Kilcormac pupils to make Christmas Day radio debut

PUPILS from Scoil Mhuire agus Chormaic, Kilcormac, who sang at the premiere of ‘The Kilcormac Cantata’ recently, will grace the airwaves on Christmas day.

PUPILS from Scoil Mhuire agus Chormaic, Kilcormac, who sang at the premiere of ‘The Kilcormac Cantata’ recently, will grace the airwaves on Christmas day.

The recording will premier on RTÉ’s ‘The Curious Ear’ on December 25 next and will include the performance from the local national school children along with what happened when the town came together on Sunday, November 27, to perform the work.

On the day, children from 3rd, 4th and 6th class performed at the ‘Kilcormac Cantata’, which was composed and directed by Irish composer, Vincent Kennedy in the Church of the Nativity, Kilcormac.

The performance took place in front of a packed church with the pupils from St. Ciaran’s NS, Broughal, Kilcormac Adult Choir, members of the Grúpa Cheoil from Scoil Naomh Chormaic, the Frankford Rockers and a music ensemble invited by Vincent.

Vincent was commissioned by Offaly County Council in 2010 to work with the community to write the cantata about the town. And, as part of the project, the senior classes had the pleasure of working with Vincent over the last three months learning songs such as ‘Silver River’ and ‘New Generation’.

The children also composed a percussion piece entitled ‘The Bog Symphony’ with Eleanor Lambe, based on the sounds from nearby bogs.

The opening of the Cantata was read by local sporting hero, Liam Currams, who won back-to-back hurling and football All-Ireland medals. He was also joined by local classical violinists as well as a top class traditional group, who were brought in to perform together, as were the church choir, singing Latin verses from the medieval, ‘Kilcormac Missal’.

The children were also part of the musical telling of the incredible story of the Kilcormac Pieta, which was buried in the bog as Cromwellian forces approached the area. The Pieta now stands above a side altar in the Church where the cantata was performed after it was unearthed from the bog.

Speaking for the programme after the performance, local people were surprised by the amount of much music in the areas as well as expressing the pride and emotion they felt for their community.