The Emmanuel student concert series will begin tonight, Monday 26 February, in the Archdiocese of Dublin, finishing on Thursday 1 March. This year marks the twelfth annual Emmanuel concert series and the 2018 project is the largest to date as almost two and a half thousand teenagers from seventy different schools throughout Dublin will take to the stage in DCU’s Helix concert hall to sing and play Church music.
The Emmanuel concert series is unique in the Irish Church. The live concerts are almost entirely student led, with soloists, musicians, presenters and MCs chosen from participating schools.
This year, as we look ahead to the World Meeting of Families in Dublin in August, students will sing hymns that will be sung at the WMOF Closing Mass – hopefully celebrated by Pope Francis! Although a visit by Pope Francis to the World Meeting of Families has yet to be confirmed, preparations – even down to the choice of music for ceremonies at the World Meeting – are already under way. Some of that religious music will be heard live for the first time this week at the Emmanuel concerts.
Among the many compositions the students will sing will be three pieces that have been specially written for the World Meeting of Families in August – Joy for all the Earth by Ephron Feely, People of Joy, written by Brendan Dowd, and Joy for the World by Father Liam Lawton.
As in previous years, boys and girls from the Holy Family School for the Deaf in Cabra will together sign and participate in concerts on the Wednesday and Thursday nights.
Emmanuel is a project of the Dublin Diocesan Liturgical Resource Centre and promotes the use of Sacred Music in Secondary schools. Before getting on stage each day the students participate in faith-based workshops, reflections rehearse hymns and play music. Each morning of workshops is followed by full rehearsals and then a live concert every evening where parents, family members, teachers and the public get to enjoy the fruits of the musical and spiritual preparations.
The students take the music and prayers they learn during the Emmanuel workshops and concerts, use, and adapt them in their own prayer services and liturgies in their school communities throughout the year.
Tickets for the Emmanuel 2018 can be purchased on www.thehelix.ie or by calling (01) 700 7000.
For more information on the Emmanuel 2018 series see www.dublindiocese.ie.