Derry’s St Mary’s is Ireland’s Choir of the Year!

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There was music in the Dublin air when St. Mary's College choir won Choir of the Year at the prestigious Feis Ceoil in Dublin recently.

The choir celebrated on stage of the magnificent RDs Concert Hall singing a triumphant rendition of ‘The Undertones’ standard, Teenage Kicks.

The choir, under the direction of Emma-Jayne Kelly and accompanied by Trevor Burnside won the two- part Youth choir, were placed second in The Alice Yoakley Cup and won the overall Folen’s Publisher Award Cup and £3000 for the "School Choir of the Year 2024".

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Miss Kelly described the whole experience as “a fantastic day for Derry as Thornhill College also scooped several Choral awards in Dublin”.

In fine voice... the national champions, St Mary's College Choir.In fine voice... the national champions, St Mary's College Choir.
In fine voice... the national champions, St Mary's College Choir.

Coming back to Derry after Feis Ceoil, Emma-Jayne the girls sang all the way home on the bus.

They also face-timed St Mary’s Principal, Brendan McGinn, to tell him the brilliant news.

A clearly delighted Brendan said: “As Principal, I stand on the side line and cheer the choir on.

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“The one advantage I would have is I taught music before I came to St Mary’s, so I would have a fair idea of the amount of work that Emma-Jayne puts into it and the commitment of the girls.

St Mary's students celebrating their success.St Mary's students celebrating their success.
St Mary's students celebrating their success.

“To get to the level they have got to is amazing. I am not sure if the girls have really realised what they have achieved because we have never taken part in Feis Ceoil before and we were really dipping our toes in the water,” he said.

Emma-Jayne paid tribute to Trevor Burnside.

“Trevor was with us for the long haul. He was brilliant. His words to me were, ‘I have never been as pampered in my life. Those girls are a crowd of mothering hens’.

“I would also like to thank the mammys and daddys and the people who travelled with us, not to mention all the teachers who let the girls out of class to rehearse. The whole school was really behind us and we appreciated that.

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Choir of the Year 2024.Choir of the Year 2024.
Choir of the Year 2024.

The choir has been invited to perform at Feis Ceoil Gala Concert in the National Concert Hall in Dublin on April 17.

St Mary's choir also won the Unison and three part competition at the recent Derry Feis - being awarded 96 marks in the three-part competition- the highest choral mark awarded that day.

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