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Raymond O’Donnell has been organist and director of music at Galway Cathedral since January 1994. A native of Dublin, he studied music and mathematical physics at Maynooth University, graduating in 1991 with a first-class honours Master’s degree in organ performance and interpretation.

He founded Galway Cathedral Recitals in 1994, to present a series of organ and other concerts in the cathedral every summer. In 2006–7 he oversaw the rebuilding of the cathedral organ by Trevor Crowe, whose skills have made it one of the finest organs in the country.

In addition to his work in the cathedral, Ray has a busy performing career, and is in demand as a soloist and accompanist in Ireland and across Europe. He is an adjunct lecturer and tutor at Maynooth University and St Patrick’s Pontifical University Maynooth.

Schola Gregoriana Maynooth is a joint St Patrick’s Pontifical University and Maynooth University ensemble, founded in 2000 by Dr John O’Keeffe and Prof. Em. Gerard Gillen. Maynooth has a long tradition of chant performance, reaching back to the foundation of St Patrick’s College in 1795. Heinrich Bewerunge, St Patrick’s first professor of music (1888–1923), was a plainchant scholar of international repute. Schola Gregoriana Maynooth celebrates chant in liturgical and concert contexts; its main repertoire comes from the great wealth of medieval Mass and Divine Office chants. The Schola is an all-female group, comprising solo singers whose individual specialities include art music, traditional Irish music, and music theatre. The ensemble represents the colleges at national and international conferences and music festivals.

Darina McCarthy holds a first-class degree in composition and a doctoral degree in historical musicology from Maynooth University. Darina has directed specialist plainchant ensemble Schola Gregoriana Maynooth since 2012, and is an adjunct chant lecturer at Maynooth.

She is founder-director of Audivi, a project-based chamber choir focused on the golden age of Renaissance polyphony and 20th-century vocal works. Although a cappella repertoire is the group’s main focus, since its foundation in 2002 Audivi has collaborated with strings, continuo and organ. For the past year Darina has directed Galway Choral Association, a community choir which presents large-scale vocal/orchestral works.

Michael Vignoles has been playing the Irish uilleann pipes for the past 30 years. Born in the Claddagh area of Galway city, he started an apprenticeship as maintenance fitter and later went on to making uilleann pipes and bodhráns. Michael plays regularly at traditional music venues in Ireland, Europe, and the USA. He also gives demonstrations on the instruments he makes to primary and secondary school students across Ireland. He has been a member of Galway Cathedral Choir for the past 20 years.

Johann Sebastian Bach (1685–1750)

Prelude in E flat, BWV 552

Responsory & prosa

Magni Patris – Mente munda

Pipes & organ

Easter snow – Sí beag, sí mór – Fanny Power

Antiphon & psalmody

Benedictus sit Dominus

Darina McCarthy

Lucem solis

Charles Villiers Stanford (1852–1924)

I bind unto myself

from Sonata ‘Celtica’ in C minor, op.153:

St Patrick’s Breastplate

Pipes & organ

Táimse im’ choladh – Inis Oírr

Michael Vignoles

Whispering Wind

M. Vignoles / D. McCarthy

Iam sol recedit igneus

Hildegard of Bingen (1098–1179) / M. Vignoles

Laus Trinitati

J.S. Bach

Fugue in E flat, BWV 552