Students and staff at Strathearn School in Belfast enjoyed a Monday morning like no other yesterday, as the Band of the Irish Guards delivered a ‘pop-up’ concert in the school Assembly Hall. Music pupils were also given a rare opportunity to perform with the band on the school stage, and one lucky upper sixth student – Naomi Cochrane – has been invited to perform with The Guards this Saturday afternoon in front of thousands at the Belfast International Tattoo in the SSE Arena, Belfast. To the pupils’ delight, the band played a wide range of music, including pop tracks from Daft Punk, movie soundtracks from The Incredibles and James Bond, and classic Irish folk tuneage like Danny Boy, alongside traditional marches. The Band of the Irish Guards is one of five bands in the Foot Guards Regiments in the Household Division whose main role is to guard the British monarch. The band is responsible for performing public duties at Buckingham Palace and at state occasions, including the Trooping of the Colour and royal weddings. They recently performed at the wedding of Harry and Meaghan Markle, entertaining crowds in Windsor before the nuptials, and playing as the couple left St George’s Chapel.
“The fact that while we’re here in Belfast for the Tattoo and that we’re also able to visit local schools is, from a community engagement perspective, really great,” said musical director of the Band of the Irish Guards, Captain Craig Bywater. “It’s a great chance for the pupils to ask questions about a military career and it will also bring inspiration to their musicianship. It’s not often you get a chance to sit down and play with a military band in your assembly hall!”
Nicola Connery, Strathearn’s Principal, said, ‘It was wonderful to welcome the Band of the Irish Guards to Strathearn. We enjoyed a fabulous morning of music, and we are honoured that one of our pupils, Naomi Cochrane, will be playing with the Band this weekend at the Belfast International Tattoo.”
The Band of the Irish Guards pictured after performing at Strathearn Girls School, Belfast on Monday 3rd September. Included are some musicians from the school who performed with the band.
Pupils listening to the Band of the Irish Guards pictured performing at Strathearn Girls School, Belfast on Monday 3rd September. Included (left) are some musicians from the school who performed with the band.
Some musicians from Strathearn Girls School, Belfast pictured performing with The Band of the Irish Guards at the school on Monday 3rd September.
Some musicians from Strathearn Girls School, Belfast pictured prior to performing with the Band of the Irish Guards at the school on Monday 3rd September. L to R: Lauren Mooney, Sophie Thomas, Sarah West, Elly Ryan, Sophie Hagan, Anna Hughes and Jemima Thomas. Included are Mrs Nicole Connery (School Principal) and Brian Wilson (Belfast Tattoo).
Violinist Naomi Cochrane from Strathearn Girls School, Belfast who will perform with the Band of the Irish Guards at the matinee performance of the Belfast International Tattoo on Saturday 8th September pictured with Mrs Nicola Connery, School Principal (second from left) and Diane Anderson and Brian Wilson (Belfast Tattoo).