The story of Esker Children’s Music Group began in 1989 when a priest from the Redemptorist Community in Esker approached the local primary school principal and asked if some of the children could sing a few Christmas carols before Midnight Mass on Christmas Eve.
Thus began a long tradition.
Today, those first children are now adults with children of their own and so the choir has gradually evolved into a mixed choir of children and adults. Every year, new members, young and old, male and female, are welcomed into the choir.
Over the years, the repertoire too has evolved, becoming longer and more challenging with carols from around the world, and contemporary carols being sung in four-part harmonies. Favourites include: “The Shepherd’s Farewell”, “Ukranian Carol” (Ring Christmas Bells), “The Wexford Carol”, Disney’s “God Bless Us Everyone”, and, of course, O Holy Night”.
The choir provides excellent vocal training in an enjoyable and stimulating way and the opportunity to perform in a wonderful setting at a magical time.
For those first children, the newer members, and for the many hundreds of people who have experienced the magic of Midnight Mass on Christmas Eve night in Esker, Christmas just wouldn’t be the same without the Christmas Choir.
Rehearsals for the Christmas Choir take place on Sundays at 12 (after 11 a.m. mass) in the common room of the monastery in November and December. The choir sings at Midnight Mass on 24 December and at 11a.m. Sunday mass throughout the Christmas period and on 6 January, the Feast of the Epiphany.
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