Belvedere in song
There are two school successes to report this week. The Colaiste Iognaid basketball team, coached by Adrian O’Neill, and captained by Sophie Coll, won the West Region First Year Girls trophy, beating St. Louis, Kiltimagh, 31-18 in the final. In the ESB Feis Ceoil 2011, Belvedere College Choirs made history by winning three competitions – the first ever Feis Ceoil win by Belvedere choirs. The Junior Choir, singing in the beautiful Anglican Church of St. Bartholomew’s on Clyde Road, won the magnificent McGarry Cup. The Senior Choir, including girls from Mount Sackville, won the Alice Yoakley Quirk Cup. And in a sort of Champions League play-off, this same Choir won the ESB Post-primary School Choir of the Year award with a bursary of €1000. Read below for Frances Stoker-Phelan’s report on the day.
Belvedere at the Feis
The day began early, with the Junior Choir conducted by Frances Stoker-Phelan entering the Youth Choir 2-part competition. The choir sang “Vois Sur ton Chemin” from the French film “Les Choristes”, and the set piece “Simple Gifts”. All the other competing choirs were of girls, but the Belvedere boys secured first place with a mark of 90%. The adjudicator “was very impressed by the vocal quality – well produced, secure, in tune and confident performance”, and commended the choir on their French, noting in particular that it was “a perfect choice for this boys’ choir”.
This is a testament to the hard work and dedication of the Junior Choir who had undertaken many extra rehearsals, giving up their lunch breaks to achieve their goal. They won the magnificent McCarry Cup, much to everyone’s delight. After the untimely death of Gerry Haugh, the Junior Choir aimed to win this for Gerry and they did! I hope he is smiling!
In the afternoon, the Senior Belvedere College Choir, comprising juniors, seniors and the girls from Mount Sackville, was conducted by Ruaidhrí O’Dálaigh. The joint choir competed in the Feis Ceoil Post Primary Mixed Voice Choir Competition in the concert hall of the RDS. The choir sang an ambitious programme of the “Cantique de Jean Racine” by Fauré, followed by the fun a capella jazz number “Java Jive”. The adjudicator was most impressed by the “terrific range of colour, ensemble and panache” of the choir. He also made special reference to the “Lovely male tone and very stylish shading”, “Beautiful dynamics with subtle nuance”, “very mature interpretation”, ”Fabulous pop singing”, “great sound style and superb communion”. Wonderful comments for any choir! There was stiff competition, but the Belvedere College Choir with the girls from Mount Sackville won this prestigious competition with 90%, bringing home yet another piece of silverware, the Alice Yoakley Quirk Cup.
All winning choirs were then automatically entered in to a winner’s competition. This competition comprised all the winners from primary school choirs to the post primary schools choirs. In this competition choirs were competing for a possible three prizes, the Ita Donavan Primary School Choir of the Year (€1,000), the Folens Post Primary School Choir of the Year (€1,000) and finally the ESB School Choir of the Year (€3,000). As Belvedere had two choirs in this competition, only one choir could represent the school, so the Junior Choir stepped back to allow the Belvedere College Choir with the girls from Mount Sackville go forward, as it was more inclusive of the choir body. The choir won the ESB Post Primary school choir of the year with a bursary of €1,000. An incredible achievement for Belvedere College Choir!
We would like to thank Nicole Mullen for coming along with us as a parent volunteer, Tim Fitzgerald (Gap year student) and Ian Fitzpatrick for being our official photographer for the day. We would also like to thank William Woods our accompanist for stepping in at such short notice. Special thanks to Mr. Eunan McDonald who joined the Choir Team in September. His contribution has been invaluable and has no doubt helped the choirs to secure their wonderful victory.