On Thursday 15th December Enniskillen Royal Grammar school welcomed the public to their Inaugural Carol Service in St Macartin’s Cathedral at 6.30pm. The congregation were greeted on arrival by the Pipe Band, under the direction of Mr Cecil Jones. The service followed the traditional Nine lessons and featured music from the choir, the newly formed Christmas Orchestra and the brass band.
Featuring over 120 singers, and more than 100 instrumentalists, the Carol Service built on the strong musical traditions from the legacy schools. The processional featuring the orchestra, brass band and organ set the tone for what was going to be a truly magical evening. As the choir began with a spine tingling “Carol of the Bells”, the congregation were in no doubt of the superb array of musical talent in the school.
Senior and Junior Choirs performed under the shared musical direction of Mrs Bloomfield and Miss Rasdale along with Organ and Piano accompaniments by Mr Glenn Moore and Mrs Judith Anderson. The Orchestra featuring Strings, Woodwind and Brass players made a triumphant debut, both in accompanying the congregational carols, choir and also in their rousing rendition of ‘A Christmas Celebration’. Mr Stephen Magee led the Brass Band adding variety to the musical offering with “When Christmas Sleeps”, and the beautiful “Silent Stars Go By”.
Underpinning the musical celebration of Christmas was the delivery of the Nine Lessons, which were read impeccably by; Eadie Fallis, Year 8; Nathaniel Johnston, Year 10; Szymon Gorczynski, Year 11; Kirstie Harron, Year 12; Andrew Crawford, Head Boy; Ellie Ingram, Head Girl and by Sally Rees, staff; Peter Little, Chair of the Board of Governors and finally, Miss Armstrong, Principal
Speaking after the Carol Service Miss Armstrong said “Our Inaugural Carol Service was a living example of the school community we are working hard to build in Enniskillen Royal Grammar School. We saw staff and pupils working together with energy and discipline in the common pursuit of excellence and all involved can be rightly proud of their efforts. We are also very grateful to the many parents and members of the wider community who took the time to be with us on the evening and we thank them for their generosity in the retiring collection which raised over £2000 for Horizon West, Singing for Syria and the Music Department of Enniskillen Royal Grammar School”
All the hard work certainly paid off and the Inaugural Carol Service proved to be a wonderful celebration of the beauty and joy of the Christmas message in word and song for the wider community. In closing the service Rt Revd John McDowell, encouraged the congregation to show their appreciation, prompting rapturous applause and a standing ovation.