Every February The Cross Border Orchestra of Ireland performs a concert, Peace Proms, at the Simmonscourt Arena RDS in Dublin with a 3,000 strong children’s choir.
Our school has taken part in this concert in 2015, 2017, 2019 and 2020. It has been a wonderful experience for all involved.
The Cross Border Orchestra of Ireland is made up of teenagers and young adults from both sides of the Irish border. It was established in the mid to late 1990s. A major cease-fire was announced in Northern Ireland in 1994. Following the announcement, the idea of a cross border orchestra was first mentioned in St. Louis Girls Secondary School, Dundalk. It was to primarily be a peace initiative and a means of uniting young people from different backgrounds and traditions, through the medium of music. It has continued to develop and now in 2020 over 600 schools, almost 35,000 children, actively participate in Peace Proms each year.
CBOI performs largely in arenas: Echo Arena Liverpool, SSE Arena Belfast, Simmonscourt Arena RDS Dublin, Limerick University Sport Arena, Galway University Sports Arena, and Waterford Institute of Technology Sports Arena. The Orchestra (and the children’s choirs) are conducted by one of the UKs leading professional conductors – Greg Beardsall. You can read more about the history of the CBOI here
Peace Proms is a free resource and choral education project for primary schools. The musical programme is tailor made to ensure it is fun and engaging for children, fulfils important educational requirements, is very rewarding to teach, and the end performance is
an inspirational and thrilling experience for choirs, teachers, parents and audiences alike!
Peace Proms engages children and young people in music and enriches their lives through exceptional musical experiences and performances. It celebrates culture and diversity and promotes peace, unity and tolerance through music.
Every year we apply to participate in this incredible concert. If we are successful (it’s a lottery and there is now a waiting list), we receive lyrics and music, along with backing tracks and dance moves for the songs from the Peace Proms head office. We decided in 2019 that from now on we will apply for our fourth classes to take part each year.
Between September and November we learn the songs and actions. In mid-November we attend a workshop with the conductor, Greg Beardsall, along with choirs from some other schools.
We work on the songs and actions with Greg. He has a wonderful way of working with the children and they have always enjoyed the workshop, learned a lot and grown in confidence when performing.
The concert itself takes place in the first weekend of February every year at the RDS. The Orchestra actually performs four concerts over the weekend but our school takes part in just one. It has been a thrilling experience for the children, performing with 3000 other children and performing with a full symphony youth orchestra!
There are many videos of the Peace Proms performances on their website if you would like to have a look here. You can also find Peace Proms/ CBOI on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.