Vocal trio the Priests present an amiable mix of sacred music, classical arias, Christmas carols, and traditional Irish songs. Founding members Father Eugene O'Hagan, Father Martin O'Hagan, and Father David Delargy hail from Northern Ireland, where they began singing together as students at the grammar school St. MacNissi's College. They later trained for the priesthood at Irish College in Rome, and during their time there, they were invited to sing for the Pope in the sacred liturgy. Returning to Ireland to work in their separate ministries, they continued to sing together while still fulfilling their duties as full-time parish priests.
The group's accessible style and potential crossover appeal led to a recording contract with RCA Victor, and they worked with famed producer Mike Hedges (U2, Sarah Brightman) on their debut album, The Priests, which saw release in 2008. It reached number two on Billboard's Classical and Christian charts, hit number 66 on the Billboard 200, and charted across Europe as well as in Australia and New Zealand. The trio's share of the proceeds from all this success went to their parishes and to support retired priests. A second album, Harmony, appeared in 2009 to less fanfare, although it still charted in nearly a dozen countries, reaching the Top Three in Sweden and New Zealand. By the following year, the Priests had sold more than three million albums worldwide, and they wrapped up 2010 by releasing a traditional Christmas album, NOËL. The trio returned on the SWM7 label with their fourth album, Alleluia, in 2016. It included a mix of traditional hymns, Irish songs, and classical selections, along with a cover of "Eleanor Rigby." ~ Marcy Donelson & Steve Leggett