BBC Launch Great Northern Songbook Vote

A star-studded concert will follow, celebrating Northern Irish artists and the 150th anniversary of the Ulster Hall

BBC Radio Ulster is this spring celebrating the 150th anniversary of the iconic Belfast music venue, the Ulster Hall, with a one-off concert featuring some of Northern Ireland's most popular acts performing some of Northern Ireland's most popular locally-written songs.

The Great Northern Songbook – 150 Years Of The Ulster Hall takes place in the Ulster Hall on Tuesday, May 22, and is supported by Belfast City Council.

The Ulster Orchestra will join the likes The Answer, Cara Dillon, Brian Kennedy, General Fiasco and others to perform the ten winning songs – as voted for by the public and BBC Radio Ulster and BBC Radio Foyle specialist music presenters (see the full 32-song shortlist below).

From Friday, March 16, music fans can log on to bbc.co.uk/radioulster to vote for their favourite song from a shortlist compiled by presenters Gerry Anderson, Colin Murray, Ralph McLean, Lynette Fay, Stuart Bailie, Cherrie McIlwaine, Rigsy, John Toal, Hugo Duncan, John Bennett, Alan Simpson and Brian Mullen. The public vote will run for two weeks until Friday, March 30.

BBC Northern Ireland will also be releasing complimentary tickets to The Great Northern Songbook – 150 Years Of The Ulster Hall concert. Ticket applications can be made from noon, on Friday, March 30, until 5pm on Friday, April 13 at www.bbc.co.uk/tickets. A maximum of four tickets will be allocated per household address using a random draw.

The concert will be hosted by BBC Radio Ulster presenters Ralph McLean and Lynette Fay and will be broadcast live on the station at 8pm on Tuesday, May 22, 2012.

'We've always made great music here in Northern Ireland and some of the very greatest songs ever have been written by artists from up here,' said McLean. 'From Van Morrison to Jimmy Kennedy, we've produced songwriters of the very highest quality, people who've written tunes that have made people happy whatever their musical taste.

'I'm immensely proud of that heritage and I can't tell you how excited I am about hosting The Great Northern Songbook – 150 Years Of The Ulster Hall. The people who listen to our evening shows know their music like few others, so it's going to be fascinating to see what favourites they pick.'

Lynette Fay added: 'BBC Radio Ulster is a huge supporter of local bands and local music of all styles. The Great Northern Songbook will further celebrate our diverse musical legacy, and it's very fitting that the live event will take place on the illustrious stage of the Ulster Hall, which played host to many great local and international artists through the years.'

Jacqui Owens, Operations Manager of Belfast Waterfront and The Ulster Hall, said: 'Since opening its doors 150 years ago the Ulster Hall has been part of the very life blood of Belfast. Stars have shone and legends have been born here.

'While Led Zeppelin famously gave their very first live performance of ‘Stairway to Heaven’ here, The Grand Dame of Bedford Street has played host to a vast array of world famous names, from Charles Dickens to Motörhead.

'Performers like Van Morrison, Ruby Murray, The Undertones, Stiff Little Fingers, Ash, Snow Patrol and countless others have cut their teeth on this famous old stage – performing timeless music that has become the soundtrack for generations across the world.

A total of 32 songs have been shortlisted by BBC Radio Ulster’s specialist music presenters. The public can vote for their favourite song from:

Rudi - ‘Big Time’
The Undertones - ‘Teenage Kicks’
Ash - ‘Shining Light’
Brian Kennedy - ‘Captured’
Stiff Little Fingers - ‘Alternative Ulster’
Them - ‘Gloria’
The Undertones - ‘My Perfect Cousin’
Van Morrison - ‘Madame George’
Two Door Cinema Club - ‘Something Good Can Work’
Snow Patrol - ‘Run’
Divine Comedy - ‘Tonight We Fly’
Paul Brady - ‘The Island’
Phil Coulter - ‘The Town I Loved So Well’
Duke Special - ‘Freewheel’
The Divine Comedy - ‘Songs Of Love’
The Four Of Us - ‘Mary’
The McPeakes - ‘Will You Go Lassie Go’
David McWilliams – ‘Days Of Pearly Spencer’
Bap Kennedy – ‘Moonlight Kiss’
Jimmy Kennedy - ‘South of the Border’
Van Morrison – ‘Moondance’
Van Morrison – ‘Brown Eyed Girl’
Henry McCullough – ‘Belfast to Boston’
Clannad – ‘Theme from Harry’s Game’
Jimmy Kennedy – ‘Red Sails In The Sunset’
Snow Patrol – ‘Chasing Cars’
Cara Dillon – ‘Hill of Thieves’
Tommy Sands – ‘The County Down’
Kieran Goss – ‘Brand New Star’
Phil Coulter – ‘Scorn Not His Simplicity’
Phil Coulter – ‘Congratulations’/ Jimmy Kennedy - ‘Harbor Lights’

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