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 perform at services, and on other stages around Ireland.[2]


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

The choir, accompanied by a gospel band, is composed primarily of younger people, mostly in their twenties.[citation needed] Beginning with a smaller group, as of 2011, there were 40 voices backed by 8 musicians.[5] The choir was originally conducted by founder Kevin Kelly, but as of 2015, the musical director was Orla Gargan.[6]


The choir is accompanied by some instruments, including keyboard, guitar, percussion and brass.[5] The music played includes gospel and contemporary, including pieces by U2 and Bob Marley as well as traditional gospel.[7]

Over the years, the group have played in a number of venues, including at the Dublin City Soul Festival (where they shared the stage with the US-based Rance Allen Group),[8][better source needed] at the women's prison, the Dóchas Centre, which was recorded and broadcast on RTÉ Radio, and for the Dublin Docklands Authority.[citation needed] In May 2008, the choir performed at Irish Aid's 'Africa Day', where they collaborated with Kíla. The festival took place in the grounds of Dublin Castle, and the main stage featured a line-up of Irish and African entertainers, including: Mundy, Kíla, Sinéad O'Connor, Republic of Loose, the Discovery Gospel Choir, Motema and others.[9]

As of 2009 they had recorded with Luka Bloom and Juliet Turner.[10][11][12]

Recordings and prizes[edit]

In 2002, Gardiner Street Gospel Choir launched a CD named One Love, and made radio and television appearances.[13] 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).[13][dead link] They subsequently won the Gospel Choir competition at the AIMS choral festival in New Ross.[5]

In 2003, Luka Bloom performed with the choir,[14] and the choir provided backing vocals for two tracks on his Eleven Songs album. They were recorded in the Ignatian Room, at the back of Gardiner Street Church.[10][11]

The choir sang live on RTÉ's "In Concert" series,[15][16][dead link] and the Sunday World and Channel 4 television have both featured the group.[5]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ "Can gospel choirs bring Mass appeal?". Irish Times. 4 April 2004. 
  2. ^ "Events". Retrieved 9 January 2017. 
  3. ^ "Kevin Kelly Bio". Archived from the original on 20 May 2009. 
  4. ^ "Mass with a gospel beat". Sunday Mirror. 25 April 2004 – via 
  5. ^ a b c d "Gospel Masses". Magis Ireland (Jesuit's website). Archived from the original on 16 July 2011. 
  6. ^ "Workshops". Archived from the original on 12 August 2015. Our Musical Director Orla Gargan has 15 years experience... 
  7. ^ "The Gardiner Street Gospel Choir". Archived from the original on 13 July 2011. 
  8. ^ Colin Dilnot (April 2007). "Dublin City Soul Festival". Retrieved 11 November 2010. 
  9. ^ "Martin kicks off Africa Day – RTÉ News". 26 May 2008. Retrieved 25 September 2013. 
  10. ^ a b "Short Notices". AMDG Newsletter (Jesuit Weekly Newsletter. 4 November 2008. Archived from the original on 21 July 2011. 
  11. ^ a b "Luka Bloom Bio". Bar None Records. Retrieved 9 January 2017. 
  12. ^ "Gardiner Street Gospel Choir @ The Heilx". 14 May 2009. 
  13. ^ a b – The gig at God's gaff Archived 3 March 2016 at the Wayback Machine.
  14. ^ Rena Bergholz. "Luka Bloom – I Am Not at War With Anyone". Archived from the original on 28 September 2013. Retrieved 25 September 2013. 
  15. ^ "Gardiner St Gospel Choir's 2008 Performance in Mountjoy Dochas prison, as featured on RTE Radio 1 show "In Concert"". RTÉ. [permanent dead link]
  16. ^ "Gardiner St Gospel Choir's Easter concert, as featured on RTE Radio 1 show "In Concert"". RTÉ. 

External links[edit]