The first Sunday of December is when Christmas comes alive for Ossory Youth, with the annual Mini Tops Talent Competition.
Some 150 young people from nine clubs began rehearsing in September for this most highly contested competition on the club calendar. Singers, actors, dancers, presenters and artists all displayed their talent in the show, leaving the three judges with some difficult decisions.
There were nerves and excitement in the air and the atmosphere was buzzing with adrenalin and enthusiasm. Everyone was waiting for those few precious minutes on stage where they could showcase what they had spent so long perfecting.
Costumes were coordinated with hair coiffed and make-up applied. They were ready!
The backstage mania forgotten, the shaking hands steadied, the music started. Dancers were in unison, each set of feet with matching movements to the beat. Vocal performances had everyone smiling and clapping along.
“She has a great voice, a really entertaining performance and she is adorable!” was what judge Angela Doyle Stewart had to say about Rebecca Hunston’s rendition of We Are Never Ever Getting Back Together.
The audience was left in awe at the confident and well-rehearsed performances. “It was brilliant. I really enjoyed the show. The dancing was fantastic and the traditional music was truly amazing. I’m so proud of the GB Juniors!” said Shauna Barcoe, who was in the audience for the show.
Nine youth clubs were represented: Kilmacow, Mooncoin, Castlecomer, Moneenroe, Hugginstown, Borris-in-Ossory, Friday Night, Freshford and Goresbridge. All clubs love performing in the Mini Tops, and it’s something that the young people look forward to every year. “You know it’s not Christmas until the Mini Tops comes!” said Mick Burke of the Slieverue Youth Club.
However, it took a lot of hard work and dedication to achieve such fantastic results. “We practised and practised and practised! The gang worked so hard on their dance, but it really paid off. We had tracks worn down to the hall with all the rehearsals,” said Martina Brennan, leader of Moneenroe Youth Club.
There were eight categories in which the clubs took part: music song and dance, solo performance, group performance, comedy, drama, trad performance, act introduction and the banner competition.
Ossory Youth offered a special thanks to all volunteers who helped make this year’s Mini Tops so special.