13 Aug 2022

Ardagh virtual concert attracts global audience

Virtual Christmas

Ardagh Music Room students pictured during their Virtual Christmas Concert held on Sunday, December 20

The end of the Winter term would normally see Ardagh Music Room Christmas Concert, and students performing a selection of Christmas tunes and pieces they’ve been working on throughout the year.

The events of 2020 were not going to stop this annual occasion taking place in some format and so on the evening of Sunday, December 20 families joined together online to share a Virtual Christmas Concert.

All the pianists submitted a short video of themselves playing their own choice of pieces and with thanks to Kaj Klimski for editing and creating an evening’s entertainment for all of Ardagh Music Room’s families.

Bonuses of the online event were that not only did everyone get to play, but extended family were able to experience the concert, with Grandparents and relatives tuning in from all over Ireland – and further!

Moving online immediately from March, all of Ardagh Music Room’s students continued with weekly Zoom lessons throughout the year. The introduction of supervised practice sessions each weekday morning and RIAM exams also moving to online submissions meant great progress was made by all.

Of particular note was Jamie Matthews who took up the piano in February, only having 2 in-person lessons but achieving an Honours in Grade III this Winter sitting.

Concert attendees were treated to versions of Jingle Bells from players including Thea, aged 3 who has been learning the piano for a year, and Caoimhe who only started playing the piano just after Halloween.

Anna O’Cathain sang a lovely version of Winter Lullaby - Anna was successful in her audition at the beginning of the year for the RTE Cór na nÓg and had recently joined the choir in the RDS for recording the Christmas at Home programme.

There was also a performance by Isabel of Evening Song on the harp, a second instrument she took up during lockdown with just Zoom lessons so far.

The concert provided an opportunity for all the families to have a sense of togetherness before Christmas, Padraig Fahey, father of three of the performers, commented that “the kids really enjoyed seeing themselves on the screen.”

“It was a lovely way to close the year,” said Joanna Pearman, owner of Ardagh Music Room, “whilst we weren’t able to make it in person, seeing everyone together attending the concert recognising the efforts made by all the students throughout the year, this concluding celebration was extremely rewarding.

“ Thanks to all the parents and students for their ongoing support and let’s hope 2021 brings continued success and dedicated enthusiasm for the piano!”

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