On Friday, the 10th of November, the first year music class, and TY2, went to the Concert Hall in the University of Limerick to see the Cork Pops Orchestra play. We left school at 9:00 and departed for Limerick. We arrived to UL at 10 and were shown to our seats. The orchestra was made up of violins, a viola, cello, double bass, harp, French horn, trumpet, oboe, flute, piccolo, percussion and many more instruments. The conductor of the Cork Pops is Evelyn Grant, who also presents a classical music show on Lyric FM.


This year, there was a focus on the harp, and first piece played by the orchestra was our national anthem, Amhrán na bhFiann. Other pieces performed include The Swan, Dance of the Sugarplum Fairy, and several airs by Turough O'Carolan. They even played well-known themes from films, such as Star Wars, E.T. and Harry Potter. Jean Kelly, a famous harpist, joined the orchestra as a guest musician. She is very well known and has recently played in the soundtrack for Paddington 2. She played Mozart's Concerto for Flute & Harp along with her sister Fiona Kelly.
Another guest to the orchestra was DJ Dashka who works with music technology to create amazing songs and tunes, using a beat board. Their final guest was Keith Hanley, a former 'Voice of Ireland' winner, who is huge in the Irish singing industry. To our delight, Keith sang songs from Disney movies, such as Beauty and the Beast, The Jungle Book and Muana, as well as You're Never Fully Dresses Without a Smile, from Annie. Together with DJ Dashka, Keith performed Despacito by Justin Bieber and Symphony by Zara Larrson.

It was a very enjoyable and entertaining show. My favourite part was when they played music from several iconic films. I'd never realised that all these theme songs were played by a live orchestra and weren't just digitally inserted into the movie afterwards!

We then left for home, stopping briefly into McDonald's on the way back. We arrived back at 1:15, just in time to hear the bell signalling the end of school! It was a fantastic outing and I hope to be lucky enough to hear the Cork Pops play again. Many thanks to Ms. Behan for organising this fun day out for us, and to Ms. Coughlan and Ms. McCarthy for coming along too.

By Jennifer Nicholas & Molly Ellis (1st Year)