The annual Culwick Singing and Choral Competitions took place on Wednesday.  The competition is dedicated to the memory of Florence Culwick.  Ms Culwick was a music and choir teacher here in Alex.  By all accounts, she was a much loved, hard-working and inspiring teacher who passed on her love and enthusiasm for music to all she taught. She died suddenly in 1929 after many years of dedicated service to the school.

The Culwick Choral Cup was presented to the school in her memory.

It is quite fitting that her legacy remains on in what can only be described as a truly unique competition; one that promotes self-directed learning, leadership and teamwork and all through the medium of choral singing.  No other school in Ireland has such a competition!

The Culwick Choral Competition has been running for 87 years and has without a doubt become one of the highlights of the calendar here in Alex.

Our adjudicator, Ms Mary Pembrey commented on the outstanding talent of the groups – be it the choirs, soloists, conductors, accompanists and the additional instrumentalists who included guitarists, bass guitarists, saxophones and percussionists.

For those of you who are new to the school community, it is one of the unique aspects of the senior school.  In the case of the 1st to 3rd years – each form prepare a two-part prescribed choral piece.  In the case of the seniors – years IV to VI, they compete against each other in their representative year groups and must prepare a three-part choral piece.

It is up to each group to interpret the music be it in terms of tempo, additional arrangement and presentation.  Although it’s essentially a choral competition, it really is more about teamwork and creativity. Every year we are blown away by the standard of music as well as the level of thought and preparation put into each group’s  performance.

I have no doubt that Ms Culwick would be very proud of all of the hard work and preparation that each group has put in.

Special thanks to our adjudicator Ms Mary Pembrey of DIT, to Mr Barrett for MCing, to Mr Rycraft (Head of Music), music department staff and finally to Ms O’Sullivan who co-ordinated the day’s competitions and events.  Special mention to 6th year student,Sthiti Padhy who has been following all things Culwick for the past 6 weeks with her video.  We really can’t wait to see her documentary about the competition!

Miriam Ross


Solo singing competitions

The Jean Dolan Cup (years I to III)

1st Prize: Daisy Dillon-Malone

2nd Prize: Nancy Henry

Very highly commended: Rachel Wallace, Lara McCaughey and Zoe Maguire

Highly commended: Alex Natin, Alanna Byrne

Commended: Rachel O’Sullivan: Rachel O’Sullivan, Layla Noone


The Geraldine Temple-Lang Cup (years to IV to VI)

1st prize: Zita Schuster

2nd prize: Leah Temple-Lang

Very highly commended: Amani O’Reilly, Ava Murphy

Highly commended: Katie Warren, Ashna Henry

Commended: Eliza Duffy, Siofradh McEvoy


Choral Competitions 

Years I to III

Gladys Ruddock Prize (presentation): 2R

Anne Cassidy Award (accompanist): Rachel Malone (3R)

Brenda Wilkes Award (conductor): Mo Llo (3R)

The Culwick Cup (self-trained choirs): 3H


Years IV to VI

Gladys Ruddock Prize (presentation): 6th Year

J. Pomeroy Award (accompanist): Tianyiwa Xie

Molly Dunlop Cup (conductor): Jemima Turley (4th Year)

Gladys Jones Cup (self-trained choirs): 4th Years