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Our Story

New Irish Arts

Founded in 1994 by Irish hymn-writer Keith Getty, our central purpose is to encourage people to worship God, whether that be in equipping and giving opportunity to musicians or leading congregations and audiences in praise to our God. We have several hundred volunteer musicians and our audio/visual team working together to produce a diverse programme of creative events, mostly centred around music. Wherever possible, we work in partnership with local churches and organisations across Ireland.

 
 
 
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What we do—

Through our choir, orchestra and youth choir & orchestra we have produced over 100 large concerts and events across Ireland. As well as playing in venues such as the Belfast Waterfront Hall and the Ulster Hall we have also produced regular broadcasts on BBC and RTE TV and Radio, often producing scripts for services as well as music.

Themed Events
We have produced quality events involving stories, music and images, based on a wide variety of themes including the 100th anniversary of the end of World War 1, The Titanic, Forgiveness, St Patrick and our annual Ireland in Christmas Praise concert. We have worked alongside some great artists over the years including; Sara Groves, Rend Collective Experiment, Clannad’s Moya Brennan, Matt Redman, Stuart Townend, Yazz, and of course Keith and Kristyn Getty.

Youth
New Irish Youth Choir and New Irish Youth Orchestra provide residential courses to train young musicians and singers in a fun environment with a Christian ethos. Find out more about our youth programmes here.

 
 
 
 

Recordings
We have produced our own albums as well as providing players and singers for other Christian artists such as Gettymusic, Robin Mark, Rend Collective and the Abaana New Life Choir.

Worship Leading
We provide leaders and musicians to facilitate congregational singing at conferences and services - past events have included New Horizon and Bangor Worldwide.

Training 
We provide courses to help church musicians and leaders to serve the church well. 

Commissions
We commission artists, poets, writers and musicians to create new material for our events. 

 
 
 
 

Our People

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Jonathan Rea

Creative Chief Executive
Jonathan studied music at Cambridge University, winning the Rima Alamuddin prize for performance. After 15 happy years as a music teacher, he finally left school in 2011 to lead the ministry of New Irish Arts. He is passionate about using the arts as a means to encourage people to worship God. Beyond New Irish, Jonathan’s musical career now includes work as conductor, pianist, composer, arranger, consultant, writer, producer and festival adjudicator. Clients include BBC, RTE, The Northern Ireland Assembly and Belfast City Council. He has conducted many sessions for BBC Songs of Praise, featuring many of his own arrangements. Jonathan is increasingly in demand as a writer and speaker, offering training in music for local churches and occasionally contributing to programmes like Radio 4’s Prayer for the Day and Morning Service.

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Clara Johnston

Events/Office Manager
Clara Johnston has worked as the Events/Office Manager of New Irish Arts since 2008, having first got involved as a member of the Choir and clarinettist in the Orchestra in 2003 . A music graduate of the University of Ulster, she also works as Director of Music in Hamilton Road Presbyterian Church, along with her husband Mark. Her primary responsibilities in New Irish include managing our programme of events, running the youth residentials and ensuring all administrative aspects are properly cared for. Clara counts it a real privilege to serve God through the ministry of New Irish and to work with the variety of people she encounters in her role. When she isn’t working, Clara enjoys relaxing at home with Mark and their two young children.

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Hannah Orr

Admin Assistant and New Projects Developer
After graduating from the University of Aberdeen with a Music Education degree and working as a music teacher in the Scottish Highlands, Hannah moved back to Northern Ireland in 2018. Hannah got involved in New Irish Arts covering Clara’s maternity leave and after having a very enjoyable year, is excited to be staying on as the Admin Assistant and New Projects Developer. Her role is assisting Clara with the growing administrative workload of New Irish, and also developing some new education and creative arts projects. Hannah is delighted to be continuing her work with New Irish Arts and is excited to see where God might lead her in the coming year.

 

New Irish Arts Limited is a company limited by guarantee governed by its Memorandum and Articles of Association. It is registered as a charity with the Charity Commission for Northern Ireland. The board of trustees administers the charity. It normally meets 5 times per year and if required a sub- committee may be appointed, for example to deal with recruitment. The Creative Director has been delegated authority for operational matters including artistic performance related activity. The trustees of the charity are appointed by the company members in accordance with the Memorandum and Articles of Association. Keith Getty founded New Irish Arts in 1994 and holds the title of Honorary President and continues to take a great deal of interest in the work of the organisation.

Board of Directors/Trustees
Rev. David Bruce
Rev. Ken Clarke
Sir Nigel Hamilton (Chairman)
Dr. Andrew Jackson
Mrs Heather Moore
Mr Thomas Orr
Mrs Gwyneth Reid
Mrs Susan Walters
Mrs Fiona Woods (Financial Director/Company Secretary)

 
 
 

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Our aim is to present Christianity, resource churches and support Christians working in the arts.

 

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