St Cedma’s Church, Larne, will host a special evening of ‘Songs of Praise’ this Saturday (November 2) at 7pm.
Borrowing its title and format from the long-running television series, the event will be an opportunity to join in singing favourite hymns under the baton of Richard Yarr, presenter of BBC Radio Ulster’s ‘Sounds Sacred’.
Accompaniment will be provided by organist Rev Dr Ian Mills, curate of St Cedma’s, and a brass ensemble.
Mr Yarr is no stranger to the town, having adjudicated at the Larne Music Festival on several occasions in recent years. A senior producer at BBC NI, he has many musical strings to his bow, not least creating the hugely successful BBC School Choir of the Year competition, and chairing the annual Charles Wood Festival in Armagh. In recognition of his contribution to music, he was awarded the Freedom of the City of London earlier this year.
Rev Ian Mills, who has been serving as Curate at St Cedma’s since September 2018, is the current President of the Ulster Society of Organists and Choirmasters.
Prior to ordination he was Organist and Master of the Choristers in St Columb’s Cathedral, Londonderry, and a busy teacher, choral director and recitalist.
Looking forward to the evening, Rev Ian said: “The singing of hymns is the lifeblood of the church’s worship across many of our traditions. I can guarantee that you will be uplifted by joining us as we sing songs of praise.”
The event will include a musical tribute to the late Archy McNeill, the well-loved Larne musician who died in June.
In addition to inspiring many young musicians through his teaching at Larne High School, Archy was for many years the organist and choirmaster in St Cedma’s. He was also a member of the concert group ‘Gaslight’.
The evening is free of charge, although contributions to a retiring collection will be shared between St Cedma’s Building Fund and Cancer Focus Northern Ireland.
Refreshments will follow in the Parish Hall.