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Short Film of CBS Westland Row School Song Project Released
May 26, 2017
Recently a great project I worked on for the great folks at CBS Westland Row, a secondary school in Inner City Dublin, came to fruition. We started this project last year when I was commissioned to write a song for the school to represent who they were and to have a song for them to sing at graduations and beyond, hopefully for many years to come.
Through liaising with Conor Bradley, Kate Byrne and Eddie Kelly at the school, over a couple of months I put together a song, along the guidelines of what I discussed with the staff but also, importantly, with the students whom I met early in the project to discuss what the school meant to them and how they imagined THEIR song would sound like. That was a very entertaining first session! The students were brilliant and I got a great feeling about the whole thing from day one.
Over a couple of months we fine-tuned the song and the lyrics and came up with something which we thought (hoped) would represent the school and it's history, but also more importantly that the students would take to their hearts and want to sing.
The choir was put together after Christmas 2017 and given that much of the students did not have choir or performance experience, I have to say I'm really proud of all concerned. With the help of David O'Callaghan from the Dublin Youth Choir they practiced and practiced and practiced towards the big night on May 4th - which was graduation night for the school's 6th Years and the debut performance of the choir and the new school song. The choir have named themselves the Westland Row Singers.
On the night they performed two songs - 10,000 Reasons (Bless The Lord) and of course the school song which is called 'We've Got History'. The live performance of We've Got History is in the video and if you would like hear the live performance of 10,000 Reasons (Bless The Lord), you can hear a full recording on my Soundcloud page also, which includes the introduction of the choir and the performance of both songs.
I have to say, this whole project gave me an enormous sense of pride and wellbeing and watching the choir perform so well gave me a lump in my throat during the performance. It's not very often we get to experience something like this so it's wonderful to have it all captured on video too. Filmmaker Cathal Kenna (at short notice) did a wonderful job in capturing the day and the wonderful, unified spirit of the staff and students. I was a real joy to see such a sense of community and pride at the school, which can often be lacking elsewhere. Given that many of students would be from what might be called disadvantaged areas in inner city Dublin, it really gave me a huge respect for what the students and staff are achieving at the special little place. I hope you enjoy the video and it bring you the positive vibes it brought me.