ROSSES Community School in Dungloe has released a new album of Christmas songs, poems and stories featuring stars of the future and household names from the area.
Launched recently to a full house in Dungloe and live on the web through Rosses Radio, Meitheal na Nollag is a professional production and was put together through hard work of students, teachers, members of the community and local businesses.
A ‘Meitheal’ was traditionally a community gathering when neighbours came together to help and support each other whether it was taking in the turf, thatching a roof, or raising barn.
Deputy Principal, Ms Mary Forrestal said: “All schools have faced severe cutbacks and struggle daily to continue to provide a progressive and dynamic education for our students.
“The CD started off as a fund-raising opportunity for schools, but we quickly realised it was becoming much more than that.
“Students from the whole Rosses area, from 8 to 18, have come together in a celebration of music, community and the ‘is feidir linn’ attitude that marks the resilient nature of the people of the Rosses.”
Ms Forrestal said Meitheal na Nollag was a celebration of Christmas and all the wonderful emotions and experiences in evokes.
“It is a celebration of home and the Rosses. However, ‘home is a feeling, a connection, a sense of belonging – you don’t have to be home in a physical sense in order to be home for Christmas. This is what has become the real theme of the CD.
“We hope that this CD evokes happy memories of home for you whether you are away from your Rosses ‘home’, or the Rosses has become your new home.”
The album features school children from RCS, ten national schools in the area, many of whom also performed solo pieces, singing classic Christmas songs such as O Come All Ye Faithful, O Holy Night, The First Noel, Silent Night and many more.
The school was also kindly given the permission to use tracks by some very well-known artists. They include Soilse na Nollag, performed by Altan and the RTÉ Concert Orchestra; Daniel O’Donnell singing Christmas Day 1915 and Irish American supergroup Cherish The Ladies performing The Homecoming, written by band member Kathleen Boyle who is the daughter of Dungloe native Hugh Boyle and granddaughter of fiddler Neillidh Boyle.
Also invited to record tracks for the album were the local national schools who performed as an amalgamated choir, as well as St Crona’s NS who recorded two separate tracks, Hark The Herald Angels Sing and Go Tell It On The Mountain/Jesus.
“RCS are the lead on this project, however, it would not be the success it is without the participation and support of the ten national schools in our area.
“It is wonderful to be able to cement and celebrate this excellent partnership between our school through collaboration on this project,” said Ms Forrestal.