John Spillane Entertains At Presentation Primary School

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Musician John Spillane (centre) with Principal of Presentation Primary School John Hickey and Chairperson of the Parents Association Donal O’Callaghan in front of pupils before the concert in the school hall on Friday. Photo by Dermot Crean

A WELL-KNOWN musician entertained pupils from a local school on Friday.

Presentation Primary School facilitated a concert by the renowned John Spillane, in association with Tony O’ Flaherty of Sonas Recording and the International award-winning Academy of Dance under the directorship of Clarissa Michaux.

John performed songs from his triple platinum selling album “Irish Songs We Learned at School”. John, who consistently delivers high quality live performances to audiences of all ages, ensured that everybody enjoyed a fun, entertaining and educational event.

Tony O’ Flaherty, who worked with John to produce his award winning album, assisted on the day.

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The Academy of Dance will be sending a representative “Team Ireland” from Kerry to participate in an international amateur dance competition in Barcelona later in 2019.

Pupils and staff from Presentation Primary and Secondary Schools packed the Primary School hall and the atmosphere was electric as everybody sang, clapped and performed actions to songs like“Óró ‘Sé Do Bheatha Bhaile” and “Puc ar Buile”.

True to form, John engaged his audience in his natural inimitable style, even assigning singing roles to students, and teachers to see who could sing louder.

The event underlined the school’s aim, as part of the Creative Schools Programme,to put the Arts and creativity at the heart of children’s and young people’s lives.

Musician John Spillane (right) with Chairperson of the Parents Association Donal O’Callaghan and his daughter Eve, before the concert in the school hall on Friday. Photo by Dermot Crean

Creative Schools is a flagship initiative of the Creative Ireland Programme to enable the creative potential of every child. Creative Schools is led by the Arts Council in partnership with the Department of Education and Skills and the Department of Culture, Heritage and the Gaeltacht.

Presentation Primary School is part of a five year pilot project that aims to reinforce the impact arts and creativity has on student learning development and well-being.

In addition the Creative Schools initiative, the school was also granted a TAP (Teacher Artist Partnership) residency by Tralee Education Centre, which is another initiative of the Creative Ireland Programme.

It is an exploration of Teacher-Artist partnerships as a model of CPD for supporting and enhancing Arts Education in Ireland.

This year Presentation Primary School are marrying both initiatives in a project entitled “Taking Down Walls”.

“The main focus through the project is to highlight awareness of the diversity that exists in schools and beyond today and the potential for prejudice. With the help of creative associate, Naomi Cahill and visual artist, Áine Ní Chíobháin, we are engaging all the partners – the children, teachers, ourSNA’s, visiting teachers, parents and relatives in a creative collaborative process, incorporatingmultiple art forms, culminating in a showcase/performance in Siamsa Tíre on March 21st, 2019,” said teacher and Creative Schools co-ordinator, Helena Hennessy.

“Every child from Junior Infants to Sixth Class will have a role to perform in the project. We have alsolinked with the community – Siamsa Tíre, Kerry School of Music, Presentation Secondary School, Gaelscoil Mhic Easmainn, Presentation Parents and Grandparents, T.I.R.C and Jam Camp.”

Musical accompaniment for the show will be provided by local musicians Damien Greer, Mike Leahy and John Quirke, who have family members in the school.

Presentation Primary School will be hosting an Open Day and Night on February 14th.

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