evensong is the ‘bread and butter’ service of most choral scholarships, but many students will never be exposed to it in their own churches.
It was with this thought in mind that we decided to further extend our outreach. Students who have less experience of Evensong are invited to join our choral scholars once a month to form the Choral Scholar Training Choir and learn some of the repertoire that their contemporaries in Britain take for granted. We sent letters to the Heads of Music of the schools in Belfast and the surrounding area and invited interested students to come along to sing Evensong at St George’s.
The A-level music course requires that students study a certain number of sacred anthems, which we are also including in our programme over the year. Students are therefore singing different responses, canticles, hymns and anthems each month, whilst learning and performing works that they will also study in school. In addition, the programme opens up the church to girls’ voices, giving an opportunity which we have been unable to provide previously.
The first Evensong for the Choral Scholar Training Choir took place on September 18th, with 33 students from 7 different schools in the Belfast area. Sunday October 23rd saw the second Evensong, when a graduate of Durham and Cambridge gave advice on choral scholarships.
The music committee is applying for funding from outside bodies, to pay for visiting directors from the British college chapels and cathedrals to come and direct Evensong and meet with students afterwards. Past directors and choristers Nigel McClintock, Ian Keatley and Edward McMullan have already agreed to come and ‘guest’ direct
The students also quickly gain a love for choral music and for the heritage which we safeguard; they will progress it into the next generation.
Please do come along on the third Sunday of each month and support these young people. If you know of a young person who might benefit from the experience, please put him/her in touch with David Falconer (Tel: 07824 553695).
On this the centenary of the Battle of the Somme, Saint George’s Singers will be paying tribute to all those lost during the Great War. Using letters, newsreel footage and music, the short recital will reflect on the sacrifices made during the conflict.
The event will include works by Fauré, Elgar, Sullivan and Parry as well as a special performance of Memorial Ground by David Lang. The choir will be conducted by Marion Doherty Hayden with Gareth Lewis on organ.
During the singing of Memorial Ground, choir members will identify with some of the fallen.
Remembering Them takes place this Saturday, November 5th at 7.30pm in St George’s. Admission is £10 payable at the door (no tickets required).
All Souls Day will be commemorated this year on Wednesday, November 2nd. The Eucharist will be celebrated at 10.30 that morning and at 8pm there is a Sung Eucharist with a Commemoration of the Faithful Departed. The preacher will be the Rev’d Dr Richard Clutterbuck, Principal of Edgehill Theological College in Belfast. This is an opportunity to remember our loved ones when the names of the deceased are read during the service. If you wish to have a loved one’s name included, a list will be available in the Narthex from mid-October. Only NEW names should be added.
A great morning at St George’s where we welcomed Preston, Ross, Noah, Dan, Stuart and Ben (pictured below) as fully fledged choristers. This sees the end of their training as probationers under Maeve Falconer as the new probationers begin this Friday. Maeve has been auditioning in the past few weeks and there are plenty of new probationers who will need shown the ropes by our new choristers.
We also saw two new head choristers, Hector and James (pictured below) added to the ranks, as Patrick and Jonah have moved to the back row with Carrington and Ben. Again, more future choral scholars, to be trained by Maeve and David.
The Parish Choir had a fabulous afternoon on Saturday at a workshop held by former chorister, Edward McMullan. The counter tenor from The Sixteen was home for a short stay after performing a concert in Derry last night and before rushing home to his day job as counter tenor lay clerk in Westminster Cathedral. Edward (Eddie) put the choir through exciting warm ups physical, mental and vocal before working through the Five Part Mass setting by William Byrd.
The choir responded really well creating an incredible sound. The climax came when Eddie also sang with them, a group united in utter musical expression. Eddie is delighted that the choir continues to sing such repertoire and we look forward to welcoming him back to direct a choral evensong for the Choral Scholar Training Choir.