St Patrick’s hit right notes in final

A triumphant St Patricks Primary School choir from Drumgreenagh, Rathfriland, together with their teachers who received their award as winners of the BBC Radio Ulster School Choir Of The Year junior category from guest judge Carrie Grant (second row, first left). Also pictured are presenters John Toal and Kerry McLean, together the competition judging panel.
A triumphant St Patricks Primary School choir from Drumgreenagh, Rathfriland, together with their teachers who received their award as winners of the BBC Radio Ulster School Choir Of The Year junior category from guest judge Carrie Grant (second row, first left). Also pictured are presenters John Toal and Kerry McLean, together the competition judging panel.

St Patrick’s Primary School, Rathfriland has been named as Northern Ireland’s top junior school choir in the live final of the BBC Radio Ulster School Choir Of The Year.

Principal Mrs Sorcha Lyness said the whole school was ‘on cloud nine’ following their success.

“It’s absolutely amazing, just wonderful,” Mrs Lyness said following the final, which was broadcast live from the Ulster Hall on Sunday 17 April.

Sixty-five choirs battled it out over the past nine weeks and six schools from across Northern Ireland took part in the live final.

The awards to the winning schools were made by guest judge Carrie Grant, a vocal coach and television presenter. Each choir performed two songs, with St Patrick’s Primary School performing ‘Can You Hear Me?’ and ‘Ching-A-Ring-Chaw’.

“We’re all walking on air and letting the reality of it sink in,” Mrs Lyness continued. “We have to pinch ourselves, thinking ‘is this really happening?’

“It’s an amazing achievement for all the children, and the school in general.

“We had fantastic support in the Ulster Hall from the children’s parents and family, who were cheering them on.

“When we arrived back at the school all the parents were gathered to cheer and shout and clap as the children got off the bus, it was a lovely reaction they had for us.”

And there was no rest for the children as BBC Radio Ulster broadcast live from the school on Monday morning.

Mrs Lyness added: “No doubt there will be lots of celebrations in the coming weeks.

“We’re just on cloud nine, we’re absolutely buzzing.

“I’d like to thank the children for their commitment. They’ve shown tremendous commitment throughout and it proves that hard work and commitment and determination pay off.

“I’d like to thank Mrs Patricia McCaughey, the choir conductor. She has such a talent and brings the best out in the children. We couldn’t have done it without her. I’d also like to thank Mr Patrick Coyle, the accompanist.”

Meanwhile, New Bridge Integrated College were second runners-up in the senior category.

St Patrick’s choir will feature across a range of BBC Radio Ulster’s programming and events during this year.

If you missed the programme, catch it via the BBC Radio iPlayer.