The Priests Bid Farewell After 50 Years of Music and Ministry

The Priests, a classical music group of three Catholic priests from Northern Ireland, announce their farewell concerts after a 50-year musical journey. They will conclude their performing career as a trio, marking the end of an unexpected adventure that took them to global stardom.

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Nitish Verma
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The Priests Bid Farewell After 50 Years of Music and Ministry

The Priests Bid Farewell After 50 Years of Music and Ministry

After an extraordinary 50-year musical journey, The Priests, a classical music group consisting of three Catholic priests from Northern Ireland, have announced their decision to conclude their performing career as a trio. Fr Eugene O'Hagan, Fr Martin O'Hagan, and Fr David Delargy will take the stage for a series of farewell concerts later this year, celebrating their golden jubilee and marking the end of an unexpected adventure that has taken them to global stardom.

The Priests' musical collaboration began in 1974 when they were schoolboys at St MacNissi's College in Co Antrim, Northern Ireland. In 2008, they signed a recording contract that would propel them to international recognition. Their debut album became the fastest-selling debut album for a classical act in the UK, earning them a place in the Guinness Book of Records. The trio's first three albums were each nominated for Classical Album of the Year in the Classical Brit Awards.

Throughout their musical career, The Priests have had the privilege of performing for three Popes - John Paul II, Benedict XVI, and Francis - as well as the late Queen Elizabeth II. They have also been recognized with multiple awards, including MBEs in 2020 for their contribution to Music and Charity in Northern Ireland. Despite their success in the music industry, the priests have remained committed to their diocesan work, serving as full-time priests in the Diocese of Down and Connor.

The decision to step back from performing as a group stems from the increasing difficulty of balancing their music career with their priestly duties. As Fr Eugene explained, "When we signed our recording contract in 2008, we had a line put in it that said our music career would never encroach on our diocesan work. As times change, and we get a little older, this is becoming more and more difficult to coordinate." The priests believe their 50th anniversary is the right time to say farewell to their musical career.

"We have had the time of our lives, it has been a dream come true. But alas, all dreams must come to an end," Fr Martin reflected on their journey. "It has been the most unexpected of journeys, an experience we will never forget, with many highlights too numerous to mention. There is no doubt we will never stop singing, and we remain lifelong friends, but The Priests as a musical group, will end their voyage here," Fr David added.

The farewell concerts will take place in Armagh, Ballymena, Derry, Belfast, and Balbriggan, with tickets available on Ticketmaster. The income from music sales and concerts has funded The Priests' Foundation, a charitable trust that has built schools in Cambodia, Uganda, and Thailand, and supported retired priests, the homeless, and supplied schools with music apparatus. The Priests' musical legacy extends far beyond their albums and performances, as their success has enabled them to make a significant impact on the lives of many through their charitable work.

As The Priests prepare to take their final bow as a musical group, their 50-year journey stands as a testament to the power of music, faith, and friendship. The trio's ability to touch the hearts of millions through their voices while remaining dedicated to their priestly vocation is an inspiration to many. While their performing career may be coming to an end, the impact of their music and charitable work will undoubtedly continue to resonate for years to come.

Key Takeaways

  • The Priests, a classical music group of 3 Catholic priests, are ending their 50-year performing career.
  • Their debut album was the fastest-selling debut album for a classical act in the UK, earning a Guinness World Record.
  • The trio has performed for 3 Popes and the late Queen Elizabeth II, and have won multiple awards, including MBEs.
  • Their music career has funded The Priests' Foundation, a charitable trust that has built schools and supported various causes.
  • The farewell concerts will take place in 5 locations, with tickets available on Ticketmaster.