Church organist tuning up for 12 cathedrals fundraising challenge
A motorcycle-loving church organist from Co Armagh is getting ready to take to the roads in a race against the clock as she bids to perform 12 concerts in 12 cathedrals in just one day.
Musician and keen biker Elise Crean will don her leathers for the unique challenge, which will take her to venues across Northern Ireland, on July 21.
Helping Elise make the 270-mile dash around the 12 cathedrals will be her husband, Dessie Moorcroft, who will be giving her a lift on the back of his powerful Suzuki motorbike.
Elise, 35, from Darkley, the resident organist at First Armagh Presbyterian, is aiming to raise money towards the £70,000 required to rebuild the church’s historic organ.
Members of public are being invited along to each of the concerts, while bikers are being encouraged to ride alongside Elise and Dessie on all or part of their journey.
“This may be the first time a church organist has been seen in motorcycle gear and I am hoping that a combination of curiosity and generosity will help generate audiences for each concert,” Elise said.
“Each stop will be exactly 30 minutes long. We have to stick very strictly to the schedule so that we can complete the round trip through each of the six counties on time.
“I think it is going to be a challenge, but as an organist it is a fantastic opportunity to get to play some of the finest instruments in the Province.”
Elise, who has already been practicing on the various organs that she’ll encounter on the day, will be playing a programme of favourites from across the centuries including Pachelbel’s Canon in D and Elgar’s Nimrod. Each concert will also feature an organ and bagpipe duet of Highland Cathedral.
Anyone who would like to support Elise in her fundraising effort can make a donation online at www.justgiving.com/crowdfunding/firstarmaghorgan
• 12 concerts on July 21...
0700: Armagh – St Patrick’s RC Cathedral
0800: Newry – Cathedral of St Patrick and St Colman
0925: Downpatrick – Cathedral Church of the Holy Trinity
1030: Dromore – Cathedral Church of Christ the Redeemer
1115: Lisburn – Lisburn Cathedral
1205: Belfast – St Anne’s Cathedral
1345: Belfast – St Peter’s Cathedral
1545: Londonderry – St Columb’s Cathedral
1625: Londonderry – St Eugene’s Cathedral
1840: Enniskillen – St Macartin’s Cathedral
1945: Clogher – St Macartan’s Cathedral
2100: Armagh – St Patrick’s COI Cathedral