Over 450 students took part in the Tuam Diocesan Youth Concert ‘Awakening’ on Thursday, 4 May in Breaffy Arena, Castlebar. The 2017 Awakening concert was a culmination of several months of preparation by Religious Education and Music teachers from 19 different secondary schools throughout the Archdiocese of Tuam.
Awakening 2017 was more than just a celebration of modern church and contemporary music, it was a real spectacle of talent showcasing the musical and creative genius of almost 500 young people. All the more impressive, the choirs and orchestras from the 19 schools only came together for the first time on the day of the concert, having been practicing in their own schools since Christmas.
Over 700 people turned up at Breaffy Arena on the night to show their support for the incredible production of music, dance and song. Father John Kenny, parish priest of Partry acted as MC for the concert. Throughout the night, songs were performed from artists such as Leonard Cohen, Robbie Williams, U2 and Take That. Musical directors for the concert were Ms Siobhan Shaughnessy and Ms Ita Cunningham, both teachers in Presentation College, Headford, Galway. The night was deemed a great experience for both the audience and the young people taking part.
Two of the most moving and emotional performances on the night were led by Ms Fionnuala Dooley, teacher in Ballinrobe Community School. Fionnuala led not only her school group but her gymnastic group, ‘The Tuam All Stars’, in movement and dance to two pieces on the night, both of which received a standing ovation from the audience.
The aim of the night was to bring together the voices of over 450 senior students and form them into one choir to perform some of the most beautiful and meaningful songs in order to lift spirits and raise much needed funds for Pieta House. It set out and achieved this and so much more. It was the perfect way to lead into the weekend of the Darkness into Light walks that were happening the following night.
A special thanks and appreciation was shared on the night to all the students and their teachers by Siobhán Bradley, Diocesan Youth Ministry Director. Siobhán encouraged the audience to go home and share the good news of ‘Awakening’ with everyone who would listen, because what was experienced that night in Breaffy was something that needed to be shared, liked and repeated next year.
For more information on the Awakening concert, as well as pictures from the night, see www.dyctuam.ie.