Choirs from Banbridge Academy participated in the 95th Portadown Music Festival this year, and it proved to be a very productive competition. On Wednesday 29th March in the afternoon session at Craigavon Civic Centre, the Girls’ Choir and the Chamber Choir won their respective classes with 86 marks each. Mrs Sandra McCurdy, Musical Director of both choirs, was then invited back to the Gala Concert and Presentation of Awards on Tuesday 4th April to collect The Education Committee Cup and a cheque for £200 presented by Mr David Simpson MP. This prize is awarded to the Choir with the highest marks in classes 5, 6, 7, 8, 8a and 8b, which represent the Secondary School Choir Section at the Festival.
For their first piece the Girls’ Choir sang “She Moved Through The Fair,” a seven part a cappella arrangement by Gwyn Arch. The adjudicator, Mr Donal McCrisken, commended the choir on “a gleamingly attractive warm tone and some beautifully subtle fluctuations in dynamics”. For their second piece they sang a 4 part arrangement of “The Wedding Ring” by Geoffry Russell-Smith. Mr McCrisken commended the soloist Charlotte Hawthorne who sang the first verse. He commented that “the choir took over the melody with assurance and lovely flowing phrases,” and he enjoyed “the spirited and energetic singing.”
The Chamber Choir performed “The Nativity Carol” by John Rutter, and Duke Ellington’s “It Don’t Mean a Thing (If it Ain’t Got That Swing)” arranged by Jay Althouse. Mr McCrisken commended the choir in the first song saying “the melody was beautifully shaped” and he enjoyed “the light bouncy mood” in the second piece which he also said “conveyed a sense of enjoyment in the performance.” Accompanist to both choirs was Mrs Diane Robinson, Head of Music at Banbridge Academy.
Photographs courtesy of Mr Robin McGloughlin