The Music Department at Loreto Omagh provides the pupils with many and varied opportunities to be involved in extra-curricular music. This ranges from:
1) Junior Choir – for our Year 8 and 9 students
2) Senior Choir – for students from Years 10 to 14
3) String group – caters for all year groups
4) Trad group – for girls from all year groups
5) Provision of vocal and instrumental tuition
1) Junior Choir
Loreto Junior is non-auditioning and offers girls the chance to join a choir for the first time or to continue their choral singing from their primary schools. We are very lucky in the West Tyrone area to have a number of excellent primary school choirs whose members feed into our Junior Choir. The Junior Choir focuses on fostering a love for, and enjoyment of, choral music of all types and performs at various liturgies throughout the year (Year 8 Mass, the Christmas liturgy etc.), and competes at the West Tyrone feis each year. They also get the opportunity to perform with the Senior Choir. The Junior Choir acts as a training choir for the Loreto Senior Choir and rehearses at lunchtime twice a week, under the direction of Mrs Gwawr McGirr.
2) Senior Choir:
Loreto Senior School Choir has a proud tradition and is the jewel in the crown of the Music Department. Notable achievements have included: Choir winners of Prague Young Bohemia 2019, Choir finalists in UTV ‘Choir of the Year’, BBC TV features and broadcast masses. The Choir has also recorded a CD and performed in religious cantatas involving singers from the whole community. They have toured and performed abroad extensively, e.g. Prague, Vienna, Moscow, St Petersburg and London. Most recently they performed as guests in the Strule Arts Centre with Strabane Chamber Choir, in a Christmas extravaganza, culminating with both choirs joining forces.
The choir continues to meets for rehearsal a total of four times a week – with 3 sectional practices at lunchtime and a full Choir Practice after school each Thursday. This schedule, with their conductor Mr Gerard Bradley, has now existed unbroken for over 25 years. In September 2019, the Senior Choir were very fortunate to take part in a choral workshop with international choral trainer Michele Josia from Italy – www.michelejosia.com
Prague Young Bohemia 2019
Congratulations to our Senior Choir who achieved the highest accolade of a Gold Award winning the Spiritual, Gospel, Jazz and Pop Section in the Young Bohemia International Festival of Young Choirs and Orchestras in Prague. Competing against choirs from around the world, the Senior Choir was the only choir from the U.K. and Ireland to win their competition and achieve the prestigious Gold Award. Mr Bradley, Head of Music who conducted the choir, accompanied by pianist, Mrs Gwawr McGirr, was delighted with the choir’s performance. “I am immensely proud of them because this win has given each member of the choir a musical confidence that will enhance their lives now and in the future. And that for me, makes the winning in Prague all the more special and magical.’ Mr Bradley also acknowledged Mrs O’Neill’s support in helping to prepare the choir for their performance in Prague and co-ordinating the trip, with the help of Miss Donna Grimes. The Principal, Mrs O’Hanlon added that the choir enjoyed huge support from all the students, staff, parents and local community and was an outstanding musical achievement.
3) String Group
The string group is made up of the string players in the school, many of whom receive string tuition in the school. The string group rehearses in the run-up to performances at school events such as Prize Night and Open Night and performs a varied repertoire.
4) Trad Group
The Traditional Group meets on Mondays after-school and is run by Ms Catherine Dunne, the Music Service string tutor at the school, who is also an accomplished fiddle player. The group performs at the Strule Arts Centre and at Open Night. There are many talented traditional players at Loreto – many of whom compete successfully at County, Ulster and All-Ireland level in CCE and Scór competitions.
Killarney All-Ireland Scór 2020
We would like to wish the St Enda’s GAA Scór Instrumental group – in which 4 of our pupils play – all the best in their forthcoming All-Ireland final on 1st February in Killarney.
Tuition is currently faciliated by the Music Dept as follows:
a) Through the EA Music Service – upper and lower strings, woodwind
b) Privately – piano, voice, guitar and drums
Pupils availing of tuition have the opportunity to enter for graded external examinations. Please feel free to contact Mr Bradley or Mrs McGirr for more information on the availability of music tuition.