Thursday 27th May 2010, Portavogie Primary School hosted an Ulster Scots Showcase / Concert in the school assembly hall. The hall was packed to capacity both young and old in what turned out to be a brilliant night.
The show - compared by Andrew Curry (p7 teacher) commenced at 7pm, with bagpipes from Jamie Walker a past pupil of the school, this was followed by p6 & p7 tin whistle group (27 children) playing 7 tunes accompanied by Mrs Kim Spence on piano. As their whistle tutor, I must commend the children for a flawless performance, especially Amazing Grace & Skye Boat Song. Next up another local Alan Bell whistle and singer accompanied by guitar - Green Fields of France - then Kerry Jordan's dancers p6 boys, paired circle dance, p7 dance then a poem by 3 x pupils.
Next up was Peter Adair, another ex pupil, he played the side drum. Choir was up next singing, The Lord is My Shepherd, I'll tell me ma, My Aunt Jane and concluding with the very entertaining Wee Willie's lost his Marley. Jake Walker (p6) on Bagpipes followed by another local sensation Roy Oates on Accordion.
Then the much anticipated Lambeg Drummers, 6 children playing 'Loughries Time' on the Ulster Scot drum - the kids were fantastic and brought the house down, I drummed the lambeg out of the hall. The Thompson Brothers were next up performing a few tunes from their new album 'Soda Farls and Redemption Songs' I chipped in by playing along in 'Some say the Devils Deed' - the first half of the evening concluded by the P6 & P7 'Thriller Dance'
The PTA then provided a BBQ at the interval before the group Bracken took to the stage to end what was a memorable night for not only the school but the whole village of Portavogie. Well done to the staff at the school especially Andrew Curry and Kim Spence. The school was also very generous - presenting the performers with a thank you gift for their performances.
This was the second Ulster Scots showcase event I have participated in in 7 day's Castle Gardens Primary School and Portavogie Primary School. On both nights the schools were packed to capacity, with friends and family turning up to see their children perform various aspects of their Ulster Scots traditions. Also it was great to see local artists and past pupils coming along and helping their old schools.
The talk from both schools is that an annual Ulster Scots Concert may be held in both schools such has been the success of the 2 x concerts.
Making all the hard work and meticulous planning of the staff and tutors worthwhile and rewarding.