A Spectacle of Incredible Talent
Over 450 teenagers took part in a spectacular Diocesan Youth Concert ‘Awakening’ on Thursday, 4 May in Breaffy Arena, Castlebar. Over the last number of months a number of very passionate and enthusiastic R.E. and Music teachers from 19 different secondary schools throughout the Archdiocese of Tuam have been working on this very exciting music project called ‘AWAKENING’.
Awakening 2017 was more than just a celebration of modern church and contemporary music, it was a real spectacle of talent showcasing the musical and creative genius of almost 500 young people. This event was impressive for so many reasons, but the biggest reason possibly being that the concert itself was flawless despite the fact that the choir and orchestra only came together for the first time on the day of the concert. All 19 school groups had been working away learning the music and lyrics in their own schools since Christmas, but only came together as a single choir at 11am on the day of the concert. The young people and their teachers had worked so diligently in their own schools that the rehearsal became only a chance to polish off something that was already perfect.
Over 700 people turned up on the night to show their support for this incredible production of music, dance and song. MC for the night was Fr John Kenny, PP of Partry. We heard songs on the night from artists from Leonard Cohen to Robbie Williams, U2 to Take That. Our incredibly talented musical directors for the night were Mrs. Siobhan Shaughnessy and Ms. Ita Cunningham. Siobhan and Ita, both teachers in Presentation College, Headford, brought out the best in the young people and made the concert unforgettable, not only for the audience but for the young people themselves.
Two of the most moving and emotional performances on the night were led by Ms. Fionnuala Dooley, teacher in Ballinrobe Community School. Fionnuala led not only her school group but her gymnastic group, ‘The Tuam All Stars’, in movement and dance to two pieces on the night. The audience even gave them a standing ovation before the concert ended in appreciation of their artistic and creative brilliance.
The 19 Secondary schools involved on the night were
Archbishop Mc Hale College, Tuam Balla Secondary School
Ballinrobe Community School Ballyhaunis Community School
Coláiste an Chreagáin, Mountbellew Davitt College, Castlebar
Dunmore Community School Glenamaddy Community School
Holy Rosary College, Mountbellew Presentation College, Athenry
Presentation College, Headford Presentation College, Tuam
Sacred Heart School, Westport Scoil Bhríde, Mercy Secondary, Tuam
Sancta Maria College, Louisburgh St Colman’s College, Claremorris
St Gerald’s College, Castlebar St Jarlath’s College, Tuam
St Joseph’s Secondary School, Castlebar
The aim of the night was to bring together the voices of over 450 senior students and form them into one choir to perform some of the most beautiful and meaningful songs in order to lift our spirits and raise much needed funds for Pieta House. It set out and achieved this and so much more. It was the perfect way to lead into the weekend of the Darkness into Light walks that were happening the following night.
A special thanks and appreciation was shared on the night to all the students and their teachers by Siobhán Bradley, Diocesan Youth Ministry Director. Siobhán encouraged the audience to go home and share the good news of ‘Awakening’ with everyone who would listen, because what was experienced that night in Breaffy was something that needed to be shared, liked and repeated next year.