St Patrick’s Primary, Rathfriland, hit all the right notes to win a place in the junior final of this year’s BBC Radio Ulster School Choir Of The Year.
Principal Mrs Sorcha Lyness said she was ‘extremely proud’ of the children, who have sang their way into a live final in the Ulster Hall on Sunday April 17.
Speaking about the success of the choir, Mrs Lyness commented: “We’re a very small school and for us to go through the stages of the competition and get to the final is just mind-blowing for us.
“The children have worked so hard, this is a fantastic opportunity for them.
“We are very proud of them,” she added.
The 33 members of the choir successfully sang their way into the Down heat of the contest at the Ulster Folk and Transport Museum, Cultra, with a recording sent into organisers.
From there they reached the semi final in the Island Arts Centre, Lisburn, where they competed against six schools, with three successfully reaching the final.
“For such a small local school, it’s just amazing,” Mrs Lyness said.
“I’d like to thank Mrs Patricia McCaughey, the choir conductor, for her continued hard work and dedication, as well as Mr Patrick Coyle, the accompanist.
“The staff are all very excited and the children are buzzing as well.
“The final will be live from the Ulster Hall, even standing up and performing in the Ulster Hall will be a great privilege.
“It promises to be a great nail-biting final,” she added.
The children will be watched by their principal and parents at the final.
They have had to learn four new songs throughout the competition and their prinicpal was keen to praise their hard work and dedication.
“As prinicpal, I’m extremely proud of the children,” Mrs Lyness commented. “Whatever happens on the day, they are winners in our eyes.
“They have been very committed, coming in some weekends for practise, they gave up their time during the Easter holidays. They have shown great dedication and commitment to being in the choir.
“They have been really enjoying themselves, it is lovely to see their wee faces when they perform.
“This is such a massive achievement. I imagine it will be an experience they will never forget,” Mrs Lyness said.