21 boys from St Paul’s NS sang out ‘76 Trombones’ among other classics in the National Children’s Choir recently, proudly representing Laois.
The boys from 4th and 5th class of the Portlaoise school were selected for the recital in the National Concert Hall on June 7 by the directors of the National Children’s Choir.
It followed their sell-out concert in the Dunamaise Theatre in mid May, when a large group of boys and girls from the school performed for their families, teachers and the community.
“The directors came down for this regional concert and then took the pupils for a practice, before making their choice,” said principal of St Paul’s Des Sutton.
He and music teacher Deirdre Meagher accompanied the boys and their families to Dublin to take part in the massive choir of 350 children from schools all around Ireland.
“It was superb, they got standing ovations and the hall was packed. The nice thing is this is not a competition, it is purely a celebration of music,” Mr Sutton said.
St Paul’s are the only Laois school affilliated with the National Children’s Choir this year.
Classes had practiced hard, learning a complicated repertoire of songs that included ‘Jerusaleum’, sung in four parts, ‘Battle Hymn of the Republic’, ‘Siúil a Rún’ and ‘The Rhythm of Life’.
Mikey Lynch aged 10 from 4th class in St Paul’s NS was one of the singers.
“I didn’t really know I could sing until I did it. I’ve never done anything like it before. After the first song I though it was easy, because I had my friends beside me,” said Mikey, thrilled to get five standing ovations from the audience of 1,000, including songwriter Brendan Graham.
Performing onstage has benefits, said his principal.
“It gives the children a sense of self-worth and self-confidence,” Mr Sutton said.
The National Children’s Choir was formed in 1985 to celebrate ‘European Music Year’.
Since then nearly 100,000 children from 4th to 6th classes around Ireland have taken part in the biannual national concerts.