Celebrating Mass at Castleknock Church
On 17th December, 2013 the choir had the honour of taking part in Mass in Our Lady Mother of the Church in Castleknock. A small group of the choir consisting of fourth year and fifth year students performed beautifully throughout the service and they represented our school so professionally. For some of the girls, it was their first time performing in public; well done to them in particular. The congregation had prepared tea and cakes for us all after the mass and we and taught a little bit of ISL (Irish Sign Language) in the hall. It was a great opportunity to create an awareness of our school and Deaf Culture. We ended the day with singing/signing Happy Birthday to Theresa Lynch's Father which was a real treat for us all. We would like to sincerely thank the Church for their wonderful gifts and the warm welcome we receive each time we meet.
Mahler Chamber Orchestra - "Feel the Music"
This music project was an amazing experience for all the school. It is a programme specifically for Deaf children to experience music and it has been done in Italy, Germany, Prague and the Czech Republic. It entailed four days of workshops. On the 4th October, 2013 we had the most wonderful visitors come to our school after all the students were gone home: "The Mahler Chamber Orchestra" along with "Paul Whittaker" (Deaf music conductor). They were so full of energy and life and overflowing with music... their love of music was just buzzing all around the school. They set up in the play hall and I was very lucky to have them all to myself and listen to them playing. I was in heaven and I was all excited about what the students would experience the next day. On Tuesday 5th October, all second and fourth years were involved in the project: they had the opportunity to play the Cello, Oboe, Viola and Timpani Drums. They learned how these instruments worked and their history. They learned about sound and rhythm, getting the opportunity to conduct the quartet orchestra. Their smiles brightened the school and music filled every part of the school. We then had the opportunity to show them our music and the choir performed "May the Road Rise to Meet You" and "Lean on Me". Paul commented that he judges Deaf choirs across England and has never seen anything like the choir before.
The third day of the project we went to the National Concert Hall (photos below) and were very fortunate to work with Lief Ove Andsnes, a world renowned pianist from Norway. We were lying under the grand piano to feel the music as Lief played and we all got the opportunity to play the magnificent grand piano. We then went onto the stage of the concert hall and got to mingle with the orchestra and hold the instruments as they played. We were asked to sign for the orchestra and there was not a dry eye in the house. All the girls then had a chance in a lifetime to conduct a 50 piece orchestra and we were then honoured with front row seats to watch the performance.
The following day the girls expressed their experiences of the music through art. The floor of our Play Hall was covered in paper and paint with the girls splashing paint everywhere to show their feelings and emotions. Three pieces of this art work will then be framed and brought around Europe where it will be exhibited in concert halls where the Mahler Chamber Orchestra will perform. RTE news also filmed this and broadcast it. Well done to all involved and thank you so much to The Mahler Chamber Orchestra for this amazing experience. We hope it won't be the last!!!!
Assisi Chartible Foundation - The Helix
On the 8th December we were asked to take part in a charity event to raise money for Assisi Foundation. They are involved in building schools and orphanages in India. For the first time we had the stage to ourselves; we were given a ten minute slot to perform three songs - "Away in a Manger", "Oh Holy Night" and "Snow is Falling". This required a lot of practice as there were a lot of new movements and harmonies.
"It was a great experience for all of us to show everyone that a Deaf choir can also be involved in music by expressing the song through sign language" (Jamia)
In the second part of the programme the girls signed all the Christmas songs that the band played and the audience sang. The girls represented the school so well and we all felt so proud of them. Thank you to Mrs. McCormack for the lovely sweets.
"The room was filled with great energy. We got so much positive feedback from the audience. It was a great experience" (Laura)
Saturday Nite Live Show - Brendan O'Connor Show
On Saturday 14th December we were asked to perform on the Saturday Nite Live Show and we could not say no! Previously we had sent in an audition tape of "Fix You" and they loved the choir.
On Saturday we arrived at 7pm in RTE and we had our own green room! (we are getting very used to this now..). All costumes were put on and makeup all touched up for the dress rehearsal. Some of the harmonies had to be changed and there were alternative formations in the music, but the girls were very professional in embracing all the changes. During the show there were technical difficulties and we were nervous the same would happen to us... As we lined up at the side of the stage we had the opportunity to hear Sinead O'Connor sing live and she sounded amazing. The girls performed magnificently and were so beautiful in all the movements and harmonies. The applause seemed to go on forever and our faces were sore from all the smiling. We were very lucky to get the opportunity to meet Sinead O'Connor and Brendan O'Connor and get our photo taken with them. When we went back stage we all let out a huge scream and hugs all around. RTE were fantastic to us they gave us all pizzas after all our hard work. Thank you to RTE for the opportunity to perform and show people what we can do.
"RTE was great! We got a real taste of what it's like to be behind all the glitz and glamour of live shows and we got 3 minutes of fame!! I'm sure everyone would love to do it all over again!" (Ciara, 5th Year)
Deaf Village Ireland (DVI) - ISL Recognition Meeting
We had the exciting opportunity to represent young Deaf at the ISL recognition meeting in DVI on 28th November. We signed three songs for representatives of the government and members of the Deaf community.
"It was good to represent our school and the Deaf community. I really enjoyed it and the reactions we got were positive" (Ciara).
"It was good for those people to see us signing in the choir and it was a fun experience" (Annalise)
Christmas Carols - Santa Sabina 18th December
We had the pleasure and honour of performing Christmas Carols for the Dominican nuns in Santa Sabina House on Wednesday, 18th December. We signed eight Christmas carols for the nuns, two of whom are over 100 years of age!