A hymn to the virgin Britten
O magnum mysterium Lauridsen
Seek him that maketh the seven stars J Dove
Lux aurumque E Whitacre
O nata lux T Tallis
Messiah extracts to include:
And the glory of the Lord
And the angel said – Glory to God
Behold the Lamb of God; Hallelujah
Worthy is the Lamb – Amen
and selected solos.
Cappella Caeciliana was founded on the feast of St Cecilia in 1995, has sung liturgies and concerts all over Northern Ireland and performed in Scotland, Switzerland, Italy, Germany, Austria and the USA.
Donal McCrisken has directed the choir since 1999.
On its American tour in 2011 the choir sang Choral Evensong at the National Cathedral in Washington DC and gave concerts to great acclaim in Philadelphia. Cappella has performed on BBC Radio 3, Radio 4, Radio Ulster as well as BBC TV on many occasions and performed works by Handel and Fauré with the Ulster Orchestra, Bach Cantatas in Dublin with the Orchestra of St Cecilia and works by Vivaldi, Pergolesi and Mozart with orchestral forces in Belfast. The choir’s repertoire stretches from plainchant, great polyphonic works by Byrd, Victoria and Palestrina, music by Haydn, Mozart, Fauré, Duruflé and others up to the present day.
Cappella Caeciliana has made four CD recordings and a fifth is planned for early 2018.
They have increasingly been exploring the music of outstanding contemporary figures such as John Tavener, Arvo Pärt, Morten Lauridsen, Eric Whitacre and James MacMillan. Locally, they commissioned ‘Exsultet’ by Neil Martin (recorded on the CD Reflecting Light) and have premiered works by Elaine Agnew, Ian Wilson and Philip Hammond.
Cappella has also extended its activities to collaborate with other artists, for example providing the live music element in Carlos Acosta’s ‘Premieres Plus’ at the 2011 Belfast Festival at Queens. In September 2013 the choir sang in Belfast’s Waterfront Hall for the Diocese of Down and Connor’s Living Faith Congress and were joined by founder members of the choir, The Priests, who continue to support Cappella’s many and varied activities.
For the 20th anniversary season in 2015/2016 Cappella Caeciliana commissioned James MacMillan to write Ut omnes unum sint for the choir, with a trio section for The Priests, which received its first performance in Edinburgh on 21st November 2015 and Irish premiere in Belfast on 12th March 2016, both conducted by the composer.
The highlight of the 2016/17 season was a special concert on Palm Sunday (9th April) in Armagh conducted by Eamonn Dougan, and featuring the Fauré Requiem and the Irish premiere of Stabat Mater by Alissa Firsova.