St Patrick’s Choir
The Choir meets every Thursday night in Scoil Brid at 8pm. The choir sings at the 10:00am Mass every Sunday as well as at major celebrations throughout the liturgical year. The current director of music is Kathryn Smith, accompanying the choir is Adrian Scahill. The choir have performed at other choral competitions and concerts, including the Dunmore Choral festival, North Wales Choral festival and an annual summer concert with Australian organist Anthony Halliday.
St Patrick’s Church Choir, Celbridge was under the direction of Ms Elizabeth O’Reilly when the Holy Faith Sisters came to Celbridge in 1878. According to a local newspaper clipping at the time, Ms O’Reilly was a grandniece of the Archbishop of Dublin, Most Rev. Daniel Murray. From this piece of information, therefore, we can assume that there has been a choir in Celbridge for as long as there has been a church building. When Elizabeth married, she left Celbridge and the Holy Faith Sisters took charge of the choir. Previous directors of the choir have included Sr Assumpta Arigho, Sr Romauld and Sr Senan who directed the choir from 1953-1973. Sr Mary Coleman (Stanislaus) took over the baton from 1973-76 while Sr Frances Therese Murphy was in charge for the next four years to 1980. The last sister to direct the choir was Sr Marie Dunne from 1980-1986.
The departure of Sr Marie Dunne was the end of an era for the Holy Faith Sisters with the choir, as there was no nun available to replace her. The Holy Faith Sisters were exceptional organists as well and at times they were ably assisted by local parishioners. These included Alice Young, Kitty Boylan, Eleanor Cullen (McKenna), Seán Cotter, Gemma Cotter, Tony Dwyer and the Church of Ireland organist, Mrs Banfield Smyth. Mrs Smyth played for the nuns many times over a period of fifty years until her retirement.
In 1986, the parish had to advertise for both a musical director and organist for the first time in its history. Eithne Donnelly became the first lay director of the choir from 1986-1991, with Martin Cunningham as organist from 1986-1988. After his departure, Eithne took on both roles of directing and accompanying the choir until her departure in 1991.
We welcomed Evelyn Melia as organist in 1991 and choir member, Theresa Clarke took over as conductor of the choir until Sarah Darlington’s arrival as Musical Director from 1993-2007. Gillian Cotter resumed as organist from 1998-99 and Evelyn re-joined us in 1999 and departed in 2011. Evelyn remains the longest serving lay organist or director. Maria Byrne joined in July 2011.
On 22 March 2007, we welcomed Ciarán Duffy as the first male director of the church choir. In his short time with the choir he has taken them to perform in the North Wales Choral Competition on two occasions. The choir has held two fantastic concerts over the past three years with Anthony Halliday.
In January 2014 we welcomed Sean Moloney as our new interim director and now we are honoured to have Kathryn Smith as director.
The Celbridge & Straffan Gospel Choir
We first met in April 2007 following a spiritually uplifting mass in the Parish at which the Dublin Gospel Choir performed. Following the mass those interested in setting up the Choir were invited to meet with the Dublin group for tea and biscuits in the local school hall. That night twenty local young people put their names on the list as interested in starting a Gospel Choir. This group included several musicians. The Choir director is Kathleen Kinsella.
The Gospel Choir sings at the 12 noon Mass on Sunday.
The most important aspect of our choir is spirituality. We pray that many hearts and lives will be touched through our music.
St Patrick’s Folk Choir.
Celbridge Folk Group have been around for about 30 years. Originally it was the Youth Choir set up in association with the then Celbridge Youth Club. We have about eight members at the moment. We are always on the look out for new members – both singers and musicians. We sing at 7 p.m. Mass on Sunday and practice after Mass.
Contact Karen 0867933557