Wednesday 18 September 2019

Lourdes choir look back on a great year

The annual awards night for the Lourdes youth Choir took place recently for 2019.

The choir opened the evening singing "Stand by me" accompanied by Maria Durnin and "The Clouds Veil" with Sharon Ogbanga on lead vocals.

Choir director Jackie Walshe explained "This was Sharon's first solo and to be fair the majority of first time solos' would be done at mass and from the gallery, Sharon did a fantastic job especially considering she was facing her family and friends.

Jackie went on saying "Congratulations to all the members on another successful choir year. The commitment from the nine new young members who joined throughout the year has been very encouraging. The choir involves a big commitment from the members but it also gives fantastic rewards. The friendships that are made can be lifelong but it also teaches what commitment is and what being part of a team is all about.

The choir membership now stands at 16 junior members and 12 senior members. Catherine Conlon assists on a weekly basis, and regular assistance comes from Maria Durnin, Aine Rock and the newest adult volunteer Serena Matthews.

Following the opening pieces and welcome from Jackie the attendance awards were presented by Fr Barry Matthews.

Best Mass Attendance in the Senior section to Sharon Ogbanga

Best Mass Attendance in the Junior section to Abbie Martin

Best Practice Attendance in the Senior section was jointly won by Sharon Ogbanga and Doireann McCluskey

Best Practice Attendance in the Junior section to Emily Duggan

Directly after the attendance awards were presented the choir preformed "Kum By Ya". The Arr. used was by Kerry Boyle. The choir preformed this the previous Saturday at the Scouting Irelands memorial service held in their head quarters in Larch Hill. Choir director Jackie explained "the choir are familiar and comfortable with indoor events where the sound can be controlled once the acoustics of the building are identified. Outside is a different story where you have no acoustics but a lot of Mother nature, so the wind direction the volume to use in order to allow the singing travel is very different. I'm not sure who was more nervous in Larch Hill the girls or me but I was so proud of them they sang like angels and those present were very complimentary. Their fourth piece on the night was "The Arms of the Angel" sung brilliantly by Serena Matthews accompanied by the choir

Fr Barry presented the service awards next. The five-year service award was achieved by Aishling King, Sharon Ogbanga and Nikola Busa. Catherine Conlon then presented a gift from the choir to their choir director Jackie in recognition of 30 years- service.

For the second year running the junior and senior sections chose a piece they wanted to perform. They are given time at practices to develop the piece themselves and work on their own harmonies. The juniors chose Freya Ridings - "Lost Without You" and the seniors chose Lady Gaga and Bradley Cooper's "Shallow". Both sections did a phenomenal job and received warm congratulations from those present on the night.

The final presentation on the night was the Fr Martin Award. Fr Martin Kenny had a genuine connection with the Lourdes Youth Choir. He made that connection from the time of his arrival to St Peter's Parish. The "Fr Martin Award" is in memory of a priest that was most committed and dedicated to the choir. Generous with his time, kind hearted - a man many would aspire to be like.

Voted by the choir members, the winner was Megan Butterly.

The awards night ended with an exceptional solo of the Hallelujah by Catherine Conlon accompanied by the choir and enjoyed by everyone present. The choir are now on their summer break and looking forward to their annual choir camp beginning Monday 5th August.

Drogheda Independent