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Fundraising concert to raise funds for St Patrick's Church and Children's Hospice

The first phase of the restoration work got underway at St Patrick's Church in Belfast earlier this year. Picture by Hugh Russell
John Monaghan

A FUNDRAISING concert in aid of the restoration of St Patrick's in Belfast is to be held tonight at the city centre church.

The concert, which begins at 7.30pm in St Patrick's in Donegall Street, will feature a host of choirs from across the US and Australia.

Although there will be no charge for entry, a collection will be taken up at the end of the evening with proceeds being split between the church and the Children's Hospice.

A fundraising drive over recent years allowed restoration work to begin earlier this year at the historic church, although the plans will not be fully realised as donations have not yet matched the total cost for the first phase of the project, estimated at £1.5m.

The gala concert will be headed up by artistic director Dr Janet Galván, who has conducted national, regional, and all-state choruses throughout the United States.

Dr Galván was also a member of the Grammy Award-winning Robert Shaw Festival Singers.

Amongst those performing under her tutelage will be the Trinity College Choir and Mercedes College Select Choir, both from Perth in Australia, while the Princeton Girlchoir and the Choral Society of West Georgia.

All four ensembles will sing their own pieces before coming together for a grand finale combining over 120 voices.

The gala concert is to raise funds for restoration work at St Patrick's and the Children's Hospice 

The Irish News reported last year that Prince Charles had donated £2,000 to the restoration work, following a high-profile visit to the building in May 2015.

That money was earmarked for the renovation of the church's distinctive spire.

The royal visitor, who was greeted by then first and deputy first ministers Peter Robinson and Martin McGuinness, was shown round the church, which he described as "beautiful", and examined the plans for the restoration work.

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