Popular Dublin multi-racial gospel choir celebrates 10 years

Fans include Archbishop Desmond Tutu

The Discovery Gospel Choir are celebrating 10 years and holding a “Home” concert at Christ Church Cathedral Saturday evening. Photograph: Cyril Byrne

The Discovery Gospel Choir are celebrating 10 years and holding a “Home” concert at Christ Church Cathedral Saturday evening. Photograph: Cyril Byrne

Fri, Mar 14, 2014, 16:05

One of the most unique and colourful choirs in Ireland celebrates its 10th anniversary this year and will host a ‘Home’ concert in Dublin’s Christ Church Catherdal Saturday evening at 8pm.

The Discovery Gospel Choir, whose members come from 17 different countries across four continents, has been described as “the most multicultural choir in Ireland”.

Formed in 2004, it is based at the Dublin city centre church of St George and St Thomas. Made up of 30 singers and musicians, it has, over the past decade, gained a reputation for very lively performances as well as a diverse membership.

Already by 2005 it was attracting unusual levels of attention. In May of that year one of its most distinguished fans, the Nobel prize winning South African Archbishop Desmond Tutu, attended an exuberant Discovery Service at St George and St Thomas’s which involved an overflow mixed-race congregation of about 400.

Afterwards, he told this newspaper of his delight in being at “such a glorious, glorious service” with its “fantastic choir”.

On the multi-racial theme he described creation as “an explosion of diversity” and advised those present to “go out into this beautiful Emerald Isle and tell them the rainbow is a rainbow only because of its colours . . . tell them God thinks in technicolour and that his creation is an extravaganza”.

He said of the service: “It was fun being there, and seeing the passion people have was marvellous.”

Speaking of Saturday’s ‘Home’ concert, Aisling McCormick, musical director with Discovery Gospel Choir, said that its founders “very deliberately reached out to migrant communities to source singers and musicians for the choir”, They had called this 10th anniversary concert ‘Home’ as the choir “has served as a home of sorts for many of its members”.