Tuesday 2 November 2010

Blog under construction

The SCC Music blog is under construction at the moment but don't worry we'll be back online soon with lots more news and samples of pupils' works.

Thursday 30 September 2010

Coleman Irish Music Centre

Last year music pupils from form IV, V and VI took a trip out west to the Coleman Irish Music Centre in Gurteen, county Sligo. The trip will take place again this year for pupils in forms IV and V. Irish music is an integral part of the Irish Leaving Certificate Music syllabus and for many German pupils who join the school in form V and study Music it can be confusing! The Coleman centre runs courses which help introduce Irish music in a hands on manner.

Below is a summary of the trip by pupils from last year's form VI, Catherine Crossey and Justine Heffernan. Also after the link is an account by Clara Staeler and Philippa Peters, German pupils from last year's form V.
Today after a long, but pleasant journey (on bus, train and bus again) we arrived at the Coleman Traditional Irish Music Centre in Gurteen, Co. Sligo. The centre is named after a famous fiddle player, Michael Coleman who travelled to the USA and was one of the first traditional Irish music players to record their music.

We were greeted with a fantastic Irish welcome and were quickly whisked into the lecture hall. We began our first lecture learning about Michael Coleman himself and about Irish regional styles of music. We then split into three groups for workshops.

Monday 27 September 2010

Ben Russell

Old Columban, Benjamin Russell, continues his rise to fame, this time in the Netherlands. Ben, again the youngest performer, reached and performed in the semi-finals of the International Vocal Competition and was invited to have a masterclass with Russian Baritone Sergei Lieferkus. A clip of the masterclass can be seen by following this link.

Ben is also looking forward to being one of five invitees to Elly Amiling's Lieder course on Tuesday and Wednesday, a real treat for the young performer.

We wish Ben the very best of luck for the remainder of the competition and look forward to hearing him sing again soon.

Saturday 18 September 2010

The Orchestra

Form I pupils are currently studying the orchestra beginning with the String Section. Below is an example of some research carried out by pupils Tessa Harley, Darcy Maule and Eleanor Moffitt.

The Violin
by Hollie Canning
The Violin is a string instrument. It has four strings. The Head of the Orchestra is a Violinist and they sit beside the conductor. You use a bow to play the Violin, but you can also pluck the strings. The bow is made of horse hair and wood. The Violin is informally called the fiddle. Mozart played Violin.

The Viola
by Tessa Harley
The Viola is made of wood. You play the Viola with a bow, arco, or by plucking, pizzicato. The Viola is played on the shoulder, like the Violin. Bach was a famous Violist. The Viola is a key element of a string quartet and the orchestra. The Senior Prefect, Carl Ibe, plays Viola.

The Cello
by Darcy Maule
The Cello is made of wood. It has four strings made of gut and steel. It is usually played with a bow which is made of horse hair. It is bigger than the Violin and the Viola and instead of playing on the shoulder, it is played sitting down and between the knees. Yo-Yo Ma is a famous cellist. Some Celli in the 1600-1800s had five strings.

The Double-Bass
by Eleanor Moffitt
The Double Bass is the largest and lowest instrument in the String Section. It is huge and gives a very deep sound. Pizzicato is often played on the Double Bass because of its longer lasting sound. It can also be played with a bow. This is called arco. You can often find Double Bass used in Jazz music. A famous player of Double Bass is Domenico Dragonetti. Camille Saint-Saens also composed a piece called the Elephant for the Double Bass. 

Sunday 12 September 2010

Music Concert

Saturday evening was the first of many concerts in St. Columba's College. It was a joint performance by Pat Coldrick, brother of Noel Coldrick, maths teacher in the college, on guitar and a Harp Trio from the DIT Conservatory of Music.

It was a whole school concert which began with Pat on guitar. He played a variety of pieces by various composers including himself. He showed outstanding technique throughout his performance and the audience were very impressed.

The harp trio were fresh from a victory at the Dublin Féis earlier on in the year. They were Claire, from Dublin, Clarie, from Monaghan, and Giovanna, from Milan. Again their mastery of their instruments was truly impressive and they, hopefully, encouraged several pupils to consider the harp as an instrument to study here in the school.

Below is a short review of the concert by George Reade (form V).

I had no idea what to expect of the concert but as soon as the guitarist started playing I was hugely impressed. His masterful playing was beautiful and relaxing and, in the best possible way, I could easily have been lulled to sleep by it! The harpists were following a very tough act but they showed amazing skills. I enjoyed them but the guitarist was my favourite.

Thursday 9 September 2010

Beat obesity... with drums!

In an article in today's Irish Times Marcus Smith and Steve Draper, sports scientists, along with Clem Burke, the drummer from the band Blondie, exposed drum practice for the physical work out that it is!

Dr Smith explains 'when performing a full-length gig, 'the drummer is playing for 90 minutes, the equivalent to a football match'. Drumming for an hour can burn up to 600 calories. The exercise is intermittent so the heart rate goes up and down regularly.'

By gradually increasing the tempo of a click track played into a drummer's headphones the performer has to slowly increase effort which in turn pushes the heart into cardiovascular workout mode.

The study was undertaken as part of the Biorhythm Live event at the Science Gallery in Dublin. Rhythm is the first of three events at Biorhythm Live. The other two are Emotion and Voice.

Click here for the full article.

Saturday 4 September 2010

Choir Sine Nomine

Choir Sine Nomine is a chamber choir consisting of senior pupils (forms IV-VI). We sing at various events throughout the school year including concerts and Sunday services. We are primarily an a capella (unaccompanied) group and we sing various genres of music.

Each group meets for rehearsals twice a week:
Monday  1:20-1:50 – Tenors and Basses
Thursday 1:20-1:50 – Sopranos and Altos
Monday  6:00-6:45 – Full group

There will be a short meeting for all those interested in joining the choir on Monday evening, 6th of September, at 6:00 in the chapel gallery. Members from last year are also asked to come.

Rehearsals will begin on Thursday 9th of September at 1:20 with the Sopranos and Altos.

Friday 3 September 2010

Instrument Tuition

Sign up for Instrument Tuition will take place today, Friday 3rd September, at 11:00 in the Cadogan building. There is a huge number of instruments on offer including Piano, Voice, Guitar, Cello, Violin, Flute, Saxophone, Clarinet, Drums, Organ among others!

So if you've ever fancied yourself as a virtuoso come along and sign up!

Wednesday 1 September 2010

New School Year

It's that time of year again. New school year, with lots of new opportunities and lots of new pupils! We look forward to a new year in the Music Department with lots of new talent, so check back for updates on concerts and pupils' works.

Wednesday 12 May 2010

Newpark Feis

Columbans have had an extremely successful week at the Newpark Music Feis. Winners from various levels throughout the school will be taking part in the Winners' Concert in the John Field's room of the National Concert Hall this Sunday the 16th May.

The performers will include Lingfan Gao (IV) who won first place in the U16 Piano competition with an astounding 92%! Siobhán Brady (II) came first in the U16 Classical Singing, and was also very highly commended for her Cello in the U18 Concerto Cup. Molly Buckingham (II) won first place in the U14 Singing competition. Last, but certainly not least, Antonia Esses (I) also won first place in the U14 Piano solo with a mark in the 90s.

Very well done to all who took part and especially the winners. The concert on Sunday promises to be an excellent affair.


Welcome to the Music Department of St. Columba's College. This blog features articles by the pupils as well as information of upcoming events. Please feel free to email us on sccmusicdept@gmail.com with any feedback.