This group of talented singers had its origins in the early nineties when a few folk who had previously sung under the baton of Tom Lindsay, then organist of First Saintfield Presbyterian Church, decided to continue to rehearse and perform together after Tom’s untimely death. Some of the original group are still with the Chorale today!
They have had a number of very talented musical directors – Richard Campbell, now organist of St George’s Parish Church Belfast, Billy McCay formerly Director of Music at Methodist College Belfast and Phyllis Boyd conductor of Ballyclare Male Choir. Since the autumn of 2011 the Chorale has been led by its new musical director – John Dallas. John taught music at Ballyclare High School and currently he is also Director of Music at Cregagh Presbyterian Church. The Chorale is extremely fortunate to have as its accompanist one of the best in Northern Ireland – Sheelagh Greer. When not at the keyboard, Sheelagh is also a superb mezzo soprano soloist.
The Chorale has an extensive repertoire – religious, classical, opera, folk, stage muscials and even a touch of ‘pop’ – from Bach to Lloyd Weber and all points in between! Their versatility has meant that they continue to be in demand throughout the length and breadth of Ireland and also have travelled to perform in Scotland and England. They regularly sing at church services and local concerts, and also on many occasions have provided the musical entertainment at functions in Hillsborough Castle and the Montalto Estate in Ballynahinch. Their wealth of musical talent has also been experienced in Belfast Waterfront Hall, Belfast City Hall, on television and recently at Belfast’s Grand Opera House. Whatever the venue or occasion, you can always be assured of a great evening’s entertainment!
If you would like to get in touch t0 arrange a booking then you can find contact details on the ‘Contact Us’ Page or click here.
John started singing in his church choir and in Gilbert and Sullivan opera at Wallace High School, Lisburn. He studied signing with William Boyd and sand in the Ormiston and Assembly Hall choirs conducted by William Boyd. He joined the then Ballymacarrett Musical Society, where he sang operettas by Offenback, Strauss, Lehar and Gilbert and Sullivan. He later studied signing with Donald Cairns and Sam Denton and it was then that he sang in the Studio Opera Group conducted by Havelock Nelson. With this group he sang operas by Mozart, Britten, Rossini, Puccini and Offenbach. He later sang, conducted and produced for Castleward Opera.
His love of choral music led him to become choirmaster and organist in Westbourne Presbyterian Church and since 1977 he has held the same post in Cregagh Presbyterian Church. John studied teacher training at Stranmillis College and taught music at Ballyclare High School where he produced about 30 light operas and conducted the school choirs. He is delighted to now conduct the Lindsay Chorale.
Sheelagh Greer, a mezzo soprano from County Antrim, began singing at the age of 16. Through the encouragement and commitment of her singing teacher, the late Irene Sandford MBE, she soon began taking to the concert platform. During this time she completed her singing diploma and collected a range of prestigious awards and bursaries on the festival circuit. In 1997, she was awarded the title ‘Northern Ireland Singer of the Year’ and in the same year, graduated from Queen’s University Belfast with a music degree specialising in vocal performance. During her studies with Dr Veronica Dunne in Dublin, Sheelagh gave a concert performance of Carmen in Tuscany. She is now studying with Patricia MacMahon in Glasgow and is in demand as a soloist throughout Ireland and beyond where she gives recitals and concert performances. She has appeared at the Royal Concert Hall in Glasgow and has embarked on two concert tours of India. She has also given radio broadcasts.
Sheelagh is also an experienced accompanist and conductor, conducting the Clare Chorale and accompanying the Lindsay Chorale, and is also an organist and choirmistress and a busy vocal and piano teacher.