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Loyola rings in holidays with Priests

Staff Writer

Published: Thursday, December 5, 2013

Updated: Friday, December 6, 2013 16:12

The Priests

COURTESY OF STEVE SCHOFIELD

The Priests kneel in prayer. The Irish music group, which has performed around the world, sang at Loyola on November 26.

Irish music group The Priests returned to Loyola on November 26 for a special holiday performance after making their U.S. debut at Loyola in 2012.

Jessica Brown, communications/artist relations manager, said the return of the group was highly anticipated after the success of their debut performance.

“The Priests made their U.S. debut at Loyola in April 2012 to a sold out house and rave reviews. When their agent approached us regarding an encore performance this year, the committee agreed that it would be a welcome addition to the season,” Brown said.

The Priests are a classical music trio including Fathers Martin O’Hagan, Eugene O’Hagan and David Delargy, Catholic priests from the Diocese of Down and Connor in Northern Ireland. The three priests are also founders of the internationally acclaimed Belfast-based choir, Cappella Caeciliana.

They have received worldwide acclaim since they recorded their first album in 2008. Their debut album sold so quickly that it awarded them a place in the Guinness Book of World Records as the fastest-selling classical album debut of all time. It has sold over 3 million copies to date.

Since The Priests’ success went international, some of their prominent audiences have included the British royal family, the Irish president, and Pope Benedict XIV in 2010.

Getting such a popular musical group back to Loyola is an entire performance in of itself.

“A Montage planning committee works with Dean Donald Boomgaarden to plan the annual performing arts series. Potential performers are submitted and, based on available dates, associated costs and other events scheduled, the final selections are booked into the series,” Brown said.

Currently, they are on tour through the U.S., finishing up this Saturday with a performance in Nebraska. With two Christmas concerts in the United Kingdom this holiday season, they plan to finish up the year just before Christmas, making Loyola one of their final stops.

While on tour, they have been waiting in anticipation for the Hollywood film chronicling their musical careers, “Raising the Roof,” set to release in 2014.

After several years, four albums and a fifth on the way, The Priests have found an admirable balance between music and religion, causing their extreme success that inspires fans all around the world.

“It has been a wonderful privilege to bring this fabulous music across many countries and we have been very excited and humbled by the response,” Fr. Martin said, according to The Priests’ website.

Mary Graci can be reached at megraci@loyno.edu 

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