St. Peter's N.S. Violin/Strings’ Project-A History (22/3/13)

St. Peter's N.S. Violin project was first established in November 2010 when the humble and cramped location of our parents' room catered for both Junior and Senior Infant classes. Ms Siofra Grant (our violin teacher at the time) provided 1/2 hour lessons to each class every Wednesday morning up to lunchtime. As our violin project progressed, we decided to provide our 1st and 2nd classes with violin classes also, therefore, expanding our project to a full day and moving to the hall as a result in January 2011.

The pupils were making great progress and to mark the incredible work completed by pupils and teachers alike, we had our first violin concert after school in June 2011. A number of classes performed various pieces for parents and guardians. It was an extremely proud day for all concerned.

When we returned to school in late August 2011, we were very lucky to have Ciara Cavanagh (a violin teacher in St. Agnes' NS, Crumlin-where the violin/strings programme was first established in Ireland in 2006) on board as part of our strings' project. We started classes in September 2011 (now providing classes to pupils from Junior Infants-3rd classes) and decided to hold our first open day (where parents of pupils came into the school on the last Wednesday in December 2011 before the holidays to view their children in action during violin classes). We had a huge turnout of parents , all of whom were extremely impressed with all of the work accomplished to date.

Our next natural stepping stone was to involve parents in the project and in January 2012, we had our very first parents' violin classes. We had a very good turnout of parents with classes taking place after school on Wednesdays.

Our second violin open day took place in June 2012 with both pupils and parents performing during the day and after school respectively

We returned to school in late August 2012 with our violin classes starting in September. Due to the huge number of pupils now involved (Junior Infants-4th classes) we had to start slightly earlier in the mornings to accommodate all classes. Pupils in 3rd and 4th classes started to read music for the first time this year and our next natural progression was to set up a student orchestra. In mid-November 2012, our dream came to fruition when 30 pupils from 3rd and 4th class sat together in the hall with violins, violas, cellos and a double bass in hand. It was a significant moment in the progression of our project and within four weeks the orchestra took part in the Christmas open day concert on Wednesday 19th December attended by the Lord Mayor of Dublin himself.

Another important development was the provision of violin classes on Monday and Thursday mornings and after school on Mondays and Thursdays provided by Nathan Sherman (our other strings' tutor). There is a huge level of interest in the classes with almost seventy pupils now participating in these classes. As well as that, we also have parents' violin classes for beginners, a newly formed pupils' string quartet (taken from the junior orchestra) and pupils in 2nd class are now also reading music.

Strings’ Project News -June 2013

On Thursday, 6th June 2013 our pupil and parent orchestra had the pleasure of performing in the Mansion House (Lord Mayor’s residence). This was our orchestra’s first major performance outside of St. Peter’s. We really have exceeded our expectations in the three year history of the strings’ project. The pupils and parents alike were in awe at the beautiful Oak Room where our performance took place. We invited parents of pupils involved in the orchestra and everybody agreed that our pupils and parents performed out of their skins!

Everyone involved in the orchestra as well as Mr. Ryan (strings' project co-ordinator) wish to thank the Lord Mayor and staff of the Mansion House, all of our parents, grandparents, relatives and friends who witnessed our wonderful performance. We also wish to thank our dedicated and talented violin tutor, Ms. Ciara Cavanagh. Of course without the efforts of our pupils and parents in our orchestra, events such as these would not have been possible. We look forward to further developments and special occasions in 2013/2014. Michael D. here we come! Áras- expect a visit from St. Peter’s soon!!

Violin Project Open Day 2013

On Wednesday, 19th June 2013 we held our fourth open day. Parents were invited into the school throughout the day to view their children in action. There were plenty of smiling faces, plucking strings, up and down bows and even three part string pieces during the course of the day as over 300 parents were amazed at the progress made by the pupils since September. Following the open day, there was a huge turnout of parents for our violin class performance. After our violin class performance there was a recital from our parent and student orchestra which was a repeat of the Mansion House performance on Thursday 6th of June.

Once again, we had a great turnout of teachers, parents, family and friends as well as some very distinguished guests in the hall.

Mr. Ryan (our project co-ordinator) wishes to sincerely thank all of our class teachers who have worked extremely hard over the course of the year in supporting our pupils and helping to inspire our budding musicians. Thanks also to our very supportive parents who have given our string’s project their backing throughout. We would like to thank Jim (our caretaker) and Anne (our secretary) for their help and support each week with the project.

To our main sponsors, Glanmore Foods, in particular, Mr. John Mooney and Mr. Vivion Powney whose help is greatly appreciated. Mr. Powney is regularly in touch regarding the progress of our project. Mr. Ryan wishes to thank Mr. James Cavanagh and Ms. Pauline Cavanagh (our violin tutor’s parents) for their help and guidance over the course of the past year in particular.

To Sr. Bernadette Sweeney, our inspiration behind the project, who has visited the school to witness our orchestra in full flow and given plenty of good advice, we offer a huge ‘Thank you’.

To our principal, Ms. Quinn, the cog in the wheel of our project which keeps it moving and evolving and who is always available to give advice regarding the development of the project, thank you.

To our fantastic tutors, Ms. Ciara Cavanagh and Nathan Sherman who work tirelessly and are so generous with their time and talents to ensure each pupil involved in the project can reach their musical potential. Last but by no means least; Mr. Ryan would like to thank all of our pupils from Junior Infants to 4th class involved in the strings project. They have worked really hard this year and made great progress.  

Finally to our parent and student orchestra who have represented St. Peter’s in the Mansion House just three weeks ago and performed out of their skins! It’s hard to believe that just six months ago the majority of the pupils in our students’ orchestra couldn’t read music and now they can perform string pieces with five parts. They have brought the standards set at St. Peter’s to a new level.

Strings' Project - Latest News

The School Orchestra

The school orchestra and Parents’ Orchestra had their Christmas concert last Wednesday 11th of December 2013. They played magnificently in the hall after school while the parents and special guests came to watch. Well done to all involved!

St. Peter's also held the Peter's Proms. performance on Wednesday, 18th of December 2013 (1st-5th classes) and Thursday, 19th of December 2013 (Junior and Senior Infants) in the hall. Our parents, grandparents, families and friends were invited into the school to view our classes in full swing. They were all very impressed with the progress made since last June. Almost four hundred parents, guardians and family members passed through the doors of St. Peter's over the course of the two days (a proud achievement!!).  

Our 2nd class pupils have now started to read music and our more senior pupils are reading much more difficult pieces of music such as "The Can-can" by Offenbach, "The William Tell Overture" by Rossini and even "Ode to Joy" by Beethoven. One of our fifth classes can even play full string quartet parts as they have pupils playing violins and violas, cello and double bass.

Violin/Viola lessons

Violin/viola lessons which take place on Mondays and Thursdays before and after school are proving very popular. We have nearly seventy pupils participating in lessons from 2nd-5th classes at the moment. The next round of classes (running for 10 weeks) will restart in the second week of March. If you are interested in your child taking part in lessons you can contact Nathan Sherman (our violin/viola teacher).   


Ms. M. Flanagan's Senior Infants    

                        Ms. G. Flanagan's 2nd Class



A performance from St. Peter's N.S. string orchestra


Violin/Viola lessons 2014-2015

Lessons have resumed for the first term. They started on Monday, 15th of September and Thursday, 18th of September. If any parent wants their child to take part in lessons, it's not too late-please contact Mr. Ryan for further details.


Details of our Christmas' Open Days can be found in latest news.


St. Peter's National School Chamber Orchestra (fourteen pupils from 5th and 6th class) will perform for the Holy Communion Ceremony on Sunday, 10th of May at 11:30p.m. This will be our newly formed Chamber orchestra's first public performance.


Concert in St. Peter's N.S.

St. Peter's are delighted to announce that Sounds Ensemble (a brass, woodwind and percussion group) will perform with our school orchestra on Thursday, 11th of June in the school hall. More details to follow closer to the date.

Strings' Project 2015/2016

Our strings' project has now restarted for the year. Weekly violin/viola/cello lessons take place on Mondays and Fridays after school. We are delighted to welcome back Ciara as our main strings tutor for the year. We have added an extra 11 members to our school orchestra as many members of last year's orchestra are now in secondary school.

Incredibly, our project will be running for five years in November 2015!!! We certainly have come a long way. To celebrate our five year anniverary of the project, we have a lot of plans and projects for the year ahead. Details will follow over the next few weeks.

Our pupils' orchestra performed for the first time this school year in the hall on Monday, 21st of December. Our parents' string ensemble also helped out. Congratulations to our new string players from 3rd class and 6th class who only joined the orchestra a few weeks ago.They played professionally for our concert.

We hope to enter the school orchestra in a primary school competition (Wesley Feis) in early March. Pictures of the December concert will follow shortly.


Congratuations to our boys and girls who won the Wesley Feis competition on 5th, March In Wesley College, Dundrum (a wonderful achievement for our school).



Our orchestra entertain the crowds.


 Here is a copy of our winning cerrificate. Thanks to Ciara and all the hard work our girls and boy put in. It paid off in the end!!!

Congratulations to our school orchestra on their recent exam result. They participated in the Royal Irish Academy of Music Junior Grade Orchestra exam and received 93% (a distinction!). Well done to all the pupils involved and a special word of thanks to Ciara (our orchestra conductor). All those hours of practice paid off!
Our orchestra will also travel to St. Agnes' N.S. in Crumlin on Sunday, 12th of June for a 'Family Funday Sunday' concert series. They will be joined by the Offbeat Ensemble (our adults' orchestra based in St. Peter's) and orchestras in St. Agnes' N.S. It promises to a long but enjoyable experience for all concerned. Parents are invited to attend. Our concert will start at 12:00 and finish at 1:15p.m. approximately.
Finally our end of year orchestra concert will take place in the school hall on Monday, 20th of June from 2:45-3:20p.m. All
parents are welcome.
Family Funday in St. Agnes' Crumlin
Our school orchestra were invited to play in St. Agnes' National School in Crumlin on Sunday, 12th of June. They were performing with the St. Agnes' primary school orchestra, the St. Agnes' parents' orchestra and the Offbeat Ensemble (based in St. Peter's) There were over 120 musicians playing together at the end of the concert!. Our boys and girls played very well and enjoyed their day. They had a chance to make new friend and learn from other musicians too. We would like to thank St. Agnes' N.S. for facilitating us, in particular, Joanna Crooks who organised the whole event.
Our cello section in full swing!!
                                                                    Rehearsing for the big concert!
St. Agnes' parents' orchestra
We've had an extremely successful year this year. Thanks so much to all the pupils, parents, staff and Ms. Quinn for all their hard work particularly over the past six months. A special thanks for our teachers Nathan, Shane and in particular, Ciara (the life and soul behind the project!) Best wishes to our very talented 6th class pupils who are leaving us. We are setting up a chamber orchestra for our secondary school pupils in September. This, we hope, will encourage them to continue with this wonderful gift of music they have received.  
We are delighted to announce that our junior orchestra have won the Wesley Feis primary school orchestra competition (on Saturday, 4th March) for the second year in a row. This a fantastic achievement for our school as the majority of our pupils are only in 3rd and 4th class. Our pupils were presented with certificates and were given a wonderful trophy.
Preparation for our performance





 Our winning cert and trophy



On Sunday, the 26th of March, St. Peter's Church was the venue for our benefit concert. On such a special occasion (Mother's Day) we were delighted to invite the Royal Irish Academy of Music Junior string orchestra to perform. We also had performance from our secondary school chamber orchestra, the Offbeat Ensemble and our own junior orchestra. There was also a collaboration performance. Our orchestra performed two pieces with the Royal Irish Academy orchestra. It was a very special evening. Mr. Ryan wishes to thank all the staff, parents and pupils of St. Peter's N.S., Fr, Aidan and the staff of St. Peter's Church, the Cavanagh family especially Ciara, Shane and Nathan Sherman, the Offbeat Ensemble and anybody who helped with organisation on the day. Thanks also to our parents, grandparents, family and friends who turned up in suppport of our wonderful project. 

Below are some pictures of the amazing afternoon and evening of music.

Rehearsal before the big event-combined St. Peter's and RIAM junior strings.



















We are extermely proud to announce that our junior string orchestra will be performing in the National Concert Hall on Saturday, 10th of February at 3 p.m. with the Royal Irish Academy of Music junior orchestra as part of the Irish Assocation of Youth Orchestras festival 2018. This is a huge achievement for our pupils and teachers who have worked very hard over the past six months in preparation for this massive event. Tickets for the concert can be purchased on the website. A special word of thanks to our two orchestra tutors- Ciara Cavangh and Larissa O' Grady. Here are some images of orchestra members.










National Concert Hall welcomes St. Peter's N.S.  Junior String Orchestra!!!!!!!!


On Saturday, 10th of February, the pupils of St. Peter's Junior Orchestra joined forces with the Royal Irish Academy of Music Junior Orchestra to perform on the stage of one of the greatest music venues in the country- The National Concert Hall. Our pupils had the once in a lifetime opportunity of playing as part of the 23rd Festival of Youth Orchestras. Our pupils had a very long and challenging day starting as early as 8:20a.m. When the pupils arrived at the venue, they were amazed at the sheer scale of the building. Surprisingly, all nerves seemd to disappear when they rehearsed on stage for the first time. We headed back to the school for a quick rehearsal, lunch and a deserved rest. 

Our combined orchestras were first on stage and gave the performace of a lifetime. A huge number of our parents and staff memebers were present to cheer on our fantastic pupils. Bana (lead violist) in Ms. Carroll's class was interviewed by the M.C. after the performance. Noel ( violin and orchestra leader) had an opportunity to meet the other leaders and conductors and Sandybelle (lead cellist) received a framed certiicate on behalf of the orchestra.
Our school received enromous media attention in the lead up to the event with three newsparers featuring out orchestra which included a front page picture of two orchestra memebrs in the Irish Times on Tuesday, 6th of February. The school orchestra was also mentioned on Rte radio and TV3 early morning television. 
Pictures of our unforgettable day can be found below. Images of the orchestra taken by Bríd O' Donovan can also be found above this report.








However, it doesn't end here!!! Our orchestra are currently preparing for the Wesley Feis competition on Saturday, 3rd of March. We are aiming to win the competition for the third year in a row!!! 


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