Songs of Praise from Derry

Margaret Keys performing at the Guildhall for Songs of Praise. (DER1009TC1)
Margaret Keys performing at the Guildhall for Songs of Praise. (DER1009TC1)

The talents of local singers will be on show to over two million people this Sunday night in a Songs of Praise from Derry.

An episode of the popular BBC programme was filmed in the newly restored Guildhall at the end of August. Choirs from all over the city and Donegal are involved in the programme which celebrates the City of Culture. Local soprano Margaret Keys also takes to the Guildhall stage to perform.

Speaking to the ‘Journal’ Margaret said it was a “great honour” to take part in Songs of Praise.

“It was always something I wanted to do and it is good that I was able to take part in an episode filmed in my home city. Performing at home is always special”.

Margaret, who is currently touring the UK, said that the show will provide great advertising for Derry.

The programme is the latest in a long line of accolades for the city during the Culture year, which allows Derry to showcase its exceptional talent.

“The Guildhall provided such a beautiful setting and looked absolutely gorgeous in all its new glory. It is good that people from all over the UK will get to see it”.

Unfortunately the local singer will not be able to watch Songs of Praise when it airs this weekend as she will be performing with Classical Brit Award winner Russell Watson and string ensemble Escala.

The episode, hosted by Eamonn Holmes, will also show highlights of some of the main events of the City of Culture - including the Columba Canticles and the Return of Colmcille.

The award winning choir from Pennyburn Primary school will also feature in the show, with their performance filmed in June before the school holidays.

Songs of Praise will generate great exposure for Derry, with an estimated audience of 2.5 million tuning into the show each week.

Viewers will also have the opportunity to hear a popular local hymn, which will be unfamiliar to many of them, with a special performance of the Hymn to St Columba featuring on the show.

Songs of Praise will air on BBC One on Sunday, September 15.