Gardiner Street Gospel Choir

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Gardiner Street Gospel Choir
Origin Dublin, Ireland
Genres Gospel
Years active 2000-present
Website Gardiner Street Gospel Choir Website
Members Musical Director
Aidan Greene

The Gardiner Street Gospel Choir is a Gospel music choir based in the Jesuit Saint Francis Xavier Church[1] on Gardiner Street in Dublin, Ireland. The award-winning choir is made up of volunteers who have performed from September to June on every Sunday mass at 7.30pm as well as many others stages in all Ireland for over 10 years.[2]


The choir was founded by Kevin Kelly,[3] a Trinity College music graduate[4] and Edmond Grace SJ, in the year 2000 to be the first weekly Gospel Mass in Dublin. The very first meeting of choir was on 22 March 2000. The original nucleus of the choir and band were former fellow-music students of Kevin's at Trinity College, Dublin.

The choir, accompanied by a gospel band, is composed of young people, mostly in their twenties. Some are rock, jazz and classical musicians, and several are professionally trained. The choir was originally conducted by founder Kevin Kelly, but the musical director is now Aidan Green.[5] It began as a few friends from college with instruments, then a few singers. Now there are 40 voices and these 40 are backed by 8 musicians: 2 keyboards, 2 guitars, 2 percussion, a trumpet and a sax.[6]

The mass has attracted media attention because it fills the church every week with young people from the city and outlying suburbs, attracted by the choir's performances and the adapted liturgy.[5]


The choir includes not only voices, but a full range of instruments: keyboard, electric guitar, bass, drum, etc. Every Sunday more than 40 people volunteer to be part of the choir and band.[7] The music includes gospel and contemporary with everything from U2 to Macy Gray, Bob Marley to Jewel, traditional gospel to new twists on old classics.[8]

Over the years, the choir and band have played in various venues ranging from schools for disabled children, prisons, charity events, and large scale concerts as well as the weekly mass in Gardiner Street. Since its foundation in 2010, the choir has performed at the Dublin City Soul Festival (where they shared the stage with US soul giants the The Rance Allen Group[9]), at Irish Aid's Africa Day (where they collaborated with Kíla), at the women's prison, the Dóchas Centre, which was recorded and broadcast on RTÉ Radio, and for the Dublin Docklands Authority at the lighting of their Christmas tree. In 2009 they recorded with Luka Bloom[10] and Juliet Turner.[11][12]

On Sunday 26 May 2008, the choir performed at the Africa Day festival in the grounds of Dublin Castle. A main stage in front of the picnic area featured a line-up of leading Irish and African entertainers, including: Mundy; Kíla; Sinéad O'Connor; Republic of Loose; the Discovery Gospel Choir; Motema; Stone & Jezreel; Congomania; Ugandan traditional dance and a fashion show.[13]

Recordings & prizes[edit]

In 2002, Gardiner Street Gospel Choir launched a CD named One Love, and made several radio and television appearances.[5] The choir's CD, One Love, was recorded live at Concert in the O'Reilly Hall, at Belvedere College, Dublin.

Twice since its foundation, the choir has won the top Gospel Choir prize at the annual Festival of the Association of Irish Musical Societies (AIMS).[5] Most recently they won the Gospel Choir competition at the AIMS choral festival in New Ross.[6]

In 2003, Luka Bloom became the first well-known solo artist to perform with the choir.[14] The Gardiner Street Gospel Choir provided backing vocals for two tracks to Luka Bloom's Eleven Songs album. They were recorded in the Ignatian Room, at the back of Gardiner Street Church.[15][16]

The choir sang live on RTÉ's "In Concert" series, and the Sunday World and Channel 4 television have both featured the group.[6]

External links[edit]

See also[edit]