Ten boys from Grammar attended a concert in the National Concert Hall on Monday 21st Oct to hear a live performance of their set works for Junior Cert. Rian McKeagney sent this report…
The day dawned bright but dull, with clouds that promised rain. It was a typical Monday for all students except for eleven lucky Grammarians. After breakfast and some confusion about attire the eleven third years donned their formal dress and headed for the study. Their excitement was tempered somewhat at Morning Prayer when School Captain, Peter Stapeleton announced that he had asked the Headmaster, Fr Moloney to declare a half day in his honour and that the request had been granted,
Our first class was, somewhat ironically, music, where we were given the lineup for our day. We left the school at 10.30, travelling with Charlie Coonan’s parents and Ms Conaghan. Those who had travelled with Mr Coonan were the first to arrive and our formal dress drew a few curious eyes and the occasional giggle while we waited for our fellow Clongownians. After our seven other brothers in arms arrived, we battled our way through crowd to the door and took our seats.
Many students filed in and once the hall was full the conductor introduced himself and the National Symphony Orchestra and drew our attention to the posters around the hall which had things like ‘Baroque Era 1600-1760’ written on them. He said that throughout this recital he would be guiding us through each piece telling us what era it was from and telling us some of the key features of that era. We listened to pieces from our course such as Springtime by Vivaldi, two movements from the L’Arlesienne suite by George Bizet and Ripples in the Rock-pools by Shaun Davey which featured Liam O’Flynn on the pipes and Rita Connolly supplying the vocals. Other pieces such as Capricious Celts, Nimrod by Elgar and Surprise Symphony by Haydn which do not feature on our course were played also. The playing was fantastic and really brought to life what we had been studying for the past two years. Hearing it in person made it easier to identify the defining features of each individual piece and will no doubt help us come June!
Once the concert was finished we had the honour of having our photo taken with Liam O’Flynn. After that it was time for a high class culinary treat which came in the form of many burgers and chips from McDonald’s! All round it was a thoroughly enjoyable day and a nice break from the busy schedule of Clongowes life. I would to thank Ms Conaghan and Mr and Mrs Coonan who made it possible for us to go.