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Bernard wins sacred music competition

Wednesday, 4th July, 2018 4:15pm

Strongly melodic with a solid harmonic underpinning is how one judge described a winning composition for St Colman’s Cathedral in Cobh.

The Diocese of Cloyne has announced composer Bernard Sexton as the winner of the Sacred Music competition for a Setting of the Mass.

The Sacred Music Competition was launched last year prior to the Centenary of the consecration of St Colman’s Cathedral, which will be celebrated in August 2019.

For the occasion, the Diocese of Cloyne called upon Irish composers to compose a 'Mass of St Colman 2018'. The competition was judged by Dr John O’Keeffe, Director of Choral Groups, Maynooth University, Dr Ite O’Donovan of the Dublin Choral Foundation and Andrew Reid of The Royal School of Church Music. Most Rev William Crean, Bishop of Cloyne, presented €5,000 to Mr Sexton for his works.

Dr O’Keeffe said: “This was the setting that most comprehensively fulfilled the brief. Strongly melodic with a solid harmonic underpinning and imaginatively festive with plenty of accompanimental and textural variety. It is recognisably Irish, displaying a good sense of the requirements of liturgy and the realities of congregational participation. We can imagine a range of diocesan congregations singing this mass.”

Most Rev William Crean, Bishop of Cloyne, said: “It is anticipated that this Mass setting will be used for appropriate ceremonies in parishes in 2019 leading up to the centenary celebrations. Parishes will have the opportunity to become familiar with the Mass setting through a programme of meetings, workshops and choir days.”

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