Our Music Project
The Music Project at St. Agnes’ Primary began in 2006 when Sr. Bernadette Sweeney, (former School Principal at St. Agnes’ Primary) and Dr. Joanna Crooks (former Director of the National Youth Orchestra) came upon the idea of making it possible for the children of St. Agnes’ and Scoil Colm Primary Schools to gain access to the world of classical music via the violin.
To this end, they found funding to purchase 30 violins and so began the origins, of what is now known as, the St. Agnes’ & Scoil Colm School Orchestra. The project began with each class being given a weekly violin lesson based on the Suzuki method of violin teaching which was initially taken on by Joanna herself and volunteer music teachers. Ten years later, the project has grown and as well as each child in the school receiving violin/viola lessons on a weekly basis, a whole school orchestra; a junior orchestra and a community orchestra have all been founded under the guidance of Joanna and her team of volunteers. St. Agnes’ Primary are very grateful to Joanna for all her hard work and for her pioneering work in ensuring that every child in our school is given access to the wonderful world of classical music. For further information on the music project please follow the link to their website below.
Orchestra tour in Madrid
Nineteen past pupils of Scoil Una Naofa and one pupil from 6th Class who form St Agnes Chamber Orchestra pictured with members of St Agnes Parents String Orchestra at the residence of the Irish Ambassador to Spain, Sile Maguire, on Sunday 24th June 2018.
The 2018 Richardson-Smith Cup
The 2018 Richardson-Smith Cup was presented jointly this year to Kiva Byrne, violin, and Rebecca Ross, cello, at the pre-tour concert on Tuesday 19th June 2018 in St Agnes Community Centre for Music & the Arts. The Cup is presented annually by Gillian Smith, in memory of Dr Olive Smith, founder of the National Youth Orchestra of Ireland. It is presented to a student who has worked exceptionally hard and has made an outstanding contribution to SCOIL UNA NAOFA VIOLIN & ORCHESTRA PROJECT. Both 2018 winners will start their Leaving Cert year in September 2018. They are pictured here outside St Agnes CCMA with previous winners, Ellen Donohoe, viola, 2017 winner, and Kelsie Jones, violin, 2015 winner. All four girls will leave on Friday 22nd June with St Agnes Tour Orchestra for a short tour in Madrid. Due to the illness of Gillian Smith this week, the cup was presented by her husband, Lindsay Armstrong. Also in the audience last night was the mother of the Irish Ambassador to Spain, who will welcome the Orchestra to the Ambassador's residence in Madrid next Sunday, June 24th.
Festivals of Youth Orchestras
Cór Fhéile na Scoileanna
On Wednesday, 7th March, our School Orchestra travelled to The National Basketball Arena to perform in Cór Fhéile na Scoileanna. Cór Fhéile na Scoileanna is a festival of choirs and music bands from Primary Schools all over Dublin, and for a week in March, hosts about 10 schools every morning and evening. The schools on Armagh Road have a long history of performing at the Cór Fhéile. On Wednesday morning, we opened the concert with 3 wonderful pieces of music. Bhí Moltóir Cheoil ann, agus bhí sí an-tóghta leis an gceol. Her report was high in praise of our wonderful musicians, teachers and conductors. We are very proud of them all.
Here are some photographs of the event, courtesy of Joanna Crooks.