On a sultry summer afternoon last Sunday (19th) parents, and families of the incoming Elements group were treated to a most sublime concert featuring students from the Music Department from Elements to Rhetoric. Sadly, this was the final concert of the current Rhetoric group, who have given so generously of their unique and diverse musical talents along their musical journey through Clongowes. Nick McCarthy and Andrew White expertly and swiftly led the audience on a musical voyage, which embraced almost every musical genre known to man!
Elements opened the afternoons’ musical exploration with a most comprehensive repertoire commencing with Irish- born composer Sue Furlong’s ‘Fáilte Isteach‘ and finished with a very lively 2-part arrangement of The Can Can. This was followed by some piano pieces performed by Conor Breslin (Debussy), Eimhin Behan and Robert Lynch (Piano Duet) and then the Third Line String Ensemble performed music by Sheila Nelson. Myles Gibbons, accompanied by his sister Ciara, performed the emotionally powerful song from the most successful musical Les Misérables – Empty Chairs at Empty Tables. Barry Murphy from Grammar offered a convincing performance of Grieg’s technically challenging Norwegian March, followed by a very masterful performance on piano by Martin Sutton, who is emerging very nicely as a competent pianist. The Senior Choir took us beautifully to the interval with a most interesting programme, from Schubert’s setting of ‘The Lord’s my Shepherd’, to Viva La Vida by Cold Play.
The College Orchestra commenced part two with a full-textured performance of the well-known theme music from Jurassic Park by John Williams, continuing with some themes from Symphony No. 1 by Brahms and culminating with a performance of Prime Time Tuesday by Victor Lopez. Aengus Cunningham raised the roof with what he obviously aspires to be in the not too distant future: If I were a Rich Man from Fiddler on the Roof.
The remainder of the concert witnessed several performances of a most professional and virtuosic capacity from a very committed and diligent Rhetoric group. These included the Mozart Violin Concerto in G major performed exquisitely by Richard Thomas; the technically challenging ‘Tempest‘ and ‘Moonlight‘ Piano Sonatas of Beethoven, both of which were performed with great mastery and authority by John Francis and Richard Banahan respectively, and were both so deserving of the ensuing standing ovations. Nicholas McCarthy offered a sensitive and colourful rendition of a John Field Nocturne, and Conor Phelan represented woodwind on oboe, with an empathetic performance of Marcello’s Adagio in D Minor. The Traditional Group had many toes a-tapping with a lively selection of jigs and reels, taking the concert to a most satisfactory conclusion.
Ms Anne Conaghan