Folk masterstroke

06mar2019-ballymenaA select group of students recently returned from a music trip to Northern Ireland that had three main aims:

1.) participate in the Ballymena Festival,
2.) perform a joint music concert with the Kellswater Flute Band and Arran School of Dancing to strengthen links with these musicians and dancers,
3.) experience typical Northern Irish culture.

The Ballymena Festival included participants from around the globe and we were delighted to win some prizes. These included a first place for Sergio Torres and a second place for his sister María in the violin solo class. Both students played beautifully on the day and received very encouraging feedback from the adjudicator.
Luis Santana and Carlos Morales were also highly commended on their piano performances, categories that included a large number of entries. As well as the quantity of competition, there was quality too.
In addition we enjoyed many wonderful experiences during our time in Northern Ireland. Including strings masterclasses, a visit to a local printers to design the concert programme, a trip to a family bakery, taking in the Titanic Belfast, and being dwarfed by the Giant's Causeway to name a few. Here's some feedback from the students who went to Northern Ireland:

"I recently had the pleasure to visit Northern Ireland to play at the Ballymena Festival and I loved it. The culture, the people, the food including Tayto crisps and sausage rolls, the music, and the dance were all perfect. I want to go again next year."

"Our visit to Northern Ireland was amazing. My favourite parts of the trip were the competition, the Giant´s Causeway, Irish dancing and the concert. Actually I can´t choose one as I loved them all."

"Going to Northern Ireland was one of the best experiences of my life. What I particularly enjoyed doing was designing the programme with Miss McDonald´s cousin, Michelle. We took part in a concert with Kellswater Flute Band and had the chance to play a folk song with a group of violinists which sounded wonderful."

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