Photo: Malfi Productions.

Offaly students take part in Big Sings

The John Count McCormack Hall in TÚS Athlone welcomed 2000 young singers from 37 primary schools across Offaly and Westmeath for the Singfest 2024 Primary School Big Sings on May 16 and 17. Developed and organised by Music Generation Offaly and Music Generation Westmeath, the Singfest festival of singing has been running since 2016, engaging thousands of singers over the years.

Leading up to this year’s event, students learnt songs in their schools, guided by Music Generation Offaly musicians. They then came together for one of four Big Sings, where schools formed awe-inspiring 500-voice choirs.

Each session featured lively vocal warm-ups and musical games, culminating in a rousing performance under the dynamic direction of conductor Patrick Barrett (Irish Youth Training Choir) and soprano Tríona Walsh.

A standout feature of the Singfest Big Sings is the live band accompaniment featuring members of Music Generation’s professional musician team.

This year’s event was further enhanced by a special percussion part led by young musicians, which added a unique dimension to the singing in one of the songs.

Geraldine Relph, Development Officer of Music Generation Offaly, said: “Every Offaly primary school was invited to participate, and we were delighted by the response. Singfest Big Sings are always filled with wonderful, joyful singing, and it is the energy and dedication of all those involved that makes them such a resounding success. We look forward to them every year!”

Planning for Singfest 2025 is already underway, and primary schools interested in participating will soon be able to register their interest.

Singfest 2024 Offaly Primary Schools involved included: Coolderry NS; Gaelscoil na Laochra, Birr; Clonaghadoo NS; Mercy Convent School, Birr; Scoil Eoin Phóil Naofa II, Tullamore; Scoil Naomh Cholmchille, Durrow; Scoil Naomh Phádraig, Ballybryan; Scoil Mhuire Naofa, Rhode; Scoil Phrionsias Naofa, Clara; Shinrone NS; St. Brendan’s BNS, Birr; St. Ciaran’s NS, Boher; St. Joseph’s NS, Tullamore; St. Manchan’s NS, Tubber; St. Mary’s NS, Cloghan; St. Mary’s Primary School, Edenderry; St. Philomena’s GNS, Tullamore; Tullamore Educate Together