The Barra MacNeils have embarked on a bold new musical journey with the
debut of CATHEDRAL. The production is described as a musical adventure
combining the best of many worlds - a selection of the past millennium's
greatest musical compositions, featuring the power of the pipe organ with
the delicate, sometimes driving sounds of the mandolin, fiddle, and whistle, all happening
in a beautiful cathedral setting. From Vivaldi to Styx, ancient chants to
Bobby McFerrin, Barras to Bach, CATHEDRAL will take the audience on a unique
The concept for CATHEDRAL first emerged from conversation between the Barras
Sheumas MacNeil and Halifax based producer Brookes Diamond, where Sheumas
revealed he had spent his university days at Mt Allison learning to master
the pipe organ.
"It was a surprise to learn Sheumas had his degree in pipe organ", says
Diamond. "...and the idea of combining the music of the Barras with the
power and traditions of the pipe organ in the settings of the great
cathedrals of the world began to emerge. The group liked the idea and
Cathedral was born."
Sheumas agrees. "Pipe organ was always one of my favourite instruments to
play, but we didn't have one at home and they're hard to find in concert
halls, so it all just fell out of the picture. It's been great getting back
at the pedals and the keys, experimenting with so much new and old
Stewart MacNeil has been happily surprised at the way the show has been
coming together. "The whole family has been involved, suggesting pieces from
many genres that have been lifelong favourites while discovering material
that we'd never heard before. The organ certainly adds a powerful new sound
and we've been enjoying learning some amazingly interesting music."
To obtain more information on CATHEDRAL, visit the 'Contact' page.