Last Friday morning (8th, November) at 7 am, the senior choir accompanied by Ms Keighary and Ms Heslin tip-toed out of the building on their way the 25th annual Sligo Choral Festival. Upon arrival in Sligo, the day began in Summerhill College, with a magnificent choral workshop with 400 students from schools all over the country. The workshop was led by Greg Beardsall, who is the director of British and Irish Youth Choirs. The students were put through their paces with a variety of vocal warm ups and exercises, culminating in a beautiful rendition of ‘Ordinary People’ by John Legend.
Clongowes choir then joined choirs from Ireland and Europe led by the Army Band as they paraded noisily and colourfully through Sligo town. The choirs were met by the Mayor of Sligo on the steps of City Hall where we were treated to some beautiful a capella singing by a Portuguese choir.
Upon returning to Summerhill College, the serious business of the day began with the choir entering their first competition of the afternoon. The choir performed a beautiful four part Schubert Chorale and ‘Do You Hear The People Sing?’ from Les Miserables, led by our soloist Gareth Campbell.
In our second competition, we sang Psalm 23 by Schubert, followed by an arrangement of ‘Viva LA Vida’ by Mr Eunan McDonald, with Eoghan McLoughlin as the soloist. The choir performed beautifully on the day and came third in both of our competitions. The standard of all the choirs was very high and it was a great learning experience to see and hear the great music that is being made in schools across the country.
We left Sligo at five o’clock, and after the obligatory stop at Mc Donald’s in Longford, a weary, but very satisfied choir returned to Clongowes in time for bed. It was a wonderful experience and the students were a credit to us all and to their school.
Ms Catherine Heslin