Senior Choir

I have been a member of the Senior Choir for the last three years, with this year being one of the busiest and most rewarding. The year started in September with a trip to St Finian’s Church to join with them in their Sunday morning service. October arrived and we were performing at the school’s annual Prize Day singing ‘The Call of Wisdom’ and a Queen medley.  At the beginning of December we were invited to participate in two carol services at Hydebank Prison.  One night was the Carol Service for the young offenders and the next was for the women prisoners. Reverend Alan Wardlow from Glenburn Methodist Church, who is the Prison Chaplain, organised this event having enjoyed Grosvenor’s Choir on numerous occasions.

With Christmas fast approaching it was time for the eagerly anticipated service of the Nine Lessons and Carols in St Anne’s Cathedral. This was attended by pupils, parents, past pupils and associates of the school.  We performed familiar, carols such as ‘O Holy Night’ and ‘In the Bleak Mid-Winter’ with solos from Emma Wallace and Cameron Kirkpatrick, as well as some less well known carols ‘Candlelight Carol’, ‘What Sweeter Music’ and Tomorrow Shall be my Dancing Day’. Once again this was a great night with many of the congregation stating that this really marked the start of Christmas for them.

Two days later we were on our travels again, performing at Orangefield Community Church as part of its series of ‘Christmas Music 2012 at Arc Café’ events. We were treated to a very tasty lunch during the break, making the trip even more enjoyable.

A New Year arrived and with it a new challenge as the Choir entertained prospective pupils and parents during the school Open Nights.

The highlight of the year for me had to be singing in the Waterfront Hall as part of the filming for two BBC broadcasts of Songs of Praise from Northern Ireland. It was an unforgettable experience as we sang with the Three Priests and the Ulster Orchestra. It really is quite spooky watching yourself singing on television!

A more recent highlight has been the Spring Concert in March when the Choir performed ‘Mack the Knife’ and ‘All of Wisdom’. Both the Senior and Junior Choirs performed a medley from Les Miserables including ‘At the End of the Day’, ‘I Dreamed a Dream’ and ‘Bring him Home’, which was met with a standing ovation from a delighted audience.

I want to take this opportunity to thank Miss Foster and Mr Arnold for all their hard work, time and effort with the Choir, as well as my fellow Choir members for making this such a great year.

By Alexandria McClune, Lower Sixth

 

 

 

 

The Senior Choir at St. Anne's Cathedral

The music provided by the Senior and Chamber Choirs, conducted by Head of Music Miss Rosemary Foster, provided the perfect backdrop to an evening of worship which also saw pupils in Forms 1 - 5, as well as Head Girl Anna Cullen, Principal Mr Robin McLoughlin and The Dean of Belfast, The Very Reverend John Mann, deliver the Nine Lessons telling of Jesus’ birth. In addition the service was attended by The Bishop of Connor the Rt.Reverend Alan Abernethy, himself a former pupil of the School, while refreshments were kindly provided at the back of the Cathedral by the School’s Home Economics Department following the conclusion of the event. This year’s Service also had special significance as amongst the many former pupils returning was John Lyttle, who having initially sung as a Form One chorister in 1952 was this year participating in his 61st consecutive Grosvenor Carol Service – a truly remarkable feat of dedication which was recognized with a presentation prior to the service.Everyone agreed that the evening was an extremely enjoyable, entertaining and festive occasion.

 

 

 

The Chamber Choir at the Lyric Theatre Opening Ceremony

Just when you thought it was safe to be on study leave… BOOM! Another choir function to go to. The newly refurbished Lyric Theatre had opened and wanted us to provide entertainment for those taking tours around the beautiful building. Of course we jumped at the chance, having only just finished with the Spring Concert, and with the material still fresh in our minds.

 

We took up our places in the funky new café, and sang through “Be Thou My Vision” as a warm-up and to judge the acoustics of the area.  Then, off we went to take a tour of the new building. It was gorgeous, and a personal highlight of mine was in the costume department, where Cathy McGivern asked a very funny question, “out of pure wonderment”. The staff also managed to persuade us to do an acapella version of “Mack the Knife”.  Bad idea.

 

After the tour, we returned to the café and performed “Mack the Knife” properly, behind the comfort and                security of Mr Arnold on piano, Richard Anderson on double bass, and soloists Amy Chambers and Cathy McGivern.  I can tell you now which version I thought was better… The café audience soon started to grow as people realised what we were doing, and they seemed to thoroughly enjoy what they heard. Amy Chambers and I performed the solos in “Adiemus” (I only joined in after I realised I was supposed to be singing…), with Andrew Douglas playing the flute part beautifully.

 

The last song was Snow Patrol’s “Run”, with soloists Amy Chambers and Adam Coey. Despite being fewer in numbers, I think the choir definitely made up for it from a quality point-of-view.  The impressed audience even asked for an encore, which was, you guessed it… “Mack the Knife”. 

 

Personally, I think it was a great success.  All members of the choir did the school proud on the evening and and I look forward to seeing more of the new Lyric Theatre over the years to come.

 

Rachel Smith (Lower 6th)

The Girls' Choir

Throughout my few but event filled years at Grosvenor Grammar School. The Music department has made a huge impact on my school career. Girls’ choir among many other musical activities has kept me on my toes over the past three years.

 

Senior Girls’ Choir is comprised of around 20 girls from senior school. Over the past two years we have taken part in many school events from the school Carol Service in St Anne’s Cathedral to the most recent School Concert. This year we have sung many pieces, including “Silent Night”, “O’Danny Boy” and “Chromatic Fantasy”.

 

“Chromatic Fantasy” brought back many memories for those who have spent their early teenage years in the   music department - even though I missed out on the first  performance in junior school, I soon caught up and the senior girl’s choir, who could possibly argue that boys are better? 

 

However, these angelic voices could not have been heard without the hard work and dedication of Miss Foster.

 

Thanks must be given to Miss Foster who worked with us in deciding what pieces to choose and gave up of her time selflessly for rehearsals.  Without her help we simply could not have performed to such a high standard throughout the year - thank you, Miss Foster, for your dedication and expertise throughout the year.                                                                                                                                                     

Emma Morrow (Upper 6th)