A capacity audience filled St Columb’s Hall on Wednesday for the Music Promise ‘Joyous Celebration’ Gala Concert.
The Western Education and Library Board’s (WELB) Music Service Youth Orchestra was joined by Holy Family Primary School Choir, Foyle Folk Kids, Kildoag Pipe band, Plantin Band, St Mary’s College Choir, St Patrick’s and St Brigid’s College Jazz Band, and the Music Promise Youth Choir, to celebrate musical talent in the City of Culture.
“Joy to the world…” the familiar seasonal refrain has been ringing out throughout the WELB area as a variety of instrumental ensembles have been spreading the Christmas cheer over the past few weeks.
The WELB Youth Orchestra, made up of 100 young musicians draws from schools throughout the Western Board area.
Students attend lessons and regional rehearsals on a weekly basis, and come together regularly for full orchestral rehearsals. The repertoire covers a wide variety of styles, combining major symphonic works with popular musicals,
film scores and new compositions, as well as traditional and folk music arranged for orchestra.
John Bergin, WELB Deputy Head of Music Service, said: “Christmas is such a special time for all children and there’s no better way to get into the real spirit of the season than through the wonderful music played at this time of year. WELB Music Service staff have spent months preparing the pupils involved to ensure they are ready to perform to their usual high standards.” He added: “It is rewarding for all the family to finally hear the sounds of the full orchestra or band, having perhaps only heard a single line being practised at home.”
The Youth Orchestra received a rapturous reception from a packed house at St Columb’s Hall. The audience enjoyed first class performances of an enjoyable and challenging programme including waltzes from ‘Masquerade’ and the Shostakovitch Jazz Suite and a Christmas Medley of Nat King Cole and Bing Crosby favourites. After a term’s worth of hard work the Youth Orchestra’s dedication was certainly rewarded in what was a night to be remembered for many years to come.