Belfast Telegraph

Lisburn singer Dana Masters joins musical line-up for Papal visit

By Fiona Dillon

Lisburn soul singer Dana Masters will join country star Nathan Carter and crooner Daniel O'Donnell when they perform for the Pope in Dublin next month.

Carter yesterday revealed it was "a dream come true" to be given the opportunity to perform in front of Francis at Croke Park.

The singer will join a line-up of local and international artists who will perform at the two-hour Festival of Families event.

Families from 116 countries will be entertained at a concert, which will feature a 1,000-strong choir, on Saturday, August 25.

The line-up includes Donegal country star O'Donnell, the Riverdance Troupe and singer Dana Masters (35), who has performed regularly with Van Morrison.

She lives in Lisburn with her Dromore-born husband, Pastor Andrew Masters, and their three children.

Brought up in South Carolina, Dana met Andrew at her church in Los Angeles.

In 2008 Dana and her husband moved to Northern Ireland.

Her grandmother, Johnnie Ruth Jenkins, was one of the leaders in the US civil rights movement.

Organisers said yesterday that over 2,000 people will be performing from Ireland and all over the world,

Speaking about his involvement, Mr Carter revealed: "I got a phone call a couple of weeks back to see if I would be interested in singing at the event. I said immediately 'yes.'

"I think it's going to be an amazing festival.

"It's going to be a huge show."

He revealed that he will be singing the REM song Everybody Hurts with the Holy Family Deaf Choir and the Deaftones at the Croke Park concert.

The Festival of Families is one of the highlights of the upcoming World Meeting of Families (WMOF2018) event taking place from 21 to 26 August. Pope Francis will deliver an address at the stadium and will hear testimonies from five families living in Ireland, Canada, India, Iraq and Africa.

Creative director Ruán Mangan of Tyrone Productions who are staging the event said: "Nothing like this has been ever staged before and probably won't be staged like this ever again.

"Its going to be spectacular."

An orchestra of over 50 musicians and over 700 dancers will also perform.

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