My name is Denise O'Connell and I have been a member of staff in Scoil na Maighdine Mhuire for seven years. In October 2000, when I joined the staff, the school had just been amalgamated to incorporate the boys and girls school which, while sharing a building, were separate. Mrs. Mary Ryan was the choir director at the time and she did trojan work. The choir sang for all the parish high masses (funeral masses) at the time as well as Sunday mass every week and for the sacraments of Reconciliation, Confirmation and Communion. Mrs. Ryan also brought the choir to Carrigoran Nursing Home at Christmas time to entertain the patients - a tradition that is still alive and well.
When Mrs. Ryan retired, Ann Fitzpatrick took over the mantle and continued the tradition with much dedication and commitment. Now, the responsibility of the school chior lies with me. Things have changed over the years. No longer does the choir sing for "high masses" or on Sundays (Newmarket on Fergus have a fine talented adult choir that can be called upon). Now our school choir performs mainly for the sacraments of Confirmation and Communion.
We still carry on the tradition of entertaining the residents of the local nursing home in Carrigoran, which we love. At the moment, we are busy rehearsing our Christmas Carols with an odd marakka and jingly bell thrown in. This December, we are also peforming in Dromoland Castle, entertaining guests on their party night, December 19th. Last Christmas, we were lucky enough to be invited to an evening of celebration for Kilnasoolagh Church which was celebrating their 750th anniversary. Clare FM recorded us, the choir, on the night and this was a huge thrill.The choir have also sung Christmas Carols for Clare FM. Over the years we have also been involved in the "beginning of year" school mass.
Choir practice takes place every Monday from October to June after school at 2:45pm and lasts for 45 minutes. It is voluntary and children come from third class up to sixth class. This year we have 37 members - the majority girls but we always have a sprinkling of boys which is great. It is great for the children who like to sing just for the enjoyment of it! Without their commitment and enthusiasm, the tradition of a school choir would be lost - So WELL DONE EVERYBODY!!
The school choir take time out from weekly practice to allow their photograph be taken. Well Done Choir!!!