Pupils over the years in Abbeyleix South National school have enjoyed listening and responding to the music of Sharon Shannon in music class, a wonderfully gifted and naturally talented musician. Her musical abilities are world renowned and she is a much sought-after performer across the globe having performed in the US, Canada, Europe, Asia and Australia.
Our 3rd and 4th class have just finished an extensive study of some of her best-known tunes. We then followed up on this study by writing to the musician herself, and from here our letters journey began. We had to find her address, if all else failed Mrs Wallace was going to try and personally present them at an upcoming concert.
We contacted her Facebook page after Mr Wallace consulted with an industry contact and waited patiently for a reply. In the meantime, with thanks to Deirdre Seale who through her myriad of contacts obtained Sharon’s address, the letters were on their way.
Over the following weekend the most fantastic message arrived on Facebook. Sharon Shannon replied and said that she had received the 3rd and 4th class letters and they were so, so sweet!
The most amazing news is that she had offered to come to meet us, play for us, play with us and answer any questions the children may have. Her time was extremely limited as she was performing at a venue that evening, but we were so appreciative that she has found the time to visit our school.
Sharon Shannon would be coming to our school on Friday the Friday 17th January 2020, we were all so excited we couldn’t wait.
The children all made handmade banners of welcome.
The children, teachers and parents lined the avenue to the school to welcome her. The screams of excitement as she arrived reached even higher levels when Sharon and her team walked down greeting everyone as she arrived.
We then moved to the G.P. Hall that was brightly decorated for Sharons visit.
All classes from juniors to 6th performed with her. While she played some of her best known tunes
Then students in our school who are members of Spink Comhaltas had the opportunity to have a little seisíun with her also.
We then moved to Mrs Wallace’s room where she met the pupils who wrote the letters that captured her attention, they asked questions, took photos and went autograph hunting. two of our pupils also had a chance to play individually with her.
Our time with Sharon Shannon sadly had to come to an end. We loved having her visit Abbeyleix South National School and appreciate her giving us so much time from her busy schedule. As a little thank you we presented her with a basket of beautiful cupcakes from Wendys Cakes.
Thank you Sharon for a fabulous memory for our staff, students and parents.
All photographs with special thanks to Arthur Harvey and Alf Harvey Photographer