Heritage in Song 2017

In 2017 Ulster Architectural Heritage (UAH) was provided with support from the Heritage Lottery Fund for ‘Buildings of Belfast-Heritage in Song’, this provided entertainment additional to the heritage angel awards ceremony, supported by Andrew Lloyd Webber Foundation.

Heritage in Song was the idea of local song writer Brigid O’Neill, who led on the project and collaborated with each of the featured artists and the UAHS to create bespoke music for the Angel Awards. This attracted additional audience to attend the ceremony at the Grand Opera House to hear the bespoke songs and learn about the awards, and achievements for heritage in NI.

This project aimed to engage and connect with people using an innovative and creative approach to increase awareness and understanding of the value of some of Belfast’s most historic sites and buildings, through the arts, particularly through song. It aimed to encourage individuals to become more aware and involved in the function and appropriate development of these buildings to safeguard and preserve for future generations. Through song.

Local artists including Brigid O’Neill; Duke Special, Anthony Toner and Gareth Dunlop performed bespoke material around the heritage theme, supported by members of the Ulster Youth Orchestra. We were also joined by poet Ciaran Carson and comedian Nuala McKeever. Some feedback on the ‘Heritage in Song’ aspect of the awards as follows:


‘Congratulations on a thoroughly well-designed and smoothly-run event last night.  There was just the right balance of music/poetry/comedy interspersed with the awards and the emotional touch of the pictures of the buildings while the songs were being performed gave most of us a lump in the throat.’ 

…‘the atmosphere generated was that of inspiration.’

‘The evening flowed seamlessly and was most enjoyable and entertaining. The addition of Heritage in Song/music was a master touch! The projection onto the large screen at the rear of the stage was a simply brilliant.’

‘It was simply a fantastic evening… The quality of the music , the speeches and the winners – all superb.’


Find out more about ‘Buildings of Belfast: Heritage in Song 2017’ here.


Each of the musical performances can be viewed below:

Brigid O’Neill – ‘Belfast Angel’

Anthony Toner – ‘Six Inches of Water’

Gareth Dunlop – ‘Live to lift the Heart’

Duke Special – ‘While Orpheus Sings’