St Anne Trust Primary School Choir of the Year 2024

Thursday May 16th 2024

The choir from Cliftonville Integrated Primary School performs in Belfast Cathedral on May 14.

The annual St Anne Trust Primary School Choir of the Year event returned to Belfast Cathedral on May 14 and 15, with children from six local schools displaying their singing talents. [See our photo gallery below]

On the first day, pupils from Holy Cross Boys’ Primary, Cliftonville Integrated and Hazelwood Integrated each sang two songs for an audience including teachers, family and friends. The adjudicator was Cameron Menzies, Artistic Director of Northern Ireland Opera.

On the second day of the event, children from Harberton Special School, Clifton School and Jordanstown School each performed their chosen songs, incorporating sign language and lots of movement and energy. They also enjoyed a workshop in the Cathedral Nave run by freelance choral director Judith Watson, before certificates were presented to representatives of each school.

On both days, the children and all the visitors were welcomed by a representative of the St Anne Trust, and the Very Rev Stephen Forde, Dean of Belfast, who, in his introductory words said: “Singing is one of the most special things that people can do together. When you sing in a choir, you learn to listen to the voices of those singing around you and you blend your voice with those who are singing with you.

“Together you create a unique and special moment in time and place. And together, with your conductor, you will bring pleasure to those who are the audience.”

After all three choirs had sung on the first day of the event, the adjudicator praised every performance, saying he had had a ‘huge amount of fun.’

Bringing the three schools together at the front of the Nave, Mr Menzies encouraged them to act out their feelings and responses to music – resulting in some wonderful drama from all the young people.

“This is why we need the arts, singing, music making and dancing,” Mr Menzies said.

In his adjudication, he praised the children for their focus, their diction and their story-telling; the way they kept contact with their conductor and their respect of the music.

“To come together to make music really, truly is one of the most important things,” he said. “Choral singing changes the vibrations of the air around us for the better.”

Awards were presented to all three choirs by Councillor Sammy Douglas, High Sheriff of Belfast. Also present was Dame Fionnuala Jay-O’Boyle DBE DStJ DDL, Lord Lieutenant of Belfast, who is Patron of the St Anne Trust.

The 2024 St Anne Trust Primary School Choir of the Year event was dedicated to Mr Joe Watson, founding chair of the Trust, who sadly passed away earlier this year.

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