Do you remember ‘Right Said Fred’? Musical tastes change with the times, and sometimes quite quickly, especially at St. Conleth’s, where maestros Ms. Fay and Ms. deBhal provide clear and inspirational leadership but also allow their musical minions quite a bit of creative independence. So, each year we know the performances will be top quality but we could get anything from the stage-stomping heavy metal (2011) through a show-tune piano medley (2014) to a boy-band croonfest (various). This year, things took a decidedly subdued, classical turn (that is, until the last act).
We had pianists aplenty, each performing with exquisite talent and gusto: Ciara McCracken played “Barbed Wire Blues”; Muireann Dempsey – ‘A Thousand Years’; Mark Connor accompanied the sweetly-singing Colin Bolger on “Say Something”; Siobhan Moriarty- Chopin’s ‘Nocturne’; Elizabeth Counihan – “Pirates of the Caribbean”; Sam Lynch – “The River Flows in You”; Annalisa Sorenson played (and sang!) ‘I Can’t Make You Love Me” and brave Sean Moran tackled (and conquered) “Bohemian Rhapsody”. Stephen Rockett continued the classical theme, charming us on violin, and Johanna Drager was once again consummate on the cello, playing ‘Danny Boy’ with Ciara Cole (flute), Lucy Colman-Black (piano) and Emer Healy-O’Reilly (harp), as well as backing Emer and Luke McKay’s rumour-stirring version of “Viva la Vida”.
Yes, there was some pop music! Notably Kerri-Ann McGrath’s pitch-perfect ‘Writing on the Wall’ by Sam Smyth and Ishan Prasai’s individual take on “Take Me to Church” by Hozier. There was also plenty of traditional and folk music with 1st Years reprising their ‘Riptide’ as Gaeilge; Louis Cullen, Evan Power and Oisín Power wondering “What will we do with the drunken sailor?”; Holly Stanley and Annalise teaming seamlessly with ‘Travellin’ Soldier’ and Ms. DeBhál, Cian O’Connor and Sean Keane (who else?) once again beguiling us with their trad talent, this time on “Eleanor Plunkett”. And marking, we believe, the first appearance of a trumpet at the concert, Daniel Coady blowing it like the Horn of Gondor, and melding beautifully with Rory Clarke and Joymarita on “A Thousand Years”. Of course, every team needs an ‘All Star’, and ours was once again the impishly infectious Sammy Butler: the crowd rose as one in camaraderie and delight, as Sammy sang and swayed us into Summer!