Emmanuel — voices, hands and hearts raised in the Helix
A unique collaboration of deaf and hearing students will raise their voices and hands on the stage of the Helix in Dublin next week as part of the Emmanuel concert series.
For the first time students from St. Mary’s Girls School for the Deaf in Cabra will participate in the concerts, involving over two thousand secondary school students from all over Dublin.
This morning (Tuesday) girls from the deaf choir joined students from St. Dominic’s College in Cabra and Belvedere College at a special musical preview of the 2012 Emmanuel series, with RTÉ presenter Miriam O’ Callaghan and Archbishop Diarmuid Martin.
Regina O’Connell, Principal, St. Mary’s School for Deaf Girls said, “We were delighted to be asked to participate in the Emmanuel concert. For the last few months one of our teachers, Shirley Higgins, has trained the choir and she will conduct the group of eleven third year students throughout the concert. The choir will perform all 23 songs, many with two and three part harmonies. Although it has been an enormous challenge, all the girls feel they have benefitted greatly from the experience and are really looking forward to the night. As principal of St. Mary’s, I feel very proud of the efforts of all the students and staff involved.”
Emmanuel is one of the largest events of live spiritual music to take place in Dublin every year. Secondary school children from around the city and county take part in three days of music and prayer workshops, run by the Archdiocese of Dublin. Each morning of workshops is followed by full rehearsals and then a live concert involving hundreds of children in front of a full Orchestra in the Helix.
Since the Emmanuel project began just over 5 years ago, demand for participation from teachers and students has trebled and this year the project is at capacity with 2,100 young people involved. The students, all aged between 12 and 17, take the music and prayer they learn during the Emmanuel workshops and concerts and return and use and adapt them in their own prayer services and liturgies in their school communities.
The chance to perform live is a significant attraction for all involved and there is also a competition for the positions of soloists on the night, with 300 boys and girls competing against each other for a coveted solo position on the Helix stage.
60 schools from across the Archdiocese are taking part on 13th, 14th and 15th March in The Helix in what is sure to be a spectacular musical performance. Tickets-already proving very popular- are available from www.thehelix.ie or call 01 700 7000.