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Sligo Grammar School boasts an array of musical opportunities at both Junior and Leaving Certificate level, with around 100 students at present studying music for the State Exams, which focuses on the three main areas of listening, composing and performing. TY students can choose to take a class in musical performance where students perform with a chosen instrument. Music Technology has also been introduced in recent years.
In addition the school offers private lessons in Voice, Piano, Guitar, Violin, and Saxophone throughout and after the school day. No previous musical experience is necessary.
On Wednesday 3rd and Thursday 4th May 2023 a host of SGS musicians and singers took to the boards on the Hawks Well stage to present “Stars in our Eyes”. Students from across all year groups were involved, along with some of their teachers. Before their performance each student introduced themselves and their act by video, saying why they chose their song. A lot of thought went into the costumes, as the performers tried to recreate the style of the singers they were representing. The music came from all genres and eras, including from music icons such as Carole King, Aretha Franklin, the Beatles, Shania Twain, David Bowie and Queen. Every performer did themselves proud and showcased the fantastic talent of our students. Our MCs, Alfie Barron and Ciara Ryan did a great job keeping everything flowing along nicely. The show was full of energy and was a great success, with standing ovations each night. Well done to all the students involved and to Mr O’Donnell, Mr Lynch, Mr Mitchell and Ms Tansey who accompanied them as musicians and backing singers. Special thanks to Mr O’Donnell who was the driving force behind the show. Thanks also to Ms Hynes, Ms Tansey, Ms Callaghan and Mr Staunton who were on duty backstage and kept the show running smoothly. Thanks too to our “Techies” Fintan (sound), Barry (lights) and Rory (videos). Photos from the show can be seen HERE.
Outside the classroom , there are many different performance opportunities. Each year one or two concerts take place in which students and teachers perform for both peers and parents. Lunchtime gigs have also become a feature of the school year. During the afternoon of Diversity Day 2023 SGS had a Talent Show in the foyer where the contestants gave us a flavour of many musical styles from trad to jazz to pop! All students contributed €2 to a fundraiser for Diversity Sligo a local group which helps refugees and asylum seekers find their feet in Sligo.
On 23rd March, Sligo Grammar School hosted a Gala Concert in the Knocknarea Arena, Sligo IT. The concert was in aid of two charities, SHOUT and the National Rehabilitation Centre in Dun Laoghaire. SHOUT is Sligo Hospital Oncology Trust and is dedicated to improving cancer care in the North West. A central aim is to support patients and their families as they deal with cancer. This includes financial help for families as well as supporting research and supplementing existing services. The National Rehabilitation Centre was chosen because a past pupil of Sligo Grammar School had reason to use the service in recent times. After a terrible accident abroad Jonathan Higgins was a patient of the Rehabilitation Centre and they did wonderful work in getting him back on his feet. The Gala Concert was a great success, showcasing the talent in SGS. The choirs – present and past – with some teachers thrown in for good measure – were joined by friends and guests to provide an evening of entertainment. In all over €6,500 was raised for the charities. Thanks to all who helped from the performers to the raffle ticket sellers! A special thanks to the organisers, Jonathan Carter, Alison Irwin, Lloyd Sweetnam and the SGS Alumni.
This term saw two lunchtime concerts and one evening concert. The lunchtime concerts give students an opportunity to perform in a friendly atmosphere while developing their performance skills. For the first concert performers were drawn from TY, and a Christmas concert featured students from across the school. 2nd year CSPE students organised and ran a concert in aid of NCBI in December. Students and teachers performed. This was their CSPE Action Project and forms part of their Junior Cert exam. They collected over €1000 for the charity.
Below is a video of two of our teachers, Ms Tansey and Mr Mitchell with Mr O’Donnell on guitar and Mr Lynch on drums, singing “Blue Christmas” at the Lunchtime concert, Christmas 2016.
Concerts and gigs are held a couple of times a year. Informal gigs are held at lunchtime a few times in the year and there is often a more formal concert in the hall towards the end of the year. Parents and friends are always welcome to attend the performances. These give pupils a chance to gain experience performing and are good fun for all. Below are photos from the last concerts of 2016/17 featuring Mr Doherty who retired in May 2017 and was a regular performer at the school concerts.