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Wesley College launches 40th Interschools Music Festival

Posted by SchoolDays Newshound on 03/03/2016. Wesley College launches 40th Interschools Music FestivalTags: Parenting Teachers Education And Politics

Today, Wesley College, Dublin 16 officially launched the 40th Interschools Music Festival, which will take place this Friday, 4th and Saturday, 5th March. The Interschools Music Festival is the single largest interschool music event in the country for primary and secondary level school students, established with the aim of nurturing new musicians and fostering new musical talent.

This year will see no less than eighty eight schools competing across the two day festival with in excess of one thousand students taking part in what has become a national and staple event on the calendar for many schools from all corners of the country.

For forty years, the Interschools Music Festival, proudly hosted by Wesley College, has proven an extraordinary opportunity for young and gifted musicians to showcase their musical talent.

In 1975, Frank Hughes (former Head of Music, Wesley College) undertook a fundraising project to offset the cost of building a pipe organ for the school, during which he played the organ continuously for a period of 92 hours, gaining entry to the Guinness Book of Records. To celebrate the success of the event a silver trophy was offered to the school with the suggestion that some competitive music event be organised, of Frank’s choosing. Thus, the Interschools Music Festival was born.

The event first opened its doors in 1976, welcoming just four schools into Wesley College to perform, and from these humble beginnings, has grown over the last four decades to give thousands of pupils the opportunity to perform and represent their schools within a musical forum. To this day, the festival still aims be the most all inclusive student music festival in Ireland, providing a platform for young talented performers to gain confidence and experience in front of an encouraging and sympathetic audience.

The competitions cover a range of musical genres including everything from classical, to rock and traditional Irish music. Although the festival is noted for its friendly and relaxed atmosphere, the standard is extremely high and it provides a perfect testing ground for examinations and public performances.

This year’s festival will see no less than 67 choirs and 16 school orchestras compete, along with 20 rock bands, 350 solo singers and 76 pianists competing and entertaining audiences over two days of competition, alongside recently added special events for guitarists, drummers, trad groups and wind instrumentalists. Throughout the festival 56 separate competitions will be taking place across the impressive Wesley College campus.

The Interschools Music Festival has been the critical starting point for countless young performers from BBC’s Annie Mac to James Nelson, of the Celtic Tenors - the Interschools Music Festival has proven a critical starting point for these highly successful artists.

Wesley College itself is no stranger to musical success, with the Wesley College Senior Choir qualifying for the Leinster section of the All Island Choir Competition over 5 consecutive years, having won the competition outright in 2012, and having been secured second place nationally on two other years.

For further information on the Interschools Music Festival hosted by Wesley College please visit


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