United Dioceses of Dublin & Glendalough



Music at Christ Church: A series of lunchtime lectures – Tuesdays in March 2023

A series of lunchtime lectures examining the history of music at the cathedral will take place in Christ Church in Dublin on Tuesdays 7, 14, 21 & 28 March 2023 at 1.10pm.


The speakers will include Dr Frank Lawrence from the School of Music in University College Dublin (7 March) who will talk about the music and liturgy of the medieval church. Dr Kerry Houston of the Conservatoire at the Technological University, Dublin (14 March) will speak on music at the Dublin cathedrals from the restoration of Charles II in 1660 through the long eighteenth century led for the first half–century by the Roseingrave family. Canon Paul Arbuthnot, vicar of St Ann’s church in Dawson Street (21 March) will discuss the vicars choral of the two cathedrals in the nineteenth century, while Dr David O’Shea, organist of Sandford and St Philip’s, Milltown (28 March) will speak on music at Christ Church in the twentieth century.

Appropriately the lectures take place in the venerable old space of the music room designed by the architect, George Edmund Street in the 1870s, as an upper story to the cathedral chapter house which itself occupies the former medieval Lady chapel. All are most welcome to attend and admission is free thanks to the support of the Friends of the cathedral, established in 1929.

A tradition of lectures at Christ Church could be said to have emerged with the mid–17th–century appointments of ‘lecturer’ preachers, but in their modern sense they probably owe their existence more to Sir Thomas Drew, the cathedral architect after G.E. Street, who established a pattern of historical lectures on St Stephen’s day which ran from 1891 until at least the incumbency of Dean Lewis–Crosby (1938–62). Later an annual lecture series was established in memory of the former dean’s verger, Joe Coady which ran in 1987 and 1995–2004 alongside, and eventually absorbed into, a new series of month–long lunchtime lectures which began in 1997 and have continued since, often in collaboration with the Friends of Medieval Dublin or Dublin City Council.


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