The Palestrina Choir had its origins in a boys' choir formed in the 1890's by Dr. Vincent O'Brien, then a music teacher at St. Mary's Place Christian Brothers School in Dublin.
Back in 1903 the choir was formed through the generous patronage of a wealthy landowner from Galway, Edward Martyn. Martyn was well known for his involvement with Lady Gregory and W.B. Yeats in the Irish Literary Theatre - later to become the Abbey Theatre. His interest in the national theatre was matched by his interest in liturgical music. Following a number of visits to the great cathedrals of Europe he was determined that Dublin would have music of an equal standard and wished in particular to promote the music of Italian composer, Palestrina, who was considered the "father of liturgical music."
Between 1898 and 1902, Martyn worked tirelessly to establish the choir at St. Mary's Pro-Cathedral, Dublin, and the Palestrina Choir was constituted and installed in the Pro-Cathedral on January 1st, 1903. Over the decades many boys who went on to become famous soloists were trained in the Palestrina Choir. Count John McCormack was a member from 1904 to 1905.
Today the choir is committed to combining traditional styles with innovative contemporary sacred music in the service of the liturgy. In addition to its liturgical duties every Sunday during the school year, the choir has given many concerts in Ireland and overseas and has featured regularly on radio and television.
Palestrina Choir 83 min. Perry Como marked his 60th Anniversary in show business with his first-ever Christmas concert in Ireland in 1993. Features the boys of the Palestrina choir, and the chorus of the Glasnevin Musical Society.
Songs of interest include "Suantrai" and "Christ is Born" with the Boys of the Palestrina choir, and "O Holy Night" with the Chorus of the Glasnevin musical society with a Boy Soprano from the Palestrina choir.
The CD Audio version does not include "Suantrai" and "O Holy Night".