Music and Reviews from Clare, Limerick, Waterford and sometimes further afield

Monday, August 12, 2013

Back to School: St Peter's College Grand Concert

Pat Morris with St Peter's College Orchestra 2013

It was a  Sunday afternoon in Dunboyne, Co Meath. Dozens of youngsters arriving in their school uniform on a weekend afternoon  was unusual enough but even more so was that  all of them were carrying cases bearing musical instruments of one sort or another.   St Peter's College is a large co ed post primary school run by  Meath VEC with about 1200 students currently enrolled. Among the extra curricular activities it boasts a 40 + strong school orchestra. I was thrilled to be invited as guest of honour to a Grand Concert by St Peter's College Orchestra. last May, their first full length concert. There was a wonderful sense of occasion as the  hall was packed with colleagues, past pupils, siblings  and  proud parents, There were refreshments for all. The sense of immense pride in the endeavour was palpable and  both Principal Eamonn Gaffney and Vice Principal Maureen Murray were in attendance.

St Peter's College Orchestra 2006
My own involvement goes back a decade or so when I worked at the school and established the ensemble with my colleague Pat Morris as a feature of the school extra curricular programme.  I reported on the project in the early years for IAYO Newsnotes and you can read my article here . I am in awe of the commitment of the staff including my former colleague Pat Morris in sustaining  the ensemble over a decade as a regular activity in the school and  locality. I remain terribly  proud of my association with them. It  gives me great pleasure to remember the  highlights. Although there were many grand occasions including indeed an exciting performance in the grand  portals of  the National Concert Hall, the occasion I would choose as my favourite is one for which I have no photograph.  Statesman TK Whittaker arrived  as a surprise guest to hand out the prizes at the first PLC courses run by the school and said wonderful things about  education and learning and of course complimented the fledgeling ensemble.
TK Whittaker 

Since my time there Clare Carolan has been busy teaching wind instruments in the area and assisting with directing the ensemble The impact one committed teacher can have was apparent in the many fine wind and brass players in the ensemble.
On a practical level a full length programme was achieved with a good mix of solo and ensemble numbers and smaller ensembles drawn from the larger pool.  Players of all level of ability were included. I specially liked  film themes, The Great Escape, Concerning Hobbits, Pirates of the Carribbean to name just a few.

 Bravo tutti! Pat, Clare and your students on your wonderful work.

You can read Pat Morris' report on the event here 

No comments:

Post a Comment