Faith Matters

Cappella Caeciliana cap 25th anniversary year with socially-distanced cathedral carols

Cappella Caeciliana gave its only 'face-to-face' performance this year on Saturday, singing socially-distanced carols on the steps of St Anne's Cathedral in support of the Black Santa appeal. Choir chairman David Macartney, pictured left, choir member Sheelagh Greer, pictured right, and string quartet players, pictured from left to right, Maebh Martin, Katherine Sung, Matthew Kendell and Angus McCall were among those taking part

CAROL singing is one of the great Christmas traditions but, like so many other things this year, it has been greatly affected by Covid-19.

Official regulations require that singing be minimised and be at reduced volume, and that two metre social distancing be strictly adhered to.

Despite the restrictions, Belfast choir Cappella Caeciliana - which specialises in singing sacred music and always undertakes a number of Christmas performances - was determined to celebrate the Christmas season with carols, even if only in a modest way.

The choir gave a socially distanced performance on the steps of St Anne's Cathedral in Belfast on Saturday, in aid of the annual Black Santa appeal which draws to a close today.

In order to minimise the amount of singing, and to showcase young local talent, the choir shared the 'stage' with a string quartet who played instrumental carol versions.

This was Cappella Caeciliana's only official face-to-face performance this year, with a planned tour to Poland to sing in two basilicas in Kraków at Easter, and various local performances, having had to be cancelled.

However, the choir, which is supported by Power NI, has produced a well-received 'lockdown' video recording, made in five churches of various denominations in Belfast.

This helped to mark its 25th anniversary - celebrated in November - in a special way in a year which has made traditional performances all but impossible.

  • The Black Santa appeal is this year supporting charities which are helping those most impacted by the Covid-19 crisis. Power NI has supported the appeal this year. Donations can be made online or a £10 donation can be made by texting SANTA to 70660.

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Faith Matters