Jesus and Mary Secondary School, Crossmolina, will be one of 20 choirs which will compete in the first All-Island second level schools competition on RTÉ. Four regional heats of the competition — each featuring five choirs — will be aired on successive Sundays beginning on Sunday October 18 at 7.30pm on RTÉ One in a series presented by Anne Cassin. The Mayo choir can be seen performing on Sunday November 8.
The four heat winners will then compete in the all-island final, a one-hour live programme from the newly-refurbished Ulster Hall, Belfast, on November 15 at 6.30pm on RTÉ One.
According to Peter Sheridan, chief executive of Co-operation Ireland, the competition attracted entries from all corners of the island. “North, south, east, and west are represented in the 20 choirs selected by the adjudicators to compete in the regional heats,” he said.
RTÉ’s executive producer of the series, Tommie Gorman, hopes the programmes will give a sense of the work taking place in second level schools on both sides of the border.
The overall winner of the All Island Competition will receive £5,000 sterling and the three other finalists will each receive £1,000. The competition is sponsored by Titanic Quarter Ltd and is also be assisted by the Reconciliation Fund of the Department of Foreign Affairs.
The four adjudicators are Seamus Crimmins, RTÉ’s head of performing groups; Dr Angela Feeney, music teacher and opera singer attached to the Munich State Opera; Mark Duley, choir master and organist at the Collegiate Church of St Nicholas, Galway; and Dr Geoffrey Spratt, director, CIT Cork School of Music.