Michael D. Higgins sings the praises of Carrickfergus

Carrickfergus Grammar Choir perform for President Higgins in �ras an Uachtar�in. INCT 28-706-CON
Carrickfergus Grammar Choir perform for President Higgins in �ras an Uachtar�in. INCT 28-706-CON

The award-winning Carrickfergus Grammar School choir has held its traditional end of term celebration in the Windrose restaurant.

After another busy and successful season, a total of 50 singers enjoyed the annual dinner at the waterfront location.

“It is an excellent way to round off the year and say thank you to the Year 14 students,” said Edward Craig, head of music at the school. 

“The dinner is traditionally organised by the Year 13 students and yet again they have brought everyone together for a fantastic evening.”

The past few months have been particularly rewarding for the young singers who represented their school at a reception in Áras an Uachtaráin, hosted by Irish President Michael D. Higgins.

While visiting Dublin the choir was warmly greeted by President Higgins who, according to Mr Craig, “spoke eloquently about the school and Carrickfergus town”.

The choir was also welcomed to sing in both Christ Church Cathedral and Saint Patrick’s Cathedral as well as spending a morning in Maynooth University College.

“The members of the choir were obviously inspired by the three days spent in Dublin and looking forward to their tour next year.

“Of course, most of the students’ performances take place in and around Carrickfergus with a highlight being their Spring Concert where well over 100 pupils performed on a variety of instruments and styles of music.

“More recently they have given winning performances at Bangor Choral Festival and our local Music Festival in Carrickfergus. Making their festival debut was the Boys’ Choir with 24 voices stealing the show, singing songs from the First World War alongside some barbershop and walking away with the ICI Trophy.

“With consistently high marks the Senior Choir was awarded the Dorothy McCullough Salver by the adjudicator for the most outstanding performance in the music section of the festival.

“Although everyone is looking forward to a well-deserved summer break, the choir are already making plans for another musical year with lots of performances, a European tour and recording an album.”

The choir is no stranger to the recording process as it has enjoyed regular success in the RTÉ Lyric FM Choir for Christmas competition. In 2011, the singers were awarded Best Overall Performance, including adult choirs, and as a result was offered the opportunity to record four of their favourite festive choral works with the RTÉ Concert Orchestra, conducted by David Brophy.

In the meantime, follow the choir, which has a strong ethos of non-selective membership, on Facebook and the school’s website www.carrickfergusgrammar.com