Evening of Music at Dalriada School - a review

Mrs Heather Montgomery with some of the pupils.
Mrs Heather Montgomery with some of the pupils.

The Evening of Music at Dalriada School is always a highly anticipated night in the school calendar, and this year was no different.

With a full and varied programme to look forward to, the John Armstrong Hall was packed to capacity.

Dalriada Evening of Music.

Dalriada Evening of Music.

The orchestra, under the direction of Mrs Heather Montgomery, gave a majestic opening with Elgar’s ‘Pomp and Circumstance No. 1’, featuring strong brass and percussion and a beautiful rendition of the famous tune ‘Land of Hope and Glory’.

This was followed by three outstanding solo performances by Peter Smith, Flynn Faith-Crothers and Charley Cassells.

Erin Hennessey delivered a crowd-pleasing piano solo – an arrangement of Queen’s famous ‘Bohemian Rhapsody’.

Sibelius’s ‘Finlandia’ was the next offering from the orchestra, which again highlighted the strong brass section in the opening.

Some of the participants from Dalriada Evening of Music.

Some of the participants from Dalriada Evening of Music.

Anna Nicholl and Charis Nevin entered the world of musical theatre. Anna’s performed ‘Pulled’ from The Addams Family. Charis performed ‘The Girl in 14G’.

A special mention has to also be given to Anne Campbell, who accompanied all the soloists in the first half.

The junior choir took to the stage, conducted by Mr McGavock to perform two Disney favourites: ‘The Bare Necessities’ and ‘Colours of the Wind’.

The intermediate choir had us dancing in our seats again, under the direction of Dr Diana Culbertson with the Whitney Houston classic ‘I Wanna Dance with Somebody’ accompanied by Diana Watton on piano and Samuel McIlmoyle on drums.

Next, we enjoyed a Michael Jackson medley by a band of lower sixth students. Impressively arranged by one of the band members, Jamie Connolly, they took the audience through many well-known songs by the King of Pop.

The senior choir, accompanied by Erin Hennessey, presented more choral music, firstly with ‘Home and the Heartland’ from Riverdance. Their second piece brought more musical theatre as they sang ‘Sit Down You’re Rocking the Boat’.

The chamber choir opened with Ola Gjelo’s ethereal ‘Northern Lights’; the choirs’ voices blended beautifully to deliver the chilling harmonies and an impressive long-held note by the altos resounded purely through the hall.

In complete contrast, the audience heard ‘My Soul’s Been Anchored in the Lord’ by Moses Hogan, a jazzy, gospel-style piece.

Peter Smith and the Dixieband brought more jazz with Bublé’s ‘Feeling Good’. Their second piece, ‘When the Saints’ was upbeat and had everyone clapping along.

The Year 14 pupils, who were performing in their final Evening of Music, then came forward to sing the emotional ‘Parting Glass’.

The concert drew to a conclusion with all choirs coming together once more to sing ‘Baba Yetu’ – the Lord’s Prayer in Swahili accompanied by strings, piano and bongos.