We know the Score

Setanta Bursary

Alan Leech with the children of Realt na Mara School

On December 14th last, Setanta joined the winners of the choral bursary, Réalt na Mara National School, for a wonderful concert in The Redemptorist Church Dundalk. This was the first time the choir had taken on a project like this and the overall consensus is that it has been an outstanding success.!!

The idea of the choral bursary came about as we were looking for some way to commemorate 35 years of singing. What better way for a choir to do this than to pass on the joy of singing to the next generation?

Following a selection process Réalt na Mara School were chosen as the worthy winners. !!Over the course of the Bursary, the staff and students of Réalt na Mara all benefied from the expertise of vocal coach Alan Leech. Alan is a great communicator and facilitator and with his vast experience both as a singer and teacher brought his love of music to each classroom within the school and in particular to the school choir. The result of this work was indeed very evident at the fial concert where the children sang with great confience and joy, both on their own and with Setanta. !!


Alan Leech with the children of Realt na Mara School

Great credit must go to the Principal and staff of Realt na Mara, with special thanks to Ms. Adele Clune and Ms. Mc Ardle who were directly involved with the choir. Obviously having someone come into the school disrupting the everyday routine cannot have been easy.


Alan Leech with the children of Realt na Mara School
However, a warm welcome was always received and for that we thank them. !To quote Phil McCaul, Principal of Réalt na Mara, ℀“Winning the bursary from the Setanta Choir has been a wonderfully enriching experience for the school community in Réalt na Mara. What began as a journey into the unknown has become a seamless part of our school life”.!
Alan Leech with the children of Realt na Mara School

The bursary reached out to a large number of people and we hope that it has inspired the children, their teachers, families and friends. As a choir we obviously recognise the wonderful benefis and power of singing, and we hope that this project will encourage many more to join choirs both now and in the future and experience that joy for themselves.!

Setanta recognise the contribution made by Create Louth, the Arts Service of Co. Louth without whose generosity this Bursary would not have been possible.

Below is a letter from Denis Darcy of the Arts Office commending the project.


Many congratulations on The Schools Choir Project, the concert was a truly wonderful occasion, please pass on our thanks to the members of Setanta, their generosity of spirit towards the young people on the day was much in evidence, and their encouragement and support for the school children certainly added to the occasion. Also convey our thanks and congratulations to Alan Leech, Alan is a great communicator and facilitator, the standard he achieved was truly great , the young choir certainly enjoyed singing ,and the experience of performing with a choir of Setanta’s standard will have made a lasting impression.

Setanta and Create louth ,The Arts Service of Louth County Council have sown the seeds of professional choral singing in Réalt Na Mara School , I have no doubt the school will build on the skills Alan has passed on to the teachers and pupils. Pass on our congratulations to the principal , teachers and pupils of Réalt na Mara School, they should be very proud, the choir is a credit to the school , and the commitment of staff and pupils paid off. It was a joyful occasion.

Looking forward to working with Setanta in the future and good luck with your 2015 season.

Best Wishes

Denis Darcy
Arts Office,
Louth County Council, Town Hall, Dundalk, Co. Louth