The Priests are a vocal trio of Northern Irish Catholic priests, comprised of two brothers Father Martin and Father Eugene O’Hagan, along with school friend Father David Delargy. The Priests signed a global recording deal in 2008 with Sony Music and released their self-titled debut album in November, which became a major global sensation, selling over 1 million copies in just 7 weeks. On April 7th, RCA Victor will be releasing The Priests – In Concert at Armagh Cathedral, available for sale for the first time on DVD.
In front of a packed audience of hundreds of attentive fans and a PBS television crew, The Priests performed soaring renditions of classics such as “Ave Maria,” “Pie Jesu” and “Panis Angelicus,” as well as traditional Irish songs in an hour long concert at the stunning Armagh Cathedral in Northern Ireland. Their outstanding harmonies won ecstatic applause from the audience, and this concert was one of the most successful PBS pledge drive programs this past holiday season.
The Priests’ self-titled debut album was released in November 2008 in more than 40 countries across the globe, and sold over 1 million copies in just 7 weeks. The album broke the Guinness World Book of Records, officially being the fastest selling debut by a classical act in the UK, and has achieved platinum status in the UK, Norway, Sweden, New Zealand. Additionally, the album is 5 times platinum in their native Ireland.
Their debut album was recorded at home in Ireland and also at St. Peter’s Basilica in Rome, where they were accompanied by two Vatican choirs. The album was produced by music legend Mike Hedges, who worked on hit albums by U2 and Manic Street Preachers.
Following the Armagh concert, Father Eugene O’Hagan commented, “Tonight was one of the most moving of my life. It was just fantastic to receive such a reception from a wonderfully appreciative audience.”
Father Martin said, “If we can truly reach out to the world through the music, then we feel we will have brought some pleasure to people and lifted their hearts.”
Father David, who counts Tina Turner and Sting among his musical favorites added, “What has happened to us since we signed to Sony Music is just beyond the wildest dreams of any of us. We all feel we are on an extraordinary journey.”
The Priests signed a unique recording contract less than a year ago, which ensured that their day jobs will never be interrupted, no matter what the scale of their musical success. Their priestly duties are enshrined in a contract which includes a clause freeing them from any promotional or recording commitments – parish duties always take precedence.
“Weddings, funerals, baptisms – all of these things must go on and will always come first for us,” says Father Eugene.
Filmed by acclaimed director Chris Cowey, this special concert – The Priests in Concert at Armagh Cathedral is set for release on DVD on April 7th, just in time for Easter.
The Priests: In Concert At Armagh Cathedral
01 Domine Fili Unigenite
02 Panis Angelicus
03 Ave Maria
04 Dúlamán (Moya Brennan with The Priests)
05 Perfect Time (Moya Brennan)
06 Ching-A-Ring Chaw
07 Be Still My Soul
08 Pie Jesu
09 Jesu Joy Of Man’s Desiring
10 Ag Crióst An Siól
11 Water Under The Keel (Liam O’Flynn)
12 Funiculi Funicula
13 O Holy Night
14 She Moved Through The Fair (Sir James and Lady Galway with The Priests)
15 Londonderry Air (Danny Boy) (Sir James Galway)
16 Phil The Fluter’s Ball (Sir James Galway with The Priests)
18 Abide With Me
19 Irish Blessing
Directed by Chris Cowey
Executive Producers: David Cumming and Jannine Waddell
In Concert at Armagh Cathedral – DVD release date — April 7th, 2009