Online concerts bring light and hope

This Christmas, Newry, Mourne and Down District Council aims to bring some ‘Light and Hope’ across the district with two concerts streamed online.

By Julie-Ann Spence
Wednesday, 16th December 2020, 2:31 pm
Concert curator Joanne Quigley McParland
Concert curator Joanne Quigley McParland

The concerts, curated by international violinist Joanne Quigley McParland, will be hosted by radio presenter John Toal and filmed on location in Down Cathedral, Warrenpoint Town Hall and Killeavy Castle.

The ‘Light’ and ‘Hope’ Christmas Concerts will feature homegrown and international talent, many of whom have a connection to the Newry, Mourne and Down area.

The Christmas ‘Light’ concert will be a family friendly performance featuring music from festive favourite The Nutcracker, alongside classic carols Away in a Manger, and popular songs Have Yourself A Merry Little Christmas, Chestnuts Roasting on a Fire, and White Christmas.

With kind permission of composer Howard Blake, there will be a special performance of Walking In The Air – a wonderful highlight not to be missed.

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    The Christmas ‘Hope’ concert will include carols from Down Cathedral featuring Sestina Choir, Fews Ensemble, Irish soprano Máire Flavin, and award winning Irish pianist David Quigley.

    The concerts are to be broadcast on Sunday December 20 and Tuesday December 22 at 7pm online at

    Newry, Mourne and Down District Council Chairperson, Councillor Laura Devlin said: “In many ways this is a Christmas like no other.

    “We want to acknowledge the impact that COVID-19 has had on so many lives while also finding that message of light and hope for better times ahead.

    “While we couldn’t hold our traditional Christmas events and light switch-ons, we still wanted to come together as a district, and I hope many will join us from their own homes to watch the upcoming Light and Hope concerts.

    “I am delighted we have secured artists of such calibre and proud of the homegrown talent from Newry, Mourne and Down on display.”