New St. Eugene’s Choirmaster to host concert for Aleppo

Maghnus and Stephanie Morrison have relocated to Derry.

Maghnus and Stephanie Morrison have relocated to Derry.

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The recently installed new choirmaster at St Eugene’s Cathedral in Derry will tonight lead a special evening of music in solidarity with the people of war-torn Aleppo in Syria.

Syrian families who have settled locally are expected to be among those attending the Evening of Music and Reflection at the Cathedral. The event starts at 8pm and is open to all.

Maghnus Morrison, the recently installed new Choirmaster at St Eugene's Cathedral.

Maghnus Morrison, the recently installed new Choirmaster at St Eugene's Cathedral.

Maghnus Monaghan relocated to Derry with his wife Stephanie and their nine-month-old daughter Lucy in September after taking on the prestigious role previously held by Sister Perpetua McNulty, and more recently Donal Doherty.

Speaking about his experiences so far, the 29-year-old said: “It’s great, the people here are very friendly and very welcoming and the choir are very good and responsive.”

Mr Morrison was raised in Cavan and County Roscommon, and studied at NUI Maynooth and did a Masters in Liturgical Music at St Patrick’s College, Maynooth. He has previously worked in Dun Laoghaire and at St Agnes’ Church in Crumlin in Dublin.

He said he was spurred into doing something for the people of Aleppo after seeing a report of the horrors being visited on the people in the Syrian city.

“They felt no-one was coming to help them.

That shouldn’t really happen and I thought, what can I do to help. Politically it is beyond my control, so I thought about a night of music and I composed a new piece for it.”

Mr Morrison said ‘A Prayer for Aleppo’ was a choral piece based around Psalm 102.

“I thought it captured some of what the people of Aleppo might be feeling.

“It’s about getting the balance between recognising the suffering and the mercy needed for these people as well,” he said.

A retiring charity collection for the Syrian people will take place at the event.