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The Cappella Giulia: A musical milestone
(Vatican Radio) Music for centuries has played a pivotal role in the life of the Church, not least in the Vatican itself. This year the choir of the Cappella Giulia, the choir of St Peter's Basilica is celebrating it’s 500th anniversary.
On the 19th of February 1593, and on the eve of his death, Pope Julius II signed the papal bull by order of which the Cappella Giulia was constituted.
This meant that the choir was charged with providing more solemnity to the liturgical functions of St Peter’s Basilica through its musical repertoire.
The choir continues to sing for all solemn functions of the Vatican Chapter, such as Holy Mass, Lauds, and Vespers.
As part of the celebrations to mark this milestone, Father Pierre Paul OMV, Maestro of the Cappella invited 19 choirs to Rome to sing over the course of this year.
One of those choirs asked to sing was St Colman's Cathedral choir from Cobh in Ireland. The invitation was made last year and since then, under the Direction of Dominic Finn the choir’s musical director, the singers have been busy rehearsing to make sure the performance on Sunday July 21st goes without a hitch.
The music on Sunday will have an Irish flavour with the choir giving a rendition of 'Faith, Hope and Love' by Ronan McDonagh, 'Do Not Be Afraid' by Philip Stopford, as well as pieces from John Rutter.
So how does it feel to be singing in the Vatican Basilica for an anniversary such as this? Dominic Finn describes it as a great honour.
“It’s a huge honour. We are the only Irish choir and there is only one English choir coming as well…” He adds that singing for the choir an expression of faith.
St Colman’s Cathedral choir will perform at Mass at 10.30 am Rome time on Sunday July 21st. Listen to Lydia O’Kane’s interview with Dominic Finn.