Ballacottier pupils shine at international celebration of music


Children at a local primary school have returned home after a trip to remember to an international music and folk dance festival.

Ballacottier Primary School choir joined more than 4,000 participants at the Llangollen International Music Eisteddfod in Wales.

Pupils, teachers and a small number of parents travelled with the Isle of Man Steam Packet Company en-route to North East Wales for the annual event.

Each year around 50,000 visitors make the annual pilgrimage to the small Welsh town to experience a unique combination of performances, ranging from international choirs and acapella singing to classical opera.

Alfie Boe and the Kaiser Chiefs were among the headline acts invited to perform at this year’s festival.

Katie Lawrence, choir conductor and musical coordinator at Ballacottier School, said: ‘Performing at the festival was such a magical experience.

‘The children worked so hard in preparation for the trip and there was a wonderful reaction to our performance from the audience.

‘It was the first time the choir has performed outside the Isle of Man so to see so many people enjoy our music made it incredibly worthwhile. A big thank you to all the companies, organisations and individuals who made this trip possible. It was inspiring for all the young people and a fitting end to the trip on our journey home when we were able to sing Ellan Vannin on board the Manannan on our national day.’

As well as the Steam Packet Company, which supported the trip by assisting with the cost of return travel, the choir also received backing from Auxesia, Tower Insurance, Culture Vannin, RL360, the Arts Council and the Malcolm Scott Dickinson Trust.

Auxesia has long supported young people’s involvement in music and culture as it looks to spot and help nurture talent.

Belinda Watson, Finance Director at Auxesia, said: ‘Music and the arts is such a wonderful subject that is so important for children to have access to.

‘It was so worthwhile to see first-hand the enjoyment and experience the pupils at Ballacottier gained from the Eisteddfod. It is a brilliant cultural festival and we were delighted to be given the opportunity to support such a fantastic trip.’

Isle of Man Steam Packet Company Chief Executive Mark Woodward added: ‘Llangollen Eisteddfod is a brilliant cultural festival and the whole experience was clearly a joy for all the pupils at Ballacottier.

‘We were delighted to support such a fantastic trip for the young people and hear about their inspiring performance.’



Photographs: Ballacottier School Choir with teachers Katie Lawrence and Trish Whyley, Isle of Man Steam Packet Company marketing and online manager Renee Caley, Auxesia director Stuart Colligon and finance director Belinda Watson and representatives from supporters RL360, Tower Insurance and the Isle of Man Arts Council.

Other photos from choir arriving/performing in Wales and travelling home with the Steam Packet.