Award-Winning Irish singer songwriter Don Mescall has composed the official anthem for Ireland and Europe’s first International Gospel Choir Festival.
Composed by Mescall and his long term co-writing collaborator Chris Pelcer in Nashville, Tennessee, the acclaimed Irish artist will return home to Kilkenny and perform at the festival which takes place in Kilkenny city from August 30 – September 2.
The festival’s much-anticipated grand finale at the iconic Kilkenny Castle will see over 1,000 voices come together to perform the anthem titled Faith and Friendship.
“When I was asked to write a song that would bring together choirs from all over the world I was delighted to accept. Gospel music is by definition written to express personal, spiritual or communal belief regarding Christian life.
“Faith and Friendship” was a joy to write because I believe it encapsulates these elements, and it’s also fun to sing. I wanted to make sure that we brought somewhat of a contemporary feel to it as well -- so it could be accessible to all genres, all ages. For me music feeds the soul, lifts the spirit and makes you feel better about the world. I am really looking forward to hearing all of these amazing choirs from around the world sing this song together. I think it will be a momentous occasion and I’m really excited to be part of that,” he said.
With a string of high profile compositions already under his belt including major hits for Rascal Flatts, Ronan Keating and Backstreet Boys, 2012 has taken Don to many new successes and developments. Just before the New Year, the Three Amigos (Robert Mizzell, Jimmy Buckley and Patrick Feeney) recorded four of Don’s songs on their new album. They also recently performed the title track, ‘Radio Paints’ on RTE’s flagship ‘The Late Late Show’.
Being hosted in Ireland, Europe’s first International Gospel Choir Festival is expected to attract thousands of participants and music lovers alike from Ireland and abroad - a welcome boost to tourism at the end of the summer.
The choirs will partake in three days of musical and cultural activities with a variety of concerts and performances planned for various venues across the city and county. Other special guests attending the event include ’FRO’, one of America’s top Gospel rappers who is expected to cause quite a stir during his visit to Ireland when he takes in local schools and hosts workshops with young people on rap and Gospel music.
Meanwhile, Grayson Warren Brown, an internationally known liturgical composer, author, recording artist and speaker, has been confirmed as one of the key workshop leaders for the festival
Kilkenny Gospel Choir has a number of members from across the world, including Africa, who founder Fr. Willie says bring new musical styles to the choir.
“With a focus on inclusivity this festival will see a unique blend of cultures come together,” said Fr. Willie Purcell, director of Kilkenny Gospel Choir and creator of the International Gospel Choir Festival.
“We are so thrilled to be working with Don Mescall and are very much looking forward to performing Faith and Friendship with all the participating choirs at the grand finale. We expect the festival to be a huge boost to Kilkenny with thousands of visitors and performers expected to descend upon the city for event.”
For more information see www.kilkennygospelchoirfestival.com.