Carrickfergus Grammar School Choir returned from the Prague Music Festival with a Gold Award and the prize for the outstanding performance of a mixed voice composition.
The 48 singers, under conductor Edward Craig, competed alongside choirs from Turkey, Finland, Japan, Czech Republic, Russia, Canada and the USA. The standard of singing was described as incredibly high with many of the choirs coming from prestigious music colleges and schools.
The main festival events took place in the palatial Majakovsky Hall. Each choir was given an award based on their standard of performance, which ranged from certificates of participation to the highest level, Gold Award which Carrickfergus Grammar was delighted to achieve.
The overall prize of the festival went to Kirara Mixed Choir from Japan. The jury, which consisted of four leading musicians from Czech Republic and Russia, were moved to award the special prize for the Carrickfergus choir’s performance of ‘She Moved Through The Fair’.
The choir also gave a recital in the beautiful St Nicholas’ Church in the Old Town Square and Mr Craig was treated to a reception by the Mayor of Prague in the Old Town Hall.
On a hot Saturday afternoon, the North Street party joined with singers from all over the world in the festival parade through the streets waving flags, including the Carrickfergus Borough flag and the school flag and entertaining thousands of onlookers by singing songs which ranged from ‘Danny Boy’ and ‘I’ll Tell Me Ma’ to ‘We’re Not Brazil We’re Northern Ireland’ and the school song “Praestantia In Omnia” (Excellent in All Things).
There was also time for a cruise down the River Vltava, while the camaraderie between the choirs was “superb” especially between Carrickfergus Grammar and the champions Kirara.