BY LOUISE BROWNE
“Sing It Loud And Sing It Clear” words spoken by Danny Kenny after the finale of yesterday’s Annual 2nd Level ‘Battle of the Bands’ held at Kylemore College in the heart of Ballyfermot.
In it’s eleventh year Kenny was adjudicating at the competition which holds a great tradition within the ethos of the CDETB SCC giving students a unique opportunity to showcase talented musicians.
On the back of another successfully competition the winning spoils were shared between Kaiwen Yang of Larkin Community College and home favourite Brandon Carrig. Yang and Carrig scored 39 points apiece out of a possible 40 points; performers were marked by Kenny on content, presentation, technique and star quality.
“I’m so excited and happy, it was a great experience on the piano. Ms Brennan introduced me to it (piano) so I would like to thank her and a thank you to everyone for giving me this experience” said a jubilant Kaiwen Yang.
Yang performed an inspirational cover of ‘I Giorni’ by Ludovico Einaudi on piano that brought a tear to Kenny’s eye and messmerised the audience to an extent that you could have heard a pin drop in the hall.
At times throughout Yang’s piece it was hard to believe that the sixth year student has only been playing the piano for four years, the future is certainly bright for the 16 year old student from Larkin Community College.
Joint winner Carrig remarked “I was very nervous going on stage and was still shaking coming off stage. But I really enjoyed my performance and I’m delighted with the result”.
Carrig was the final contestant on stage so it was understandable why the 14 year old was a little nervous. Those nerves slowly disappeared with the Kylemore student’s inspiring rendition of ‘Rondo alla Turca’ by Mozart on guitar that wowed the audience.
Second place went to Kylemore College’s duo of Arek Daciow on guitar and Daniel Fernandez on keyboard. The talented musicians did an instrumental cover of Michael Jackson’s ‘Billie Jean’ to the delight of everyone. “Surprised, from the very start was to do it for fun, so didn’t expect to win so great to get second place” said Daciow.
Third place was won by another Kylemore College student Sarah Draga for her wonderful version of ‘Over the Rainbow’ by Arien and Harburg. Draga’s, who has been ‘singing since I could talk’, inspiring performance got it’s just reward.
Kylemore College’s music teacher Alan Kelly thanked all those involved from the SCC and Kylemore College’s Principal Deirdre Nolan, staff and PLC students, including Emily Heffernan, for organising the event with special thanks to Danny Kenny and all the performers and their teachers.
“It’s always fresh, always new and always hard to get up on stage and perform. The standard is going up every year, there’s more live music, less with backing tracks, the kids are engaging more which is great” said Kelly.
Twelve contestants representing Kylemore College, Larkin Community College, Colaiste Eoin and Cabra Community College and their supporters made up an audience that were attentive and respectful of all of the performers throughout the afternoon.
Jamie Geogheghan of Kylemore College, who had eight students competing, opened the competition by doing a cover of Laura by the Scissor Sisters. The 4th year student had entered for fun and fun he had, singing and dancing with a smile on his face.
Gage Lennon another 4th year student from Kylemore was next up on stage. The 16 year old, who was competing for the third time, sang a heartfelt version of ‘Break My Body’ by The Pixies while playing acoustic guitar.
Ryan Cosgrave was Kylemore’s third 4th year student to compete. Cosgrave, a member of the Clondalkin Youth Band that will perform in this year’s St Patricks’ Day parade, did an uplifting drum solo.
Eyelash, a six piece band made up of singer Amanda Jonaityte, rapper Sean Hughes, lead guitarist Josh Byrne, bass guitarist Jack Galka, Guisseppe Lauliola keyboard and Giovanni Poli on drums, took to the stage.
The band from Colaiste Eoin in Finglas entertained the crowd with a fantastic version of Nena’s 99 Red Balloons. Jonaityte sang the original song style while Hughes rapped various verses of the song with red balloons scattered around the stage for special effect.
Kylemore’s young duo of Luke Daly on vocals and Dylan Keating on keyboard then performed ‘Let Her Go’ by Passenger.
Toni Caffrey of Larkin Community College sang an empowering rendition of Steve Wonder’s ‘Master Blaster’. The 6th year student, who auditioned last year for the British X Factor, has in her own words ‘been singing since I was born’.
David Lyons of Cabra Community College, who has been playing the guitar for about five years, sung James Arthur’s ‘Impossible’ with passion.
David Ogbonna was among the youngest student’s taking part. The bubbly Kylemore student with guitar in hand sang a joyous cover of David Gray’s ‘Babylon’.