It certainly was a race to the finishing line, as our Choral Clongownians were put to the pin of their collar to muster up a repertoire with only two weeks’ preparation time, following a refreshing summer vacation. From late August the Music Room was a hive of choral activity on Mondays and Thursdays, as boys ranging from Rudiments to Rhetoric embraced the challenge of producing a repertoire suitable for performing at the Curragh Race Meeting (Longines) on 11th September, at the request of Mr Evan Arkwright.
It was with great gusto in extremely gusty conditions, that Ceallachan McDonald from Rhetoric took sole charge of the keyboard, a most cumbersome piece of equipment, and effortlessly ferried his musical burden throughout the Racecourse from location to location with much good humour and enthusiasm! Windy conditions prevailed throughout the day, and many a fine hat was located in a location, other than on the owner’s head! Our choristers were not deterred by this weather, and performed with great panache and resilience amidst canopies rustling and skies threatening to turn charcoal.
Gustav Holst’s World in Union theme was our first musical offering, followed by a rendition of the Fields Of Athenry featuring soloist Hugo O’Donnell and Oh Happy Day from the film Sister Act. The boys then proceeded to the main stage where, adorned with pins supporting Child Cancer Awareness, they performed the national anthem Amhran Na Bhfiann with the Army No. 1 Band, with a great sense of national pride. Following the final race of the day, we closed the race meeting with a rendition of Shaun Davey’s May We Never Have to Say Goodbye, featuring our keyboard roadie Ceallachan McDonald as soloist.
Most importantly, the boys remained true to their deep -rooted belief in Ignatian spirit of ‘Men for Others’ in demonstrating solidarity with the Light It Up Gold (LIUG) Campaign, organised by the Childhood Cancer Foundation. The plight of child cancer sufferers and their families was highlighted by the Foundation on this very special day, and the boys from Clongowes, were deeply touched to be part of wider international campaign during the month of September.
The choral team would sincerely like to thank Mr Evan Arkwright for the invitation to perform at the Curragh and we very much look forward to a return visit in the not too distant future.
Pictured above are: Mr David Scott, Alan Hegarty, Kieran Clohessy, David Tunney, Rory Marron, Aaron Mannion, Mikey Mina Ronayne, Hugo O’Donnell, Aidan McNeill, Eoghan Cumbers, Matthew Cassidy, Dylan Liddy, Ben Wilkins, Luke Johnson, Ceallachan McDonald, Ms Anne Conaghan.
Anne Conaghan and David Scott