St Anne’s Cathedral was again at the heart of Belfast Culture Night 2015, hosting a series of superb musical performances and talented artists.
Crowds again packed into the Cathedral for two beautiful services featuring the St Anne’s Choir – Evensong at 5.30pm and Compline at 9pm which was attended by more than 600 people.
The annual Culture Night draws an estimated 50,000 people to the Cathedral Quarter, and this year featured more than 200 events in over 100 venues.
In St Anne’s activities got underway at 1pm with the opening of an exhibition by local Christian artist Mary Gilfillan in the Ambulatory.
Throughout the afternoon the Cathedral provided the stage for concerts by several singer songwriters, beginning with Irish Folk and Root singer Marc O’Reilly at 2pm; acoustic music from the Bad Hearts aka Paul Wilkinson and Edelle McMahon at 3pm and Amanda St John singing soul songs old and new from 4pm.
In the Crypt people viewed Cisme, a hauntingly beautiful video installation by Jonny McEwen. The Cathedral was also the venue for an exhibition of banners created with Open Arts, and in the rear car park ‘The WIMPS Blanket Fort’ – a Children in Need project – offered visual arts and workshops. WIMPS (Where Is My Public Servant) had invited a number of politicians in to answer questions put to them by young people.
Back inside, Songs of Peace and Freedom proved a big hit, with their repertoire including a range of international songs to inspire.
The Ulster Youth Jazz Orchestra filled the Cathedral with Big Band Music featuring swing, funk and pop. This concert which began at 8pm was a huge draw, with the seats packed and people queuing to get in.
Many stayed on for Compline, with the Cathedral in complete silence for this ancient monastic late evening service.
It was another hugely successful Culture Night for St Anne’s Cathedral.