Loreto College - Coleraine, Co. Derry, Northern Ireland
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Some members of the Junior Choir performing at the Loreto Summer Concert - View Full Size Image
Some members of the Junior Choir performing at the Loreto Summer Concert
A Y8 who performed a dramatic recitation at the Loreto Summer Concert - View Full Size Image
A Y8 who performed a dramatic recitation at the Loreto Summer Concert
A performance from one of the scenes in Oliver at the Loreto Summer Concert - View Full Size Image
A performance from one of the scenes in Oliver at the Loreto Summer Concert
A scene with Fagin and Oliver in the Loreto Summer Concert - View Full Size Image
A scene with Fagin and Oliver in the Loreto Summer Concert
Y11 & Y12 Pianists with their tutor Mrs A Sharkey at the Loreto Summer Concert - View Full Size Image
Y11 & Y12 Pianists with their tutor Mrs A Sharkey at the Loreto Summer Concert
18/06/2008 SUMMER CONCERT

A Summer Concert was held on the evening of Tuesday 17th June 2008 at Loreto College Coleraine, Specialist School.  The concert was a showcase for the musical and dramatic talent of the College’s Y8-Y11 students, and was a memorable evening featuring outstanding performances.  It was an evening of great variety, which offered something for everyone in the capacity audience in the College Hall.

In keeping with the fine tradition of choral music at Loreto, there were performances from four choirs.  The award-winning Loreto Junior Choir performed a repertoire of great contast: Bohemian Rhapsody to open the evening, and Love Divine to conclude it.  Both performances were spirited and showed great musicality from a talented group of singers drawn from Y8-Y11.  Between these choral bookends sat performances by Year 8, Year 9 and Year 10 Choral Groups: once again, all three groups offered impeccable, sensitive and joyful performances of a pleasantly varied selection of songs.  Soloists drawn from all the Year Groups on display gave some beautifully-judged performances, which again combined technical accuracy with a delightful musicality and an impressive sense of musicality for such young performers.  Among these young singers were Rachael Gaile (Y11), Gemma Mullins (Y11), Alex Brownlow (Y11),and Katie Burns (Y11).  The audience was also delighted by a spell-binding performance by another award-winning group: Cómhcheal, comprising singers Rachael Gaile, Claire Hill and Donelle Reynolds (Y11) and Maria Mooney (Y10), and accompanied by past pupil Donal Hill.

There were also several impressive performance by some very talented instrumentalists.  Emma Kelly (Y10)performed with panache and expertise in a violin solo, making a taxing piece look easy, and later went on to accompany the Y10 Choral Group on the piano.  Pianists Conor O’Kane (a guest artist from Y12) and Eamonn Cassidy (Y11) were both impressive in performing complex scores with a delicate balance of dextrous fingerwork, elegant dynamic range and a fine mastery of tone and touch.  And then there were the harpists: Dearbhla McCotter (Y11) and Caoimhe Cooke (Y8), both students of the Hampsey Harp School in Garvagh, gave a delicate performance of a traditional harp duet – an interlude of peace with breath suspended in the packed hall, no-one wanting to miss a note.

And amid all this musical beauty, came several interludes of drama.  Going from strength to strength at Loreto College, Drama and Theatre Studies captures the imagination of many students, with groups staying late to rehearse almost every afternoon, every week, all year.  The Concert showcased just a small selection of the talent and enthusiasm nurtured in the Loreto Drama Department. From the Year 11 GCSE classes, we saw an impressive two-handed performance of an extract from Abigail’s Party, performed with style and perfect comic timing by Therese Doherty and Samantha Boreland.  Also from Year 11, Claire Hill, Ella McCloskey, Jordan Kealey and Shane McGowan presented an extract from The Wizard of Oz – this was another entertaining performance, rich in satirical humour and, again, excellent comic timing.  A group composed mainly of Year 10 students, with guests from Years 8 and 11, performed an extract from the musical Oliver.  Jamie McGuinness and Maria Mooney would certainly have sparked the interest of Sir Andrew Lloyd Webber, had they competed in this year’s television search for an Oliver and a Nancy for the West End, with their performances, respectively, of Where is love? and As long as he needs me.  This extract also displayed some outstanding acting – most notably from James McCullagh (Y10), playing the part of Fagin with just the right balance of menace and comedy.  The Year 9 Drama group performed a lively and humorous extract from the musical Annie, and from Year 8 there was a brilliantly witty and suspenseful recitation of Charles Causley’s poem Colonel Fazackerlry, by Ben Levy. 

An evening of contrasts was rounded off by the dancers: a Hip-Hop group drawn from Years 9 and 10, and coached through the year by Year 14 student Katrina Lynch, and a group of Irish dancers from throughout the Year 8-11 age-range, displaying an almost dizzying range of virtuoso steps, colourful costumes and RIverdance-inspired choreography.

Overall the concert was a memorable one, which was greatly enjoyed by all those present.  Mr Brian Lenehan, College Principal, paid tribute to the hard work and dedication of Mrs Oonah McEwan, Head of Drama, and Mr Howard Gillespie, Choirmaster, who co-ordinated the event, and to the instrumental tutors, backstage helpers and sound and lights team who had contributed so much to the evening.