Keith Getty was always a remarkable musician. We grew up in the same town, have the same awful sense of humour and played in the same bands. There was one difference though Keith had talent, he could learn in minutes what had taken the rest of us hours and weeks to master and there wasn’t a musical instrument that challenged his ear.
It is only when you consider that Keith, Kristyn, Stuart Townend and the New Irish Arts groups sold out Belfast’s Waterfront Hall over three successive nights that you realise just what Keith (et al) has managed to achieve.
My ears did prick up when Keith mentioned his phenomenal guitarist ‘Dave Cleveland’. No, it wasn’t late recognition of my early work but sadly just a remarkably similar name to the first ever New Irish guitar player with one notable difference, Dave Cleveland is a master of the guitar.
I was asked to photograph the last night of the Northern Celtic Tour A series of concerts showcasing several new Getty/Townend hymns to be released on Keith and Kristyn’s forthcoming album as well as performances of Getty/Townend favourites such as ‘In Christ Alone,’ ‘The Power of the Cross,’ and ‘O Church Arise’.
It was difficult to capture the scale of the event. The stage featured a full choir, strings section, band and the featured musicians all reasonable squashed against a capacity Waterfront Hall. There wasn’t actually even a gap between the front down and the stage.
Stand by Me
The ‘Stand by Me’ charity are touring with Keith and Kristyn. The charity seeks to transform the lives of some of the world’s most vulnerable children, by providing them with care that meets their individual needs. The event featured a remarkable story from one of the Stand by Me staff who had benefited from the charity growing up.
The ‘Stand by Me’ schools provide each child with a quality education, equipping them with the knowledge and tools necessary to break the cycle of poverty and eventually provide for their own future.
In many countries where they work, health care is not accessible and the charity provides a variety of health programmes including the provision of nurses, medication, food programmes and clean water. You can find out more about Stand by Me via their website which has a brilliant URL http://www.standby.me
The New Irish Arts
The New Irish Choir & Orchestra is a vibrant group of Christian musicians which has been an inspiration to audiences in all the main concert venues in Ireland. Founded in 1994 by composer and hymn-writer Keith Getty, the group is now led by Artistic Director Jonathan Rea.
New Irish Arts exists to present Christianity, resource the church and support Christians in the Arts. The group consists of singers, players, actors and visual artists from a mixture of professional, teaching and student backgrounds. With a network of several hundred participants, the group facilitates and promotes an active and varied programme each year.
Like the Gungor gig I used both the Canon 5DMKII (24-70mm) and the Fuji X-Pro1 with the 35mm lens. With the size of the stage the lighting was varied and I found the X-Pro1 coped really well with wider shots where there was more movement as the lens stopped down to f1.4.
It was pleasure to capture the last of the Waterfront nights. I really admire what Keith Getty has achieved but it doesn’t for a second surprise me he has! There will be more photos from the event on the New Irish Arts Facebook Page and FlixelPix Facebook Page.