Sunday 16 December 2018

Pipers go viral with 225,000 song views

David Looby

Members of the New Ross and District Pipe Band and the Edmund Rice Primary School choir were absolutely stunned over Christmas when the version of 'The Little Drummer Boy' they performed at the Parish Carol Service on Thursday, December 21 went viral on Facebook.

Between December 21 and January 2, the short video clip was viewed 255,500 times all around the world. It was shared around 4,000 times and has reached more than 600,000 people.

Both the pipe band and the school choir were invited by parish priest Mgr Joe McGrath to perform at the parish carol service. Retired school principal Brian MacMahon, who trains the junior members of the pipe band, suggested to assistant school principal Michele Quinlivan, who trains the school choir, that it would be nice to perform a number together.

'Little Drummer Boy' was settled on and Brian and Michele engaged the assistance of guitarist and piper Des O'Callaghan and keyboard player Tomás Kavanagh. One short rehearsal later, they were performing in the Parish Church, New Ross.

A number of parents made videos on the night and posted them on Facebook. By Friday morning, the video had been seen by 20,000 people around the globe and it has continued to be shared and viewed.

Brian said: 'It seems to have really struck a chord with the Irish and Scottish diasporas around the world featuring, as it does, the youngest members of the pipe band and the primary school choir.'

The pipe band features the band's youngest piper, Jodi Fanthom (10) and its youngest drummer Daragh Doyle (14).

The video can be viewed on the Parish Primary School's Facebook page, the New Ross and District Pipe Band Facebook page or YouTube through the following link:

Brian said the band and choir are looking forward to a repeat performance at next year's carol service and they intend submitting the item for next year's Late Late Toy Show.

A sample of the 400-plus comments on Facebook include: 'Absolutely beautiful music. Such talent. Thanks for sharing. This beautiful sound brings tears to my eyes and stirs my soul!!' (Atlanta, Georgia); 'These kids are ABSOLUTELY BRILLIANT!!!! This made my Christmas! Thank you so very much for sharing it with us!' (USA); 'Drummer Boy wonderful, but so impressed by that whole string of young ladies playing the bagpipes. A super performance.' (Cape Town); 'Beautifully played, made me feel homesick. Sharing in Melbourne Australia.'; 'Awesome. Hail out from Trinidad & Tobago.'; Loved this! Good job. You made my day (Utah, USA); 'That was wonderful. I loved seeing their anxious enthusiasm for the start of their part in the musical arrangement. I was nervous for them. They were brilliant!!' (Disneyland, Florida); 'Whouaaa: c'est vraiment magnifique, même sublime!!!!! J'adore!!!!!! Belle interprétation!!!!' (France); 'Beautiful!! You all succeeded in giving me goosebumps!!' (California); 'So lovely to see these young people playing the instruments and the choir was beautiful, well done to all the children, Merry Christmas to all (Brisbane, Australia; 'I played that over and over. Congratulations that was so beautiful it brought tears to my eyes, you children are awesome.' (New South Wales, Australia).

New Ross Standard