Jonah–Man Jazz at Cathedral showcases talents of young singers

Monday June 9th 2014

One of the Choir School pupils singing Jonah-Man Jazz at Belfast Cathedral.The Jonah–Man Jazz Concert held in St Anne’s Cathedral,
Belfast, on June 8, showcased the talents of the young singers in the Cathedral
choirs and in the Choir School Project.

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A large and enthusiastic crowd filled the Cathedral Nave to
enjoy 15 minutes of beautiful singing, interspersed with brief words spoken
very clearly by pupils from the three schools taking part in the Choir School
Project. This project is working daily in three north Belfast schools –
Edenbrooke Primary, Sacred Heart Primary and Cliftonville Integrated – reaching
into the community of which the Cathedral is part and teaching children to sing
to a standard that they might be able to join the Cathedral choirs.

The concert was held as part of the Belfast Cathedral Music
Festival, which continues until June 15, and drew an audience of parents,
siblings and many people just wanting to hear this piece based on the story of
Jonah and the Whale sung in beautifully clear voices.

On the Cathedral steps before the start of Jonah-Man Jazz are, from left: Dean Mann, Jennifer McCann, Lord Mayor Nichola Mallon and Jonathan Bell.Among the special guests were the new Lord Mayor of Belfast,
Councillor Nichola Mallon, who took time to chat with the children before the
concert, and Junior Stormont Ministers Jonathan Bell and Jennifer McCann.

The guests and audience were welcomed by the Dean of
Belfast, the Very Rev John Mann, who then handed over to Master of the
Choristers David Stevens on piano, the Cathedral Jazz Band, Choir school tutors
Catherine Harper and Thérèse Woodfield
and, of course, the Choir and the children.

This was
a precise and energetic performance from all involved, and fully deserved the lengthy
applause it generated at the end of the six pieces that made up Jonah–Man Jazz.

In his
blog Dean Mann writes: “This was a performance
that was tuneful and would have stood up with anything that primary school
children could perform anywhere, but most important it gave us reason to thank
those who work with the young for their vision and vitality, and those who are children
now for giving us hope of a better and brighter future, together.”

Jonah-Man Jazz.The children were all rewarded for their
singing, and exemplary behaviour, with goody boxes and drinks provided by the Cathedral’s
hard working catering team.

There were also refreshments for the
adults, and people had the opportunity to browse the artwork the schools had
brought along to add to the colourful and creative atmosphere on the Cathedral
that afternoon.

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