Singing monk Friar Alessandro guest at Belfast carol service
An Italian Franciscan Friar who is a world renowned recording artist will be among the guests at next month's Christmas carol service hosted by the Pro Bono Choir at St Anne's Cathedral in Belfast.
Friar Alessandro, a tenor singer, has produced two albums which feature a unique collection of religious music celebrating the festive season.
The Pro Bono choir is composed of solicitors and barristers, as well as some friends who are also involved in the justice system, and each year stage Christmas event for various charities.
It was formed in 2010 and last year raised more than £5,000 in aid of charities chosen by the Bar of Northern Ireland and the Law Society of Northern Ireland.
The charities benefiting from the Christmas celebration, 'Oh Holy Night', in St Anne's on Wednesday, December 5, will be Aware, which works with sufferers of depression, and the Welcome Organisation, which helps the homeless.
Friar Alessandro, also an accomplished pianist and organist, will be joined by Fr Liam Lawton, the director of sacred music in the Catholic Diocese of Kildare and Leighlin, South Dublin, and Karl McGuckin, a barrister, and one of Ireland's finest baritones.
Belfast solicitor Joe Rice, co-chair of the choir, said next month's concert promised to be a special occasion.
He said: "We are privileged to have such remarkable special guests, especially Friar Alessandro, also known as the 'Voice of Assisi', who is famous the world over and who uses his music to promote his Christian message."