Dublinís Cantata Singers were founded by John Beckett in the 1970's, when he began the tradition of doing cantatas in St Annís on Sunday afternoons in February. He played the piano himself for the rehearsals.
The high point of the Cantata Singers came in 1979 when they were invited to do an all-J.S. Bach programme for the London Proms, conducted by John Beckett and with the previous incarnation of the Orchestra of St Cecilia, confusingly then called The New Irish Chamber Orchestra. The following year they did a similar concert in the Flanders Festival, in Bruges.