IT was a hat trick of victories for St Canice’s National School Orchestras who swept the boards at the recent Wesley College Interschools Music Festival held in Dublin on Saturday 3 March. This is one of the largest inter-schools music festivals held in the country, with hundreds of students from primary and post primary schools competing in a wide range of disciplines, from individual and choral singing to individual instrumental and orchestral. Three orchestras from St Canice’s participated in the Primary Schools Orchestra competition, and ending up securing 1st, 2nd and 3rd place, which is a remarkable achievement by any standard!
It was an early start for the Kilkenny contingent, comprising of four busloads of 150 children, 38 parents and teachers, multiple violins, violas, cellos, flutes, clarinets, saxophones, trumpets, baritones, recorders, drums, cymbals and a double bass! Once again the Orchestras were in the capable hands of Johnny Campion who has been transporting students to Feis Ceoil and other events for over 25 years.
St Canices were competing against six other primary school orchestras from around Ireland, including St Agnes and Scoil Colm Primary School Orchestra, Crumlin, John Scottus Orchestra, Dublin, Taney National School Orchestra, Dublin, The Orff Orchestra St Kilian’s German School, Clonskeagh and the Orpheus Orchestra, Laois School of Music. St Canices “A” Orchestra, conducted by Ruth O Leary, played the rousing “The Valiant Knight” by Charles Woodhouse. The Jazz Band, conducted by Eamon Cahill played the popular “Theme from Mission Impossible” by Lalo Schiffrin, while the “B” Orchestra conducted by Margaret O Faolain De Bhroithe delighted the audience with a duet of numbers; “Marco takes a Walk” by Sheila Nelson and “Double Surprise Symphony” by Haydn.
There were cheers of jubilation from the very large number of parents who had travelled from Kilkenny when the adjudicator announced the results, with the “A” Orchestra securing 1st place, 2nd place for the Jazz Band and 3rd place for the “B” Orchestra! This was a tremendous achievement for the Kilkenny National School, who have also been successful winners at Feis Ceoil on numerous occasions over the past twenty years. The music programme at St Canice’s continues to go from strength to strength and is a testament to the hard work and dedication of all involved. It was a great experience for the children to participate in such a competition on a national level and uplifting to see the high level of musical talent on show from around the country.