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Ode to Joy Ode to Joy


Sing Ode to Joy with St Mary’s Cathedral from your home

Ode to Joy: The outside overlook of St. Mary’s Cathedral. Picture: Aaron Pang, Limerick Voice

Sing Ode to Joy with St Mary’s Cathedral from your home

Join St Mary’s Cathedral LIVE from your home on Friday, May 8 at 2.00 pm and sing the European National Anthem, Ode to Joy. Stand with fellow European Citizens during this challenging time and sing.




Their Organist Mr Peter Barley will perform live from Limerick’s Medieval Cathedral and they invite the citizens of Limerick City & County to join in and sing with him. Sing with them on Facebook Live at the St Mary’s Cathedral Facebook page or log on to their live stream service at

Ode to Joy

Peter Barley, Organist and Choir Master from Saint Mary’s Cathedral will be providing the music for the song.

Peter Barley, Organist and Choir Master from St Mary’s Cathedral has put together a tutorial to help exercise your vocal cords and prepare to be pitch-perfect. The tutorial is available on the St Mary’s Cathedral Facebook/Instagram/Twitter/YouTube pages.

St Mary’s Cathedral was founded in 1168 AD and stands majestically over the City of Limerick on the banks of the River Shannon. It is one of the most important medieval buildings to survive intact in Ireland.  

‘Ode to Joy’ was composed by Ludwig van Beethoven. Beethoven was a German pianist and composer widely considered to be one of the greatest musical geniuses of all time. His innovative compositions combined vocals and instruments, widening the scope of sonata, symphony, concerto and quarter. 

Beethoven’s personal life was marked by a struggle against deafness, and some of his most important works were composed during the last ten years of his life when he was quite unable to hear. His tune, ‘Ode to Joy’, was adopted as the “Anthem of Europe” by the Council of Europe in 1972. 2020 marks the 250th anniversary of his birth.

The European Expo is supporting this great event that aims to lift spirits and bring togetherness during the COVID-19 crisis. The European Expo was created out of a desire to use art and culture to unite us. To show how acting together, we are better than when we strive alone. European Expo is a series of events, exhibitions and seminars over the course of 2020 in Limerick, that celebrate national and European culture.

Due to COVID-19, European Expo decided to postpone in-person events until further notice, however, still supporting online European events, Caragh O’Shea, Head of European Expo said: “European Expo is delighted to support St Mary’s Cathedral online event with Mr Peter Barley playing the famous Beethoven, Ode to Joy Live, Friday, May 8. It will be a great moment of unification with our European brothers and sisters and we hope you all join in!”

For more information on St Mary’s Cathedral, click here.

For more stories on St Mary’s Cathedral, click here.


Richard is a presenter, producer, songwriter and actor. He was named the Limerick Person of the Year (2011) and won an online award at the Metro Éireann Media and Multicultural Awards (2011) for promoting multi-culturalism online. Richard says that the concept is very much a community driven project that aims to document life in Limerick. So, that in 20 years time people can look back and remember the events that were making the headlines.