Belvedere College - Musical Evening - 2017

Musical Evening - 2017

Musical Evening - 2017

The Musical Evening – a Student’s Perspective - Ishan Banik Syntax Loyola

That fateful day began much later than usual, at the agreed meeting time of 3:45pm.  With the members of the Jazz Band in the midst of a final rehearsal of their polished performance, soloists warming up, and fellow performers from the orchestra and choir being patient yet breathlessly awaiting for the night to begin, it was more than accepted that the audience were in for a treat that night!
By 7:05pm, the audience were snugly packed within their seats as the Chamber Choir began to line up.  Our esteemed conductor – the one and only Ruaidhrí Ó’Dalaigh – gave the singers their music from his trusty pitch-pipe a mere few feet from the astronomically large audience.  Everyone’s hard work was finally about to pay off.

The tempestuous applause was followed by the introduction of the Symphonic Band, conducted by Wind Band co-ordinator Mr. Daniel Dunne.  Their stellar performance of “Earthdance” and “Clark County Celebration” was sensational to say the least. The College Choir came soon afterwards with their performance of “J’entends le Moulin”.  The traditional French Quebecois was a testament to the hard work of all the French teachers within the school.  We surely gave the French exchange a run for its money that day!

The evening’s first round of accomplished, talented soloists began to make their appearances on stage; Fergal O’Byrne’s rendition of “Etude in C# Minor” by Chopin on piano had once again given me hope that it was possible to achieve what appeared physically impossible.  Eoin Harrington’s performance of “Life on Mars”, accompanied by the chamber orchestra, was a heartwarming tribute to the late David Bowie, and the hard work and raw talent that Daniel Roddy displayed with his intricate guitar playing on his rendition of Cuban composer Leo Brouwer’s “Danza Caracteristica” was absolutely worthy of his acclaim from the audience.

The Belvedere College Junior Choir, conducted by Fran Stoker-Phelan, was on centre-stage, ready to perform.  Their three pieces – “Oh No John”, “Give Us Hope”, and The Jungle Book’s “I Wanna Be Like You” – had not only deserved them the McCarry Cup at Feis Ceoil but the booming applause that had soon followed for the enthusiastic singers!

The second round of soloists were on, with Tadhg O’Connell playing Haydn’s “Allegro Moderato from Sonata No.47”.  Rhetoric students Philip Jebb and Aodhán Buggy played U2’s classic “With or Without You”, with stirring, captivating performances all round.  Elements student Adam Caulfield sang “Stay” by Rihanna.  Jaws dropped as his pure soprano timbre echoed throughout the theatre, from members of staff to the cameraman recording the night!
The college’s Senior Choir then sung the barbershop ballad “If I Had My Way”, followed by “Seven Bridges Road” conducted by Rhetoric student Sean Casey.  He was sure to make an impression on the members of the Junior Choir with the spectacular performance!

The Senior Chamber Orchestra, tutored by Ms. Louise Curtin, began playing their repertoire, which included “Falling Slowly” from the film Once, celebrating its tenth year anniversary, followed by an elated performance with a piece from the “Marcello Oboe Concerto”.  Rhetoric student Ben Gannon’s incredible performance was the perfect end to the first half of the Musical Evening!
After a brief interval, the Trad Band, orchestrated by Mr. David O’Hanlon and Ms. Aisling Lonergan, played a proud assortment of dance tunes, followed by Lennon-McCartney’s “Here Comes the Sun”.  It wasn’t long until the majority of the audience were entranced by their pieces, tapping their feet along with the beat of the various jigs and reels being played!
It was the Belvedere College Chamber Choir’s time to shine afterwards; they sang the Low Voice Irish Ballad “Ceann Dubh Dilis”, followed by a throwback to the last year’s Senior Musical – “Tonight” from West Side Story.  The crowd were serenaded by the passionate vocals of both contrasting pieces; considering the audience’s response, they assuredly managed to strike a chord with them!
Yet another round of soloists made their way onstage, with David Boylan playing Gershwin’s “Prelude No. 1”.  Eoghan Doddy followed him on with his performance of “Capricho Arab” by Francisco Arab.  At last performed Grammar student Daniel Bisset, singing “My New Philosophy” from the Broadway Musical You’re a Good Man, Charlie Brown.  Their exuberant performances kept the audience riveted all throughout!
The College Orchestra, conducted by Ms. Louise Curtin, played the buoyant and heartening “Cumberland Cross”, which earned them first place in the Post-Primary schools category of the Wesley Interschools’ Music Festival.  Their uplifting performance was followed by selections from Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Man’s Chest, with Rhetoric student Aodhán Buggy playing on the cello and, combined with the thunderous sound of the trombones, the intense atmosphere created was, to say the least, enthralling!
Our final round of soloists came on to perform. Daniel Wigglesworth sang his cover of Bon Iver’s indie folk masterpiece “Holocene” and afterwards Oisín Keating MacDermot performed “The Bee”.  From the moment he began playing, the 300 pairs of eyes couldn’t keep track of his fingers flailing up and down the fingerboard of his violin!  The last solo act was Ruairí Nicholl and Seán Casey playing “Fisherman’s Blues”.  The dynamic duo evidently had everyone in high spirits!

Following another exemplary performance by the choir, the Jazz Band were up.  With their victory at the Wesley Interschools’ Music Festival still fresh in their memory, they arranged their repertoire consisting of Billy Timmons’ “Moanin” and “Love” by Nat King Cole, the latter of which was sung by Francois Mullan.  You could just hear members of the audience swooning in the background!  They finished with “Cut to the Chase”, nothing short of a jazz relic – with audience members on the edge of their seats, enrooted grins on all their faces, tapping their foot to what would then be everyone’s ringtone for the next month and a half!
The coveted Choir medal winner was then announced.  This year Josh Balfe was the lucky student whose well deserved efforts towards the choir had earned him the title; with acknowledgment to all members of staff, and the girls from Mount Sackville.  The Orchestra sat while the Choir stood to play the finale.  Conducted by Mr. Dunne, the evening ended with “Excerpts from La La Land”.  The combined talents of the Choir, Jazz Band, and Orchestra made both the audience and performers savour the final performance of the night.  The crowd stood up for a standing ovation as Mr. Dunne had us bow again … and again… and again…
With that, the audience ushered themselves out.  The night we were all waiting for was over.  There were already grieving faces, hugs, and/or the formal handshake goodbye all round; we were going to miss it here.  But hey, at least there was no rehearsal next week…

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