Musical performance with a difference at Kilronan School

June 08, 2016

Senior students at Kilronan School, Magherafelt put on a musical performance with a difference last week, using the poetry of Seamus Heaney as their inspiration.

The musical project was carried out as part of the Council’s education programme in advance of Seamus Heaney HomePlace opening later this year and the children performed for the Chair of Mid Ulster District Council, Councillor Cáthal Mallaghan, invited guests and the rest of the school.

The project was facilitated by RiCh Music, former Ulster Orchestra musicians Ricky Matson and Chris Blake.

Ricky and Chris have been working with senior students at Kilronan School since February helping them interpret some of Seamus Heaney’s best known poems including Digging and Blackberry Picking from a musical perspective.

Students were encouraged by Ricky and Chris to produce music which represents the narrative and emotion in each of the poems. For example, in their presentation of Blackberry Picking they created music which represented a day out and explored themes of excitement and sadness. 

With Digging the pupils took a musical journey through the making of a spade by hand, presenting sounds and tunes to reflect the stages.

Speaking at the event, Chair of Mid Ulster District Council. Councillor Cáthal Mallaghan said: “It was an absolute privilege to be at this event today. The students researched Seamus Heaney’s poetry and from this they created their musical routine. It’s clear to see how much effort and hard work they put into the project and it definitely paid off.

“I’m delighted Kilronan School took part in the Council’s Seamus Heaney Education Programme and they have most certainly added another dimension to it! A huge well done to everyone involved.”

Principal of Kilronan School, Alison Millar, added, “This has been a fabulous learning experience which has made the poetry of Seamus Heaney very accessible to pupils with severe learning difficulties. As always, RiChmusic has been a pleasure to work with and Ricky and Chris have brought out the best in each of our pupils.”

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