Last Monday, 12th May, a 59 strong group of students ranging from first to sixth years, competed in the Waltons Music for Schools Competition which was held in the National Concert Hall Dublin. Getting to perform in the National Concert Hall itself was such a massive achievement and something that all of us involved will remember for a long time. Not only performing but the entire experience of the Waltons competition was incredible and it was such a great way to end the year.
Back in March, Ms. Creaven picked a few students from every year to compete in the competition. None of us had heard of it at that stage so she showed us some clips of the finalists from last year. We were really excited and couldn’t wait to get started on our performance. During the Mid Term Break, we came into school for a rehearsal. Ms. Creaven told us that she and Ms. Lawless had crafted the performance around sunshine with songs and music that fit the theme. The performance would be a medley of ‘Here Comes the Sun’, ‘I Can See Clearly Now’, ‘Walking on Sunshine’ and ‘Let the Sunshine’. We got working on as soon as we could and we could hear the harmonies coming together already!
After a few more rehearsals, we were ready to film our entry to the competition. We rehearsed all day, cleaning up the vocals, making sure the violinists bowed in the same direction and of course perfecting our stage smiles! After a long day of rehearsing, a professional camera man came in to film it. We did two takes and then sent it off to Waltons hoping for a good response!
After Easter, we found out we had made it through to the All- Ireland final! We were stoked and couldn’t wait to get up to the NCH to perform. However, before that we had a lot to do. Ms. Creaven and Ms. Lawless worked relentlessly on new harmonies and new interweaving melodies and Ms. Allen did such a great job on our choreography. One thing that made us stand out from the crowd at the competition was our dance moves and we have Ms. Allen to thank for that! After a lot of hard work and watching Sinéad Mc perfect being a fairy, we set off to Dublin. We were all so excited because we got to go up early to Dublin on Sunday evening and stay in a hotel the night before the competition. It was such a fun experience and a really good way to get to people we had never got to talk to before in different years.
We were up early on Monday morning for sound check in the National Concert Hall. When we arrived at the Concert Hall, we were really excited. The Hall itself is amazing and we couldn’t believe we would get to perform there. The sound check went well but afterwards we were all buzzing for food! After a quick break for food, we made our way back to the Concert Hall. At this point, we were really nervous. In one way we couldn’t wait to perform, but in another we were really nervous; we knew all of the other acts would be amazing! Annnd we were right! All of the acts were incredible and by the time we got to perform, we were shaking but also completely ready to show what we had learned! The performance went really well. We gave it everything! It was such a great experience that we all will treasure.
After a hilarious interval act, it was results time. After an anxious wait, we placed second. It was a massive achievement but we couldn’t help but feel a bit disappointed. We had really wanted to win and we felt like we deserved it. Ms. Creaven, Ms. Allen and Ms. Lawless definitely deserved it! Still, we got a trophy plus 1500 euro to spend on musical instruments which isn’t too bad!
Overall, it was an incredible experience and we had such memorable time. We would like to thank Ms. Creaven, Ms. Allen, Ms. Lawless as well as Ms. Thompson and Ms. Moynihan for accompanying us on the trip.
Here is a video of the performance: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=iL5bpi9X2Q0