Our Lady’s Bower has a very strong tradition in music and choirs for over one hundred years. Music plays an integral role in the curriculum at both junior and senior level. The school has always had excellent academic results in music for both the Junior Cycle and Leaving Certificate examinations.
In recent years we have introduced music technology into the curriculum for Leaving Certificate students, where students are taught how to compile a backing track and then edited it as needs be. Performance is a compulsory component for both the Junior and Leaving Certificate examinations. Students are therefore encouraged to reach a high level of competence in their chosen instrument (or voice).
Our students are prepared for practical and theoretical examinations with the Royal Irish Academy of Music and The Association Board of the Royal School of Music, London. Our students are continuously encouraged to engage in various performance activities, whether it be soloists, or in various ensembles such as singing groups, traditional Irish music groups, school choirs, competitions, school concerts, and for various school liturgies.
The School Orchestra 2019 -2020
Elvis, Elton John and Adele – What do these artists all have in common? Some of their most well known music is included in the repertoire of Our Lady’s Bower School Orchestra.
We are a small orchestra but a diverse one. We have a fantastic range of instruments including cello, french horn, viola, trumpet, flute, violin and clarinet. We are all from different year groups. We also play a broad range of music including pop, classical, jazz and Irish.
The orchestra has been working very hard on their repertoire this year with conductor Paul Hensey. A member of the Garda Band, Paul is an experienced musician. He has introduced some great music to the orchestra throughout the year including “Can You Feel the Love Tonight”, “The Minstrel Boy”, “Ain’t Misbehavin”, “Love me Tender” and “Shallow”.
The school orchestra has had a busy year this year, having had the opportunity to participate in events such as Arts Week Open Evening 2019, the Christmas Carol Service and Open Night.
No matter what age you are or what standard you are at, playing in an orchestra is a great way to improve your musicianship skills while having great fun. As any member of the orchestra will tell you, playing with a group is infinitely better than playing alone!
School Choir 2019-2020
The School Choir has also been very busy this year. Singing is one of the most natural forms of self-expression encompassing the full range of emotions, from joy to sorrow, and incorporating many aspects of cultural or social identify. Choral singing is an activity that is within the range of virtually anybody who aspires to it.
Ms. Hopkins and Ms. Shine have created a welcoming and cheerful environment, and under their direction have helped the choir become the family it is today, promoting that no matter what year you are in, the choir is a fantastic place to express yourself through music and make new life-long friends.
Performances throughout the year include Open Night, School Mass, Christmas Carol Service and the Awards Ceremony. The choir alongside the orchestra, performed at the Opening Concert of Bower Arts Week 2019. Both the choir and the orchestra attend the Bord Gais Theatre every year, and this is always a wonderful and memorable experience. Recent productions attended include Mamma Mia, Mary Poppins, Wicked and Matilda.