Mercy Mounthawk has always boasted a superb student choir. The choir comes from a broad spectrum of the student body and performs at many school functions and events. The standard of performance is always highly commendable and is a testimony to the efforts of teachers Ms. Caitríona O’Sullivan, Ms. Karen O Carroll and Ms Sinéad Muldoon-Walsh.
Many of the rehearsals take place during lunch breaks which facilitates student involvement in this very worthwhile extra-curricular activity. Performances are also accompanied by student musicians on occasion.
2019: Our report on the year
The school choir had a very busy school year. The mixed-voice choir, consists of approximately eighty students from 1st year right through to 6th year. The choir promotes a supportive and collaborative atmosphere where everyone’s contribution is valued.Over the year, the choir has focused on a varied repertoire from sacred music to secular and modern music. They have performed at all school events throughout the year. The main aim of the choir is to promote singing, to provide performance opportunities for our students as well as
giving them experience in teamwork, commitment and working towards achieving a goal.Our first performance of the year was in September for our annual Mercy Day Mass. Following on from that, in December, we recorded a 3-part version of the old Christmas carol “Do You Hear What I Hear” arranged by Mark A. Brymer, for the Lyric FM Choirs for Christmas programme. Also in December we celebrated our annual Christmas Carol Service. The choir, our traditional Instrumentalists and all our soloists and musicians performed magically! The night really set the tone for Christmas. We were delighted in particular to welcome back two of our past pupils Christóir Lynch and Sean Mc Elligott for the occasion. Both are studying or have studied music at 3rd level,and both showed how amazingly talented they are at their craft. On Friday, 1st March, we travelled to the Redemptorist Church in Limerick, to take part in the Post-Primary School Choir Competition. We competed in the Mixed Voice section and there was huge competition on the day. We performed “May the Road Rise to Meet You” by Lori True and “The Climb”, by Jessica Alexander and Jon Mabe. We were absolutely thrilled to be awarded 2nd place in what was a very tough competition. On the 1st of May, the choir and some wonderfully talented soloists put on a brilliant show for the Cycle Against Suicide event hosted in the school. The organisers and patrons who stopped off to have lunch and pass on the important message that “It is okay not to feel ok, and it’s absolutely okay to ask for help” were so impressed with the reception. School Choir who came 2nd place in the Post Primary Schools Choir Competition On Thursday, the 9th of May, we travelled to the Knock Basilica, in Co. Mayo, to perform at the Mass for the sixth anniversary of Donal Walsh. It was an honour to be asked again to sing for such an occasion. The Mass was celebrated by the Papal Nuncio and there were many other priests in attendance, as well as schools from all over Ireland. The choir performed beautifully. The day was a celebration of the life of the Kerry teenager Donal Walsh, his inspiring words and the legacy he leaves behind. The Donal Walsh Live Life Foundation set up by his family continues to promote his anti-suicide message. It was a special day that will live on in our memories. We finished off the year with a performance at our school Awards Night and our annual Graduation Mass, which is always the highlight of the school year. The entire choir have given considerable time and commitment to their rehearsals and to preparation for the many events we were involved in throughout the school year. We would like to take this opportunity to thank you all for your dedication and wish you a great summer break. We look forward to see seeing you all again in September.
School Choir broadcast from Knock by RTE here.
The choir performed at the Christmas Carol Service in St. Brendan’s church. This annual event saw a mixture of traditional and modern carols and hymns sung on the night. There were also performances from the Trad Group, Ms Nolan’s Dance Group, Transition Year students and the Staff Choir. Thanks to Ms. O’Carroll, Ms. Sexton, Ms. Ni Dheargain, Ms. Nolan and Ms. Sommers for all their work in creating a wonderful night of singing, music, reflection, dance and drama. Funds raised on the night were donated to the St. Vincent De Paul Society.
On Friday the 11th May, the choir travelled to Knock, Co Mayo to perform at the Donal Walsh fifth anniversary mass. It was an honour to be asked to sing at such an occasion and we practiced over many weeks under the guidance of our music teachers Ms. Muldoon Walsh, Ms. O’Sullivan and Ms. O’Carroll. The mass was celebrated by the Papal Nuncio and the Bishop of Kerry. There were many other priests in attendance as well as schools from all over Ireland. The choir performed very well and received many compliments on their beautiful singing and the performance of the musicians and soloists.
The event was televised by RTE and shown on the RTE mass program the following Sunday morning. The day was a celebration of the life of the Kerry teenager Donal Walsh, his inspiring words and the legacy he leaves behind. The Donal Walsh LiveLife Foundation set up by his family continues to promote his anti-suicide message. It was a special day that will live on in our memories. The entire choir has given considerable time and commitment to their rehearsals and preparation for the many events they were involved in throughout the school year. On behalf of the choir, I wish to thank our music teachers Ms. Muldoon Walsh, Ms. O’Sullivan and Ms. O’Carroll for all their hard work and dedication to the school choir. I would also like to thank our Principal Mr. O’Roarke for his support and encouragement to the choir. I have thoroughly enjoyed being a member of the Mercy Mounthawk Choir from first year through to sixth year and I have made many friends and memories over this time. I would encourage anyone to become a member.
Below are some wonderful clips of the school choir performing at School Events:
For Christmas 2020 our choir recorded this wonderful Carol Service for broadcast on Radio Kerry:
Adeamus (Cork Choral Festival, 2014)
Caoineadh Chill Chais (Cork Choral Festival, 2014)
Ding Dong Merrily on High (Excerpt)