The Diocese of Cloyne has announced Irish composer, Mr 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 Mr. 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.
At the announcement, Most Rev William Crean, Bishop of Cloyne, said; “This Mass setting will be one of the many ways of uniting all parishes with the Cathedral church of the diocese. 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.”
Commenting on the winning entry 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”.
The first major performance of the “Mass of St Colman 2018” will be in August 2019 to coincide with the centenary of the consecration of the Cathedral and rededication of the restored pipe organ. Towards the end of 2015, the Telford & Telford organ in the Cathedral of Cobh was dismantled and sent to the Ruffatti workshops in Padua for restoration. The restored pipe organ will be rededicated at the centenary Mass in August 2019.