Online from St Nicholas Collegiate Church
Wednesday 16 December, 1pm UTC
(available to 26 December)

Helen Hancock (soprano) & Mark Duley (organ)

This programme is centred on the joyous arrival of a child, a light to the world and a sign of rebirth in nature and in ourselves.  The music  looks to the light and banishes the darkness.  The concert has two halves (with no interval!): The Blessed Maid which tells Mary’s story, and The Heavenly Light, which celebrates the birth of Jesus. The music spans four centuries, from simple medieval songs to baroque Arias and resounding organ pieces.

A perfect Christmas lunchtime concert to encourage the festive spirit in these strange times.  Because it is online, you’ll be able to enjoy your lunch while you watch!


Galway based soprano Helen Hancock is a native of Dublin.  Her musical passions centre on Baroque opera and sacred music, art song and Mozart opera. A regular recitalist, Helen has performed at St Mary’s Cathedral Limerick, The Hunt Museum Limerick, Yeats Tower Thoor Ballylee in Galway as part of Heritage week 2019 and most recently at Rathfarnham Castle evening recital series in March 2020.

Helen studied singing at the Royal Irish Academy of Music and at TU Dublin while pursuing an engineering degree in University College Dublin.  Since resuming vocal studies with Professor Owen Gilhooly at the Midwest Vocal Academy in Limerick in 2015, Helen has completed her ARSM and DipABRSM diplomas and undertaken training abroad including Training in Classical Voice with Janice Chapman and Dr Ron Morris in 2017, The Abingdon Summer School for Solo Singers in the UK in 2018 and 2019 and The Singer as Artist in France in September, 2019.  Helen won the Todd Cup for Oratorio at the Feile Luimnigh in March 2020 and was runner-up in the Duggan Cup for lieder.

Helen continues to study with Owen Gilhooly and with UK based Christine Cairns. She has worked with collaborative pianists including Uk-based Nigel Foster, Seho Lee and Irina Dernova and Mark Keane with whom she has performed regularly. Helen has a passion for chamber music which stems from her background as a recorder ensemble player. Helen also teaches recorder and singing at Coole Music and Arts, Galway and is choral conductor of SATB choir The Marine Singers.


Mark Duley is one of Ireland’s most well-known choral specialists, and has led workshops and masterclasses for choirs and conductors in Ireland, the UK, and continental Europe.

He founded Resurgam in 2003, with the aim of establishing it as Ireland’s premier project-based professional choir. He has directed the choir in numerous concerts and tours and over a wide range of repertoire.

Mark was born and raised in Hawkes Bay, New Zealand, and came to Ireland in 1992. He has held several major posts in the country, including organist and director of music at Christ Church Cathedral Dublin, chorusmaster to the RTÉ Philharmonic Choir, artistic director of the Irish Baroque Orchestra, and artistic director of Pipeworks.

As conductor or organist, he has appeared with most of the major Irish ensembles, including RTÉ National Symphony Orchestra, RTÉ Concert Orchestra, Chamber Choir Ireland, the Irish Baroque Orchestra, Opera Theatre Company, and the Orchestra of St Cecilia. He has performed at many of Ireland’s premier festivals, including the Wexford Opera Festival, the Cork International Choral Festival, the Kilkenny Arts Festival, the East Cork Early Music Festival and the Killaloe Chamber Music Festival. He has given organ recitals in all the major Irish venues as well as in the UK and his native New Zealand.

Mark lives in Co Galway, and aside from a busy freelance career, currently holds the post of organist at the Collegiate Church of St Nicholas, Galway. He is founder-director of St Nicholas Schola Cantorum (directing the five choral ensembles of which it is comprised), and lectures at NUI Galway.