CATHOLIC NEWS OF THE WEEK . Sunday, 1 September 2019

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A night with the voices of angels


HONG KONG (SE): The Celtic Connections Chamber Choir treated an almost full house to an evening featuring the voices of angels and instrumentals at St. John’s Cathedral on the evening of November 27, fulfilling its long held ambition to present itself in a church.

Made up mostly of Irish people residing in Hong Kong with the addition of some highly talented people with a profound interest in Celtic music, Celtic Connections has strong links with the St. Patrick’s Society of Hong Kong and the honorary consul from Ireland to Hong Kong, Harry O’Neill.

Originally formed around three years ago to present a Celtic Christmas in reflective prayer and song, the group has developed into a full choir of 24 voices that has performed at the Hong Kong Asian Celtic Games and the St. Patrick’s Society Annual Ball.

It has also appeared at a concert in City Hall with Davy Spillane and the City Chamber Orchestra of Hong Kong and recently was a guest of the Irish ambassador to China performing in the Forbidden City in Beijing at the Irish Festival 2012.

The close relationship the choir has with the St. Patrick’s Association was expressed in the support given at the evening to the Society for the Relief of Disabled Children Fund, a charity which was responsible for the foundation of the Duchess of Kent Children’s Hospital in Sandy Bay.

However, as the government took over the running of all public hospitals in 1991, the society has since spread its wings into mainland China, offering services in rehabilitation, education and other facilities.

The emcee for the evening, Ian Candy, also appealed for people to register with the Hong Kong Red Cross Bone Marrow Registry and introduced a special collection for the Rocky Perez Fund in support of a Filipino musician in the city who is suffering from lymphoma and to date has been unable to find a donor match in Hong Kong.

Accompanied by Saan Wang on the piano and the Lumen String Trio, the choir, under the direction of Canice Gleeson, presented a varied menu, including two songs, one in Mandarin, by Katie Targett-Adams accompanying herself on the harp, and a number by Michael Spangfort on the flute and Sean Powell on the pipes.

While the choir features four highly educated musicians, it is mostly made up of people who simple enjoy Celtic music and have a flare for its presentation. It welcomes new members who wish to be involved in what is a highly creative cultural experience.


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