Both our Junior and Leaving Certificate Music students took trips to the National Concert Hall this week to hear their ‘set works’ professionally played and analysed. Ms. Fay and Ms. deBhal reported back that all the students were impeccably behaved and everyone enjoyed themselves immensely. For the Seniors, the internationally praised music educationalist Tom Redmond and the RTÉ National Symphony Orchestra presented a step-by-step guide to Tchaikovsky’s Romeo and Juliet Fantasy Overture, highlighting key themes and sections, presented with big screen musical illustrations and concluding with a full performance. And the Juniors were treated to a full slate of excerpts: Mozart’s ‘The Marriage of Figaro Overture’; Grieg’s ‘Morning Mood’; ‘Anitra’s Dance’ and ‘In the Hall of the Mountain King’ from Peer Gynt Suite No. 1; Vivaldi’s A movement from ‘Winter’, The Four Seasons; Copland’s ‘Hoe down’ from Rodeo; John Williams’ The Imperial March from The Empire Strikes Back; and Britten’s The Young Person’s Guide to the Orchestra: Variations and Fugue on a Theme of Purcell. Even the trip home was a delight, as the sun was shining, the air was fresh and Ms. Fay, Ms. DeBhal and Manus were in perfect pitch (of course!) as they serenaded their charges with their own personal favourite arias, all the way home to St. Conleth’s!
The School Concert not only annually awes and delights its audience: it also serves as a useful musical primer! From classical piano pieces through Irish harp compositions, from heavy metal thunder through avant-garde originals, the concert this year once again ranged across the gamut of musical formats and styles, with the only constant being the excellence of performance.
Anything new? Well, Ms. Fay and Ms. DeBhal, our resident musical maestros, went for a more efficient programme this year. Yes, we enjoyed the Woodstock-like rambling line-ups of years past (and the accompanying 26 minute tambourine solos) but the genteel residents of Ballsbridge were getting fed up with the ad hoc camping, hemp stalls and double-parking caravans.
This year, the music was as ethereal and imaginative as ever but the organisation and management of the show made it seem a bit like the annual conference of the Christlich Demokratische Union Deutschlands. A great combination: beautiful music and an early dismissal! Check out the stills above and extensive high-lights below. And, parents, please do not listen to just your own prodigy progeny: enjoy them all. The talent below would rival any Voice or XFactor final!