International Sensations The Priests Return To The State Theatre 11/30
Few would have predicted that an unknown vocal group of practicing priests from Northern Ireland would become million selling international recording stars.
In 2008, Fathers Eugene O Hagan, Martin O Hagan and David Delargy became an overnight sensation - 30 years in the making! One minute they were sitting in confession or making their way to isolated farms to meet members of their local community listening to rural parishioners in Northern Ireland, the next they were they were being flown to St Peter's Basilica, to record at The Vatican and collecting gold and platinum discs.
The Priests will release their fourth studio album in the US this month and will visit the State Theatre on Friday, November 30. Show time is 7:30 PM. Tickets are $36/$30 and can be purchased by visiting the State Theatre Box Office, 453 Northampton Street, Easton, by calling 1-800-999-STATE, 610-252-3132 or online at www.statetheatre.org.
They became Guinness World Record holders when their eponymously titled first album became the fastest selling UK debut for a classical act and sold more over two million copies worldwide. By September 2009, their album had been released in over 40 countries and had taken them to three continents.
Unusually for the music business, The Priests insisted that real life came first so it was a prerequisite of signing their contract with Sony Music which meant their regular Mass, weddings, funerals, baptisms and community work took priority.
The vast majority of their music income goes into their charitable trust, The Priests' Foundation, which has helped build schools in Cambodia, Uganda and Thailand, and has also been used to help look after retired priests, the homeless and supply schools with music apparatus.
This year, ten years since signing their record deal, the pace continues with the release of their fourth album Alleluia in the US as well as a 12 date tour in November, plus a Christmas tour of Ireland in December. Screenwriters have also been calling. Raising the Roof is currently in pre production. The adventure continues it seems.
"We came out of a very troubled environment in Northern Ireland and we always found that music was a great healer. It gave people the opportunity to meet people from other traditions. Music always created a very safe environment."
The Priests have always seen their music as a force for good, it has a unifying quality that brings together people of all faiths. Amongst the platinum discs, red carpets and world records this continues to inspire them and their audiences.