Now the seats are all empty./Let the roadies take the stage./Pack it up and tear it down… Well, someone failed to tell our resident rockstars, Pants on Fire… who just refused to relinquish the stage and the mic and continued to give their fans healthy doses of feedback and reverb as the 2023 edition of the School Concert came to a gradual end and the roadies took the stage. Yes, our Spring Semester ended on a high note, as those aforementioned roadies/impresarios, Ms. McGuinness and Mr. O’Neill, once again coached, coaxed and coddled a varied and star-studded line-up of stunning student performances. It all began with Mr. ODulaing eloquently celebrating the day and echoing a common-head belief: that this day is one of the best, if not the best, on the Conlethian calendar. Particularly pleasing is the way that our performers jammed themselves together into creative combos that stretched across the difference years: the ‘House System’ is on the way after Easter, but musically, we have been fusing for years!
First up was TY Michael Horan who further established himself as our chief resident singer/songwriter, effortlessly combining guitar virtuosity, insightful lyrics and Chalamet-like looks in a performance of his own composition. Then, the ivory-ticklers took centre-stage: Sixth Year Tom Moriarty and First Years Robyn O’Hanlon and Anna Sweeney each held us in rapture with their renditions of time-honoured classics; it was great to see Tom take the stage with such confidence and talent in his last year at the school. Michael Horan was then joined on stage by Third Years John Byrne Jamie Eiffie on guitar, the first of our cross-year combos. ‘Glue’ then stuck together Second Year Angelica Mauhay (singing stunningly), Fifth Year Bautista Taccetti (a beast on guitar) and Sixth Years Ollie West and Finn Neilan (on piano and drums) for a real super-group feel. Then it was time for two dazzling duos: Evie Moynagh, on piano, backed Aoise Arkins as she sweetly sang ‘Yours’ and we certainly did not ‘Take 5’ as Sixth Year Saoirse Corry soloed on saxophone with the ubiquitous Fifth Year Giacomo Donlon providing the accompaniment on piano.
Things got a bit trippy as Bowie’s ‘Life on Mars’ was performed by Fifth Year Ignacio Taccetti and Aoise (singing), Giacomo (piano) and Second Year Rory O’Dea, who made a spectacular debut, wielding his axe like the greatest of glam guitarists. Our spotlight was then shifted back to the piano for ‘Viva La Vida’, performed by Third Year Michael Moore with precision and panache. A Third/Fifth Year amalgamation took the stage for ‘These are the Days’ with Fifth Years Milan Heffernan Moran singing and Oisín Reilly on guitar and Third Years Paul Jackson on drums and Myles Moriarty-Smyth on the bass. Then Fifth Year Kate Fleming played piano for a lovely ensemble singing of ‘Someone Like You’ by Third Years Hannah Murphy, Margarida Lamy and Elizabeth Finnegan. And Oisín then took the stage himself, playing guitar and singing ‘Talk Tonight’ with talent and charm, before the bad boys of Smokin’ Trousers (okay, the bad boys and Giacomo and Zalan) took the stage and refused to relinquish it. Apparently, a steady drone of reverb could still be heard last weekend, as the Sixth Years sat down to their Orals and Sraith Pictiúrs!
A big ‘thank-you’ to First Year David Hearns for his manning of the video camera and his inspirational head-banging!