Well done to Mr Kerr and his students who are through to the All Ireland final of the RTÉ Lyric FM Waltons Music for Schools Competition. This is Scoil Mhuire’s fourth time to get through to the final, with the school most recently winning the competition in 2017. 

The theme of this year’s competition was “Music Moves” and schools had to interpret that as they wished. Scoil Mhuire’s entry, titled “Home is where the Music is”, tells the story of Irish emigration & the impact of both the physical and influential movement of music on nations near and far. 

The competition group from Scoil Mhuire is made up of students from First to Sixth Year, as Mr Kerr wanted to give all year groups the opportunity to participate. The group came together before Christmas and were asked to think about what ‘Music Moves’ meant to them over the weekend. Their piece, which tells the story of Irish emigration, was inspired by a number of factors. Initially, four students came back with the same idea – to tell the story of how the Irish had to emigrate and how they brought their music and culture with them. The idea arose because members of these students’ own families had done this. As the group developed the idea further, Sixth Year students who are in the school’s traditional music group started reminiscing about their trip to Chicago in 2019 where they represented Ireland at a music festival. They remembered the enthusiasm of their American audiences and experienced first-hand the power of music to move people. Chicago is home to many in the Irish diaspora, and the students also remembered that after one particular performance, a number of people in the audience were in tears as the group performed and told them afterwards that it felt like a ‘home from home’ for them. Finally, the group wanted their piece to end on a positive, optimistic note – the hope of anyone with a relative living abroad that he/she will one day return home, where the music is.

The final takes place on April 8th in the National Concert Hall where Scoil Mhuire will compete against 5 other secondary schools. Best of luck to the girls and Mr Kerr as they prepare over the coming weeks!

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