"All of Light" - St. Mirin's Cathedral

on Friday, 13 October 2017. Posted in Archive

Images from our world premiere performance of "All of Light", on 6th October 2017

The Academy's world premiere of All of Light, a piece composed to coincide with the one-hundredth anniversary of the Fatima apparitions, took place on the 6th October.

Recounting the moving story of the Angelic visits received by the three young children - Francisco, Lucia and Jacinta - in preparation for their joyful encounter with Our Lady, this spectacular new piece gave a unique and enrapturing perspective on an oft-overlooked - yet nonetheless amazing - element of the Fatima story.

The dramatic cantata - received to great acclaim by an audience from around Scotland - was  performed in the beautiful setting of the Cathedral of St. Mirin, in what was our first visit to Paisley since our performance of Faure's Requiem  several years ago in the Abbey.

The images show our soloists, in the roles of Lucia (Niamh McKendrick), Jacinta (Molly Smith) and Francisco (Etienne Charpy).

World Premiere - Michael O'Sullivan's New Setting of The Stabat Mater

on Tuesday, 20 January 2015. Posted in Archive

World Premiere - Michael O'Sullivan's New Setting of The Stabat Mater

The Choir of The Academy of Sacred Music will be performing a new setting of the Stabat Mater, by Michael O’Sullivan, in St. Mungo’s Roman Catholic Church, Parson St., Glasgow, on 18th September 2015 (7.30p.m.) The work will be conduced by young rising star, Ross Gunning, with the Glasgow Philharmonic Orchestra
Following the launch of our Composition Scholarship, aimed at encouraging young, talented, composers to write Liturgical/religious music, Michael O’Sullivan’s new setting of this profound medieval poem – which has inspired so many great classical composers – will be presented here for the first time.
In the beautiful setting of St. Mungo’s, there will also be a performance of Bach’s Ich Habe Genug, by 17 year old Academy student, Neil Macdonald, winner of the Gavin Semple award at this year's Glasgow Music Festival. 
Based on the text of Simeon’s great canticle on meeting the Christ child: Nunc Dimittis – a prayer which, in its various forms, is recited daily by millions of Christians, worldwide – Bach’s composition concludes with Our Lady’s elation at her impending Assumption, and is considered to be the most beautiful setting of this prayer ever written.
On the threshold of Holy Week, the performance offers an opportunity to reflect on: Mary’s complete unity with Christ, expressed through Her joy, and that of Simeon, at the Presentation; Her sorrow at the foot of the Cross; and Her rapture at Her impending Assumption.  Above all, Our Lady points us towards Christ who, in the words of St. Paul “…gave himself as a ransom for all.”
Tickets available on the door, or in advance, for a suggested donation of £5.
0141 433 9188
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Adventus Domini, Vivaldi's Gloria for Advent

on Wednesday, 30 November 2016. Posted in Archive

The Academy of Sacred Music will be giving a special performance of Vivaldi's Gloria, for the season of Advent, on the 9th of December, 2016.

Intended as a preparation for the great feast of Christmas, the performance will include some of the finest sacred works written for Advent, including Videte Miraculum (Tallis), and Palestrina's Alma Redemptoris Mater, in addition to more recent works: A Hymn to the Virgin (Britten), MacMillan's O Radiant Dawn, and (on the lighter side) Vaughan-Williams' special work for Christmas, Fantasia on Christmas Carols.

Featuring Academy soloists Niamh McKendrick, Rosie Lavery and Daniel Barrett, and guest soloist Svetlina Stoyanova, the performance will take place in St. Margaret's Episcopal Church, Newlands, Glasgow, at 7.30 PM on Friday, 9th December 2016.

The performance also sees the return of tenor, Malcolm Bennett, following his acclaimed performance as tenor soloist in our Messiah in March.  

Tickets are priced at £8 (or £5 concession) and will be available for purchase on the door. 

For further information, please contact:

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Tel: 07983 514 603 


Appointment of 1st Academy of Sacred Music Organ Scholar

on Thursday, 16 May 2013. Posted in Archive

Academy of Sacred Music is delighted to announce the appointment of Derek Burns as its 1st Organ Scholar

Appointment of 1st Academy of Sacred Music Organ Scholar

Academy of Sacred Music has appointed young organist, Derek Burns, as the recipient of its 1st Organ Scholarship.

This appointment marks the launch of the Academy's Organ Programme, which has the support of George McPhee MBE, Vice President of the Royal College of Organists, and Organist and Choirmaster at Paisley Abbey.

As part of the Scholarship, Derek will receive organ lessons from George McPhee, in addition to receiving lessons in harmony and choral direction.  He will also play a full role in the life of the Academy.

AOSM Patron Fr. John Keenan Appointed Bishop Of Paisley

on Saturday, 08 February 2014. Posted in Archive

AOSM Patron Fr. John Keenan Appointed Bishop Of Paisley

The Academy of Sacred Music is delighted to announce that Fr. John Keenan, one of three founding Trustees of The Academy, is to be appointed Bishop of Paisley.

Bishop-Elect Keenan, who will be installed in a ceremony in St. Mirrin's Cathedral, Paisley, on 19th March 2014, has served as a Trustee of The Academy for over two years, during which he has contributed greatly to the development of the Charity.

Academy Director, Joan Dillon, commented: "Fr. Keenan has used his formidable intelligence, and great pastoral gifts - which I know he has freely given to many - to support The Academy during its initial phase of growth.  He has shown great wisdom in advising me, as Director, providing both spiritual and practical support, and has helped The Academy to stay focused on its core aims, which remain: to encourage young people to engage in sacred music, providing a channel of beauty into their lives; and to encourage them to develop a spirit of self-giving.

Fr. Keenan's appointment is richly deserved, given his many years of service to the Archdiocese of Glasgow, to the Catholic Chaplaincy, and to the many other organisations, and individuals, that he has supported throughout his Priestly ministry. 

There is great excitement amongst all at The Academy, both young members and staff, at this appointment, and I am sure that the people of the Diocese of Paisley will benefit greatly from Fr. John's personal holiness, his personable nature, and his outstanding leadership qualities.

On a personal level, and on behalf of all at the Academy, I would like to offer Fr. John (Bishop-Elect Keenan) the warm congratulations of all at The Academy of Sacred Music, and our assurance of continued prayers."  





Academy Scores Hat-Trick

on Tuesday, 18 March 2014. Posted in Archive

Academy Scores Hat-Trick

Academy student, Daniel Barret, (15), wins the Forbes Morton award and gains an honors certificate for his performance of Herbert Howell's 'King David', in the art song class of the Glasgow Music festival.

Rosie Lavery (15), and Neil MacDonald (16), came in a close 2nd and 3rd, with performances of John Ireland's 'I Have Twelve Oxen' and Vaughan William's 'The Vagabond'.

Congratulations also to Aidan Smith - who, along with Daniel, was invited to compete for the Agnes Duncan Trophy on the final night of the Festival - on his winning performance of Gilbert & Sullivan's 'The Pirate King'.

The success didn't stop there, with many of our other singers placed or commended in their competing classes.


All of Light: World Premiere

on Monday, 25 September 2017. Posted in Archive

A New Dramatic Cantata on the story of fatima

The Academy of Sacred Music will be performing the World Premiere of All of Light, a piece written by Bob Simans in commemoration of the Fatima apparitions, in St. Mirin's Cathedral, Paisley, on Friday 6th October, at 7.30p.m.

Coinciding with the official arrival of The Pilgrim Statue of Our Lady of Fatima (which has been touring all of Scotland's major Catholic sites) at St. Mirin's, and shortly before the 100th Anniversary of the apparitions, the performance intends to capture both their context and magnitude (their significance in the history of the 20th Century, and for our modern times); and the profound joy of Lucia, Francisco and Jacinta in their interactions with Heaven.

This unique new piece captures the profound impact and meaning of the Angelic apparitions witnessed by the three children, preceding their encounter with Our Lady.

The performance also marks the progress of some of the Academy's more experienced soloists, including: Neil Macdonald (as the Narrator), Daniel Barrett (the Angel), Niamh McKendrick (Lucia), Etienne Charpy (Francisco) and Molly Smith (as Lucia).

Reflecting the joy inherent in the new Work, it will be preceded by Mozart's uplifting Regina Coeli and Bruckner's beautiful Ave Maria.

The performance will be followed by light refreshments and entrance is free to all (with a retiring collection).

For further information, please e-mail:  This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.  or call 07977 121 891.

Suzanne Ullmann Award

on Monday, 25 September 2017. Posted in Archive

The Second Annual Suzanne Ullmann Award

Suzanne Ullmann Award

The winner of The Dr. Suzanne Ullmann Award, established in memory of Suzanne, a long-standing supporter and friend, is set to be announced over the coming weeks.

The Annual Award - which is endowed by members of Suzanne's family - recognises outstanding achievement and potential amongst our 45 choristers.

Last year's winner, Niamh McKendrick (pictured), now performs regularly as a soloist for The Academy, including in our forthcoming performance of All of Light, in St. Mirin's Cathedral, on 6th October.  

Sacred music can heal our broken culture

on Thursday, 22 November 2012. Posted in Archive

Composer James MacMillan will suggest in an address to mark the launch of The Academy of Sacred Music.

In a forthcoming address in St. Andrew’s Cathedral, Glasgow, Catholic composer James MacMillan will emphasize that sacred music (and those who practice it) hold the key to healing our broken culture.

Commenting on the launch of the Academy of Sacred Music (of which he is Patron) - a charity that aims to restore sacred music, and its associated values, to the heart of our culture - Mr. MacMillan will say that: “If modernism has also brought in its wake a desecration of the human spirit, we must penetrate the mists of contemporary banality to restore the idea of the sacred, in which our true and fullest freedom resides. Without it our lives will become meaningless. I believe it is God’s divine spark which kindles the musical imagination now, as it has always done, and reminds us, in an increasingly dehumanised world, of what it means to be human.”

Vivaldi's Gloria & Britten's Hymn to the Virgin - St. Andrews Cathedral, Glasgow

on Tuesday, 14 May 2013. Posted in Archive

 Vivaldi's Gloria & Britten's Hymn to the Virgin - St. Andrews Cathedral, Glasgow

To mark the culmination of it's first full year, The Choir of the Academy of Sacred Music will be returning to the beautiful setting of St. Andrew's Cathedral, on 22nd November 2013, to perform Antonio Vivaldi's Gloria (RV589).

Following a highly successful Official Launch, in November 2012, in The Cathedral, this event will also feature performances of Britten's A Hymn to the Virgin, in his centenary year; Duruflé's celebrated Four Motets on Gregorian Themes; Tavener's The Lamb; and Prelude, Song and Hymn on Gloria, a piece written and conducted by Academy accompanist Bob Simans.


Renfield Recital

on Tuesday, 18 June 2013. Posted in Archive

The Choir will be featuring in the Renfield Recitals Series, alongside young violinist, Emma Baird, on 14th December 2013

Renfield Recital

The Choir of the Academy of Sacred Music will be performing in Renfield St. Stephen's Church, Bath St., Glasgow, on 14th December 2013, as part of the long-established Renfield Recitals series.

The performance will also include a debut appearance by Emma Baird (pictured), a talented 12 year old violinist from Prestwick.

The full Programme for the performance will be announced shortly.






on Thursday, 20 February 2014. Posted in Archive


Four young choristers from The Choir of The Academy joined forces with the Caledonian String Orchestra to perform at a charity fundraiser in Glasgow City Chambers, on 14th February.

Following the success of The Academy's previous visit to the City Chambers, to perform at the Civic Reception marking the Launch of the St. Mungo's Festival, and the Prestigious Molendinar Awards, all four choristers gave solo, and duet, performances, of pieces ranging from Handel's Silent Worship, Strauss's Die Nacht, Frank's Panis Angelicus, to Gilbert & Sullivan When A Merry Maiden Marries and a traditional piece, Dream Angus.

They were accompanied on piano by Academy accompanist, Bob Simans, in the magnificent setting of the Banqueting Hall.

The members of The Academy were privileged to perform alongside the Caledonian Fiddle Orchestra, led by Kenneth McLean.