Rooskey native leads choir at World Meeting of Families in Phoenix Park

Jessica Thompson


Jessica Thompson


Derek Mahady

Derek Mahady was the Liturgical Music Coordinator for the World Meeting of Families 2018

A lot of organisation goes into a papal mass and Rooskey native, Derek Mahady, knows all about it.

Derek was the Liturgical Music Coordinator for the World Meeting of Families 2018 and it was up to him to get everything in order for the choir at Sunday's mass in Phoenix Park.

He also sang the opening hymn, 'A Joy For All The Earth' at the lengthy mass.

“I was delighted with all aspects of the music for Sunday's Papal Mass in the Phoenix Park,” Derek told the Longford Leader earlier this week.
“The weather was troublesome with wind and rain, but everything went well.”

The choir itself was made up of the Core Choir and the Massed Choir who, together, created beautiful harmonies throughout the mass.
“The Core Choir are positioned behind the Orchestra one side of the Altar,” Derek explained.

“Massed Choir are made up of Church Choirs from all around the Country - singers and musicians from every Diocese in Ireland.

“It was important to us to invite singers and musicians that are involved in Music Ministry every week in their own communities/parishes/dioceses.”

In total, there were 54 members in the Core Choir, while the Massed Choir was made up of a whopping 2,500 to 3,000 singers.

“The Core Choir consists of singers drawn from the Catholic cathedrals of Dublin (Palestrina Choir) and Belfast (St Peter's Schola), St Teresa's Choir Clarendon St, The Lassus Scholars and Fuaimlaoi, together with singers from Maynooth College and University, The National Centre for Liturgy, the Irish Church Music Association and the two soloists from the official hymn, Sharon Lyons and (myself),” said Derek.

In addition to the thousands of singers on hand to provide musical accompaniment to Pope Francis' mass, there was a 24-piece orchestra performing alongside the Core Choir, led by Orchestral Manager, Carla Vedres Boyle.

Derek himself is a native of Rooskey and works as a choral conductor, vocalist, piano accompanist and music educator.

He was appointed the Liturgical Music Coordinator for the World Meeting of Families 2018 - a role which included the recruitment, management and coordination of musicians and singers for all liturgical celebrations held as part of the event.

Derek has been involved in liturgical music from an early age. He began his liturgical music ministry in parishes throughout his home diocese of Elphin and his neighbouring diocese of Ardagh and Clonmacnois.

Currently, he works in music ministry at Newman University Church, St. Stephen’s Green, Dublin and has regularly featured as a regional and national tutor for the Irish Church Music Association.

Derek holds a Master of Arts Degree in Choral Conducting from the Royal Welsh College of Music and Drama, a Higher Diploma in Education from University of Dublin, Trinity College and a Bachelor of Music (Pedagogy) from the Dublin Institute of Technology, Conservatory of Music and Drama.

Read Also:  WATCH: Pope Francis issues video message ahead of his visit for the World Meeting of Families 2018