Press Releases


11 November 2012: Methodist College, Belfast are this year's winners of the fourth annual All-Island School Choir Competition.

The four choirs who reached tonight’s final sang on the steps of the famous replica of the Grand Staircase in the iconic new Titanic building in Belfast. The programme was broadcast live at 6.30pm on RTÉ One in front of an audience which included guests of honour, Tanaiste, Eamon Gilmore TD, and the Deputy First Minister of Northern Ireland, Martin McGuinness, MP, MLA.

The competition included schools from all over the island of Ireland. Twenty schools were chosen to perform at regional finals in Cork, Castlebar, Ballymena and Drogheda and four made it through to tonight: Methodist College, Belfast; Sacred Heart Secondary School, Tullamore, Co. Offaly; Wesley College, Dublin; and Loreto Secondary School, Fermoy, Co Cork.

The competition, presented by Anne Cassin, is designed to encourage the tradition of school choirs in second level institutions throughout the island. The overall winners receive £4,000 and each of the other finalist choirs is awarded £1,000.

The adjudicators for this year’s competition are:
Seamus Crimmins, Executive Director, RTÉ Performance Groups
Dr Angela Feeney, Belfast Opera singer and teacher
Brendan O’Connor, Musical Director, Cois Cladaigh Chamber Choir, Galway
Dr Geoffrey Spratt, Director, Cork School of Music and Conductor of the Fleischmann Choir.

In a new initiative, a choral conducting bursary supported by the Association of Irish Choirs, formed part of this year’s competition and was open to all the choir conductors who participated. The adjudicators nominated one conductor for the prize and this year’s winner was Elaine Davern of Colaiste Oisaef, Kilmallock, County Limerick. She wins a week-long course at the University of Limerick.

The competition is organised by CoOperation Ireland, in association with RTÉ. The series was devised by RTÉ’s Northern Office and the executive producer of the series is RTÉ’s Northern Editor, Tommie Gorman.

This is the second time that Methodist College has won. They also were the winners in the inaugural competition of the All Island School Choir competition in 2009. That choir was a mixed group, but tonight was an all girls choir, under the direction of Linda Rolston and their accompanist was fellow student, Donal McCann.