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‘So proud of our choir, so proud of our county’
By Colm Bradley
THE wonderful talents of teenage flautist. Kristan Swaine enthralled the congregation of St Macartin’s Cathedral with a beautiful solo during the Service of Thanksgiving for to mark the Queen’s Diamond Jubilee yesterday (Tuesday) morning.
He accompanied Portora Royal School 1608 Chamber Choir which sang, ‘O Christ the same, through all our story’s pages’ to the tune of the traditional Irish melody, ‘Londonderry Air’.
Jeanie Munroe explained that she arranged the piece as a tribute to the ‘intertwining of all the cultures of Northern Ireland.
Meanwhile, Helen Hamill, the musical director of St Michael’s Church choir, who performed for the Queen when she visited St Michael’s after the service in the cathedral, felt that she was part of something special.
“You definitely got the feeling of how significant the visit was and that you were part of what was a truly historic moment.”
‘The choir sang six hymns for the Queen and she was suitably impressed with what she heard. They did brilliantly, I was so proud of them and the Queen commented to Canon O’Reilly about how much she liked it,” Helen explained before adding that she felt it was appropriate that both churches got an opportunity to produce their own programme for the Queen.
“I thought that was nice. Nobody had to compromise. I think that this visit is a real step forward for us and it makes you proud of Fermanagh. I thought the town looked very well and there seemed to be a mixed crowd, and I have to say St Michael’s was lovely too.”
Helen had a busy time preparing for the visit with nobody really sure of the timings until Buckingham Palace officials were able to fill people in with just minutes to go.
“It was chaos at times, but I have to say a very enjoyable chaos. The choir was buzzing and I don’t think anyone was nervous. We just wanted to give our best and it was nice to be in the middle of such an occasion.”