St Canice's Senior Orchestra were chosen to promote the IAYO 20th Festival of Orchestras on the John Murray Show on the 15th January.
The 20th Anniversary Festival of Youth Orchestras concert took place on Saturday 7 February in the beautiful surroundings of the National Concert Hall in Dublin. This is the fifth time St Canice’s have been invited to perform at the concert over the past 20 years and it is a singular honour for a primary school orchestra to be invited to perform. St Canice’s shared the stage that night with the Irish Wind Ensemble and the National Youth Orchestra, amongst others, and was the only primary school orchestra to perform that night.
Orchestra conductor, Ruth O Leary, had planned an ambitious programme for this special performance. Weekly orchestra rehearsals were held since September and even included some additional Sunday rehearsals! Many children sacrificed their Sunday swimming and rugby matches to attend these practices and their diligence and commitment is to be commended. A special version of Ravel’s “Bolero” (more familiar to us as the music to that famous Torvill and Dean ice skating routine) was commissioned for the event and specially adapted for the orchestra by Irish Conductor Fergus Sheil. The repertoire also included Tchaikovsky’s “Trepak”, “Dambusters” by Eric Coates and American Composer Sean O Loughlin’s “Ironclad”.
The orchestra left St Canices at 8.30am in order to rehearse on the great stage of the NCH before the afternoon performances. They had their packed lunches, listened to the afternoon performance and then went out for a meal. Their performance on stage ended the first half of the evening concert and was hailed by two standing ovations!
A note from Regina O'Leary 8th February 2015
Congratulations to St Canice's Senior Orchestra who gave a sensational performance at the NCH last night. You wowed the audience with four stunning pieces and thoroughly deserved your TWO standing ovations. The feedback from IAYO has been incredible and you and Ruth have made a little bit of history and created a sense of awe with your ability to perform such a challenging yet spine- tingling repertoire for such a young group of instrumentalists. Ruth O Leary did an extraordinary job and has brought this orchestra to heights almost unimaginable.This was the most amazing team effort ever experienced in the history of our Music Programme- from the dedicated team of Music Teachers who coached the children through the Sectional practices to the incredible team of parents who took over the practical side of everything entailed in the preparation for this unforgettable event. Thanks to the huge support given to the children by Mrs Comerford and all the teaching staff of our school and to the IAYO who included us in their 20th Anniversary Concert.
A huge well done to both our orchestras who performed so well at Feis Ceoil on Thursday 26th March, with the Senior Orchestra winning the Peter Killian cup for the 22nd time and the Junior Orchestra claiming a well deserved 2nd place. The other orchestra competing in the competition was the Kennedy Park National School Orchestra, Wexford.
All the children were impeccably behaved on the day and were a credit to the school. Click here to see the RTE Player Feis Ceoil documentary, “ESB Feis Ceoil: In Time”, which features the orchestras performing!
The Senior Orchestra travelled to the City North Hotel, Co. Meath to play with Fergus Shiels’, Julianstown Youth Orchestra on Tuesday 2nd June 2015. The day provided a great opportunity for our orchestra to play with Fergus Sheil's orchestra. A small concert completed the day.
Katie Breen, Sophia O'Shea, Hanaa Yousof and Georgia Shine (Dynamica Quartet) entertained President Michael D Higgins at a reception held in Butler House during his visit to Kilkenny on the 6th June.
A beautiful night with extraordinary performances from our wonderful 6th class students. There was delicious food sent in by the parents and to the Music Committee organised a great social evening. The evening was tinged with sadness as we said a sad Farewell to Claire Brennan who has given countless hours to the development of the programme and has set up so many systems to ensure the future of the programme. We also said a fond Farewell to Jim Delaney and I wish to thank him for his huge support as Orchestra Manager to both the Senior Orchestra and the Senior Jazz Band.