Saturday 8th February was a very proud night for Regina O Leary as she accepted a Special Achievement Award from the Irish Association of Youth Orchestras (IAYO) in recognition of 30 years of music by St Canice’s Instrumental Music Programme. Minister for Children, Frances Fitzgerald, presented Regina with the award onstage at the annual Festival of Youth Orchestras Concert at the National Concert Hall in recognition of the contribution the music programme has made to the development of youth orchestras. Since the foundation of the programme in 1983, thousands of Kilkenny children have been given the opportunity to learn how to play a musical instrument and to enjoy playing music. The IAYO make two special annual awards to organisations who have made a significant and innovative contribution to the development of their youth orchestras. The Special Achievement Award was presented to the programme for a year of celebrations to mark the 30th anniversary which included the creation of our wonderful new website (by parent Kate O Connell) and the very successful Gala Concert in the Watergate Theatre in June 2013. Speaking after the presentation of the award, Regina said the programme is a testament to the dedicated music teachers team, our wonderful and supportive principal Maria Comerford and teaching staff, the unprecedented commitment given by amazing Parents' Committees both present and past and the gifted talented children who have passed through the doors of St Canice's over the past 30 years. Finally she said that the young musicians of St Canice's have given her 30 years of unimaginable joy and long may it continue!
The 16th Annual Kilkenny Music Festival took place from Tuesday, March 4th for six days until Sunday, March 9th 2014. This unique event as always provided a special opportunity for music lovers of all ages to support and enjoy live performances at venues throughout the city.
Known for its inclusive and encouraging atmosphere, this year’s festival incorporated 88 competitions including choral, vocal, piano, wind, brass, strings and chamber music. The huge popularity and high standard of the vocal competitions alone necessitated the appointment of two adjudicators for the first time in the festival’s history. It is also the first year that the festival ran over 6 days- again due to ever- increasing numbers of competitors and the dedication of the festival committee and volunteers to provide a valuable opportunity for the musicians and vocalists of Ireland to perform in front of highly regarded adjudicators.
The Gala Concert was staged at the Watergate Theatre on Thursday, March 20th where the major awards for the most outstanding competitors were announced.
The festival’s audiences of family, friends and music lovers have long held an important role in helping to create the enjoyable and appreciative atmosphere for which the Gala Concert is known. As always this year the Festival was indebted to its sponsors: St Canice’s Credit Union, Kilkenny Borough Council, Meubles, State Street and Bank of Ireland.
Our Senior and Junior Orchestras travelled to the RDS to compete in the Primary School Orchestra Competition on Monday 7th April. Our Senior Orchestra were victorious bringing the Peter Killian cup home to Kilkenny for the 22nd time! The Junior Orchestra took second place in the competition and were only a point behind the Senior players. It was a very enjoyable day for all teachers, parents and children who travelled to Dublin.
Maytime Melodies bienniel concert was held on Tuesday 20th and Wednesday 21st of May with two wonderful nights of musical entertainment provided by over 400 participants of the music programme. As ever the show was a sell out on both nights with families and friends enjoying 20 different group performances, 2 Orchestras, 2 Jazz Bands, and a Concert Brass Ensemble.
Sixth Class Quartet The DAPA Quartet were filmed by RTE playing "Ironclad" by Sean O'Loughlin beside the River Nore for the programme Abhainn. The programme follows life along banks of various rivers in Ireland from its source to its mouth. The DAPA Quartet are Dara Scobie, Ana O'Shea, Patrick O'Shea and Annie McEvoy.
Every year Eamon gives Primary and Secondary children Join a jazz band for a week. Activities include busking, recording & concerts.
As part of the National Craft Gallery’s Culture Night, Blown Beats, our Senior Orchestra kicked off proceedings with a fun filled performance in the courtyard.
The National Youth Arts Showcase 2014 took place on Thursday, 25th September at the National Museum of Ireland in Dublin. It was opened by Heather Humphreys T.D., Minister for the Arts, Heritage and the Gaeltacht. Performing groups included Monaghan Youth Theatre, Young Irish Filmmakers and St Canice's Music Programme's Dynamica Quartet, featuring musicians Katie Breen, Georgia Shine, Hanaa Josef and Sophia O'Shea.
The Dynamica Quartet entertained Mayor Andrew McGuiness, local councillors and guests at the Mayor's reception in the County Hall.
Eamon's Senior Jazz Band appeared on the Late Late Toy Show playing Pharrell Williams "Happy" alongside a collection of school children picked during the Late Late Toy Show Auditions.
The highly anticipated Annual Christmas Breakfast Morning took place in the School Hall on Friday 12th December. The children were offered a choice of one of four drinks, one of two savoury snacks and one of two sweet snacks and all for only €4. Santa's little helpers were very busy prior to the event baking!
On Friday 12th December Eamon Cahill staged a concert to remember in the Watergate Theatre with his annual Christmas Jazz spectacular "A Jazzy Merry Christmas". The concert featured performances from St Canices Junior Jazz Band, St Canices Senior Jazz Band and many of our ex St Canices brass and wind pupils playing with Kilkenny Jazz Band, Loreto's Jazz Band, CBS Jazz Band, Kieran's Jazz Band and Kilkenny College Jazz Band. A solo performance of D. J. Delaney (6th Class) of Acker Bilk's "Stranger On The Shore" also featured on the night. It was a wonderful night filled with lots of festive fun!
This annual event was held in St Canices Cathedral on Saturday 11th December. Our Recorder Ensemble and String Players from Our Senior Orchestra played on a night whose proceeds are donated to local charities.
As is our yearly tradition the Senior Orchestra busked in McDonagh Junction on Friday 19th December. All proceeds were raised for Enable Ireland.