The streets of Belfast’s Cathedral Quarter will be abuzz on September 19, with St Anne’s at the heart of what is now the annual City of Belfast Culture Night.
Businesses, educational, cultural and arts organisations, restaurants, coffee shops and pubs will all be involved with a range of special events bringing colour, sights and sounds to the streets and participating venues.
Culture Night is expected to attract visitors in their thousands, and Belfast Cathedral, which has been involved since Culture Night was first launched, will again play a key role.
On the night, there will be two opportunities to hear the choir and take part in worship: The 5.30pm Choral Evensong will last about half an hour and involves the singing of psalms and prayers; there are readings and a hymn, and the choir also sings an anthem.
“It is a quiet and reflective end to the afternoon,” said the Dean of Belfast, the Very Rev John Mann.
At 9pm St Anne’s will hold a short service called Compline. “This is sung to plainsong chant as the last monastic office of the day prepares us for rest and sleep – it is very beautiful and not to be missed,” said Dean Mann.
Something else not to be missed is a performance of Jonah–Man Jazz by the girls’ choir who tell the story of Jonah and the Whale through music in a concert which lasts just 10–15 minutes. The show starts at 6.30pm.
The Cathedral is also hosting two other concerts: At 7pm Shadows & Light will be performing the music of Joni Mitchell whose songs will be interpreted by three lovers of her music, Maura Vambeck (vocals and guitar), Dave Mulligan (guitar) and Paul Enright (keyboard).
The band’s repertoire will include some of Joni Mitchell’s more well–known songs like ‘Chelsea Morning’, ‘Big Yellow Taxi’ and ‘Both Sides Now’ along with some of the lesser known numbers like ‘Coyote’ and ‘Help Me.’
To round the evening off, the group UNKNWN, consisting of producer/singer Gemma Dunleavy and beat–maker/producer Chris Hanna will play fully live with cello accompaniment in the Cathedral. This closing concert of Culture Night gets underway at 10pm.
Throughout Culture Night, members of St Anne’s will be provided refreshments on the Cathedral steps outside for passers–by.
Looking forward to September 19, Dean Mann said: “Culture Night has become an institution in the Cathedral Quarter and beyond. So much happens, in such a variety of ways, that not only is there something for everyone, there is too much to possibly experience it all! The message is ‘Come and enjoy what is on offer.’
“You will be welcome in the Cathedral in the quiet times when you can look around or pray with us during the services at 5.30pm and 9pm or when singers and other musicians are performing for our enjoyment. Better still, why not do both!”