School band makes sweet music to win national competition

Eamonn Wynne

Reporter:

Eamonn Wynne

Ss Peter and Paul's in Clonmel won the primary school section of the All-Ireland Waltons Music For Schools Competition at the National Concert Hall in Dublin on Monday. Here some of the band are pictured in rehearsals before the event.
A Clonmel school hit the right note with the adjudicators when it won an All-Ireland music competition this week.

A Clonmel school hit the right note with the adjudicators when it won an All-Ireland music competition this week.

Ss Peter and Paul’s won the primary section of the Waltons Music For Schools Competition with a stunning performance at the National Concert Hall in Dublin on Monday.

The win earned the school a trophy and a cash prize of €3,000 that will be used to purchase new instruments.

“We’re all walking on air since the result was announced”, principal Yvonne Moran, who is also the band’s conductor, told The Nationalist.

Its winning entry, Music Takes You Everywhere, was performed by the 45 members of the senior band, which includes fourth, fifth and sixth class pupils.

Following the awards ceremony the triumphant band celebrated by performing on the street outside the National Concert Hall, a performance witnessed by a large gathering of parents, relations and friends who had accompanied the band to Dublin. The school rounded off a memorable day with a trip to the zoo before returning home.

Yvonne Moran said that Banna Chluain Meala’s musical director Peter Taylor, who wrote the arrangement, was a key player in the success, adding that narrators Kevin Barry and Niall Deeley also deserved special praise.

“It was a great team effort by everyone involved. This success has been years in the making and it took a long time to bring the band up to that standard”.

She was also grateful to everyone who had helped organise the trip and to the parents for their “huge support” in Dublin.

This was the second time in four years that the school had reached the final of the competition. Primary and post-primary schools around the country submitted videos of their performances and twelve - six primary and six post-primary - were chosen for the final.

Ss Peter and Paul’s has close links with Banna Chluain Meala, the local youth concert and marching band. Yvonne Moran, a former Banna member, also directs a thriving band programme at the school, with the assistance of Banna musical director Peter Taylor.

This programme includes a junior band that starts with recorders and moves on to brass and reed instruments from third class; an intermediate band and a senior band. The school also has a choir and a guitar and percussion group.