The Sports and Cultural Council of Tipperary Education and Training Board (ETB) presented the fourth annual Tipperary ETB Schools’ Talent Search Finals in The Dome, Thurles, recently.
There were 12 acts performing on the night, with six acts in both the junior and senior categories. These finalists were selected from the semi-finals stages of the competition which saw acts from the 12 Tipperary ETB schools compete for a place in the finals.
Fionuala McGeever, chief executive of Tipperary ETB, opened the show and thanked everyone who made the event possible, especially members of the Sports and Cultural Council along with staff members, students and members of the Parents Association of Coláiste Mhuire Co-Ed. She welcomed everyone in attendance including Tipperary ETB chairperson Cllr John Hogan, director of schools Linda Tynan, the judges, staff, students and their families and friends. She wished each of the performers the very best of luck and then finished up by welcoming the MCs Johnny B O’Brien and Johnny ‘Smacks’ McMahon, better known as The 2 Johnnies, to the stage to a massive applause from the crowd.
The 2 Johnnies are both past pupils of Coláiste Dun Iascaigh, Cahir, and Coláiste Phobal Roscrea respectively. The boys extended a warm welcome to everyone and introduced the three judges for the evening - Cora O’Brien, Derek Ryan and Aidan O’Connell.
The junior final got underway with a duet from Coláiste Mhuire Co-Ed, Thurles, made up of students Gareth McCarthy and Kayleigh Cronin. Gareth sang ‘All Along the Watchtower’ and was ably accompanied by Kayleigh on the guitar. Up next was Josh Slater from Coláiste Chluain Meala, who gave a wonderful display of hip hop dance. Next to take to the stage was Michaela Barthova from St. Ailbe’s, Tipperary Town, who sang a song named ‘Hurricane’ which was a mix of pop and rap.
The junior choir from Coláiste Dún Iascaigh were next on stage and performed the hit single from Ed Sheeran ‘Photograph’. Next up was Rebecca Elphick of Coláiste Mhuire Co-Ed who played the piano and sang ‘What Do I Know’. The final junior contestant was Abigal Wright from Coláiste Phobal Roscrea who performed a beautiful rendition of Andra Day’s ‘Rise Up’.
First to open the senior final was a group of seven students collectively known as An Grúpa Traidisiúnta from Coláiste Phobal Roscrea. The group was made up of Kelly Feehan, Caoimhe Flannery, Áine Gleeson, Eimear Gleeson, Teresa Maher, Katie Scully, Innessa Teehan and Irma Teehan. The girls gave a beautiful display of Irish music, song and dance.
For the fourth year running, top Irish dancer Ava Lawrence from Scoil Ruain, Killenaule, entertained the crowd to a wonderful display of Irish dance. Keelan McGrath of Borrisokane Community College took to the stage and played an Irish medley on the button accordion.
The senior choir from Coláiste Dún Iascaigh, Cahir were next on stage and performed their own version of Queen’s ‘Somebody to Love’. Next up was a ballad group made up of Jack O’Meara, Jade O’Farrell Bond and Eve Pope from Borrisokane Community College who performed ‘Hold My Hand’. Jack played the fiddle, Eve played the piano and Jade serenaded the crowd with her beautiful voice.
The final act of the evening was Motif from Scoil Ruain, Killenaule, and comprised of Baylea Grace, Caoimhe McMenamin, Erik Hehir, Matthew Hunter, Danny Gleeson and Isobel Hayes. This group played instruments and sang a medley of songs including ‘Down Under’ and ‘Freed from Desire’.
The standard in both categories was very high again this year which left the judges with a tough job choosing their top two acts in each category. While the judges did their deliberations, the audience was entertained by Voice of Ireland 2016 contestant and former pupil of Borrisokane Community College Pauric O’Meara who sang a number of cover songs along with one of his own songs. After 15 minutes, the 2 Johnnies returned to the stage to announce the winners of the 2018 Tipperary ETB Schools’ Talent Search Finals who were as follows: Junior category - 1st Michaela Barthova (St. Ailbe’s School, Tipperary Town), 2nd Josh Slater (Coláiste Chluain Meala). Senior category: 1st Senior Choir (Coláiste Dún Iascaigh, Cahir), 2nd An Grúpa Traidisiúnta (Coláiste Phobal Roscrea).
Fionuala McGeever, Cllr. John Hogan and Linda Tynan presented the winning performers with their prizes and congratulated them all. Tipperary ETB would like to say “well done and thank you to each of the performers for participating in this event. We appreciate the hard work and dedication of their music teachers and their school communities for their continued support in preparing them for the event and for nurturing these talented performers. We wish all of our students the very best of luck in their school lives and in which ever future paths they choose to follow. We look forward to seeing what the 2019 finals will have to offer”.
Check out ‘Tipperary Education and Training Board’ Facebook page to view videos of the performances.