The Priests’ confession - ‘We want to sing with Lady Gaga’

Father Eugene, Father Martin and Father David will perform in Derry on December 21.

Father Eugene, Father Martin and Father David will perform in Derry on December 21.

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They’ve met and performed with some of the world’s finest musicians.

But the music sensation that is The Priests have a confession to make - they want to sing with Lady Gaga.

Father Martin O’Hagan, one the third of the globally successful trio, roars with laughter at the idea.

“That all started when I heard Lady Gaga sing songs from ‘The Sound of Music’,” he said. “Her voice gave a completely different context to the songs. And I thought, what a wonderful opportunity it would be if we ever got the chance to sing with her. Who knows?”

Father O’Hagan is looking forward to returning to his home town of Derry with brother Father Eugene, for a concert at the Millennium Forum on Monday, December 21.

He admits the timing couldn’t be better because he gets to have a “scoot home” for Christmas before returning to parish life.

Lady Gaga.

Lady Gaga.

Derry is the place Father Martin and his brother Father Eugene learned all about music, thanks to their wonderful mother Joan.

“Mummy was an amazing woman,” he said. “She loved music and what it could do. She never put any pressure on any of us when it came to music but she encouraged us to savour music. She had a lovely soprano voice and had a lovely way of playing the piano.”

Sadly Joan died in 2004 and never got to see the huge success that her two sons would achieve in the world of music.

“Our father did see it,” said Father Martin. “He only came to see a concert once and that was in Derry. He was in his 90s then and he loved the night. He got to meet so many people. For my brother and I that was a very special moment.”

It’s been a busy year for the singing Priests who spent two weeks performing ten concerts across the USA. But Father O’Hagan shies away from being called a pop star and says he’s more like a “baroque star.”

Over the years they’ve met many famous people including Tom Jones, Joanna Lumley, Katherine Jenkins, the Queen of England, Charles and Camilla and Pope Francis.

And Father Martin said he’d love to see Pope Francis make a visit to the North, adding that if that happened it would be great to see Derry play a big part in it.

Soon the trio will begin their round of Christmas concerts taking in venues in Derry, Limerick, Letterkenny, Cork, Wexford and Belfast.

“We enjoy the chemistry we have with the wonderful audiences we have been able to sing for over the years,” said Father Martin.

“I’m looking forward to the Derry concert where we’ll have Christmas music such as ‘O Holy Night’ and ‘Silent Night’. There will also be a couple of new pieces including a modern piece by Carl Jenkins. And we each have our own solo.”

His own favourite Christmas song is Silent Night.

“There are a number of beautiful Christmas songs but I’m always drawn to Silent Night, the quiet and the peace,” he says.

Until the Christmas tour it’s business as usual for The Priests, who as well as their musical careers are all based in their own parishes, like any other priest in Ireland.

“Our parishes remain the main focus of our lives,” said Father O’Hagan. “Our lives are rooted in our parishes and our parishes influence us and the music we make.

“We’ve all been priests for more than 25 years and hope to be priests for a long time.”

The priests will perform at the Millennium Forum on December 21. Tickets available from the box office on 71264455 or at www.millenniumforum.co.uk

The Derry Journal has two tickets to give away to the concert in the Millennium Forum. To enter just send your name and contact details to erin.hutcheon@derryjournal
The winner will be picked on Friday at 12 noon.