Schools sing carols at historic church

Downshire School strings group, Toni McCartney , Alex Montgomery, Rebecca Black, Amanda McCune and Emma Jefferson, playing at St Nicholas' Church. INCT 52-758-CON
Downshire School strings group, Toni McCartney , Alex Montgomery, Rebecca Black, Amanda McCune and Emma Jefferson, playing at St Nicholas' Church. INCT 52-758-CON

Talented young musicians and singers from Carrick have been spreading festive cheer to the wider community in the run up to Christmas.

Carrickfergus Grammar School held its Annual Festival of Nine Lessons with Carols at St Nicholas’ Parish Church.

Downshire School flautists Jessica McKee, Alicia McCracken, Hannah Powers and Rachel Boone. INCT 52-759-CON

Downshire School flautists Jessica McKee, Alicia McCracken, Hannah Powers and Rachel Boone. INCT 52-759-CON

It was led by the school choirs with refreshment served afterwards in the parish hall.

The historic church was also the setting for Downshire School’s carol service.

A statement from the school added: “Once again the event was really well attended by pupils, staff and family members. The choir performed music that was a mixture of the tradition and contemporary. The band and soloists added to the Christmas mood with their beautiful playing.

“The highlight of the evening was the combined staff and pupil choir with their rendition of ‘Silent Night’. The retiring offering was for the Northern Ireland Children’s Hospice.

Ben Platt reading at Carrickfergus Grammar School's carol service in Saint Nicholas' Parish Church. INCT 52-792-CON

Ben Platt reading at Carrickfergus Grammar School's carol service in Saint Nicholas' Parish Church. INCT 52-792-CON

Downshire also welcomed guests from supported housing organisations and nursing homes to its annual senior citizens Christmas concert in the school.

Entertainment was provided by the school choir and band, while poems were read by pupils from the drama department and Megan and Amy Barnes performed a clarinet and violin duet of ‘Walking in the Air’, ‘Silent night’, ‘White Christmas’ and ‘Have yourself a Merry Little Christmas’.

Leah Reynolds read the nativity story from Luke and one of the highlights was an Irish dancing performance by Molly Lyttle from year 8 to the tune of ‘Merry Christmas Everyone’.