We were delighted to welcome back eleven Old Columbans today as speakers for this year’s Transition Year Careers Morning. The speakers took part in some career “speed dating” rotating around small groups of pupils, speaking with them about their roles and taking questions for 10 minutes. It was a great event and we were delighted to see our former pupils report great successes in their careers to date. The speakers this year were Jaspar Pickersgill (Royal Navy Engineer), Klara Douglas (Airbnb), Adam Philpot (Brooks Sports), Emma Mallon (Screentime ShinAwiL), Georgie Smithwick (Diageo), Aifric Tracey (J&S Automotive), Jack Dunne (Windmill Lane Recording Studios), Emma Klyne (Leading Social), Tom Crampton (Actavo), Jessica Dean (eBay) and Ian McKinley (Benetton Treviso). A huge thank you to all the speakers for giving so generously of their time.

The Reverend B.W.N. Walsh Memorial Concert was held last night in the Chapel to mark the Walsh Fund for restoring the organ. It was a superb evening of high-class music-making, particularly by the ‘headline act’, the Old Columban Colm Carey.  Click here for some photographs.

The large audience was welcomed by the Sub-Warden, Julian Girdham, who thanked all subscribers to the Fund, including the Walsh family, who were well-represented. Then former Chaplain Michael Heaney gave a tribute to his predecessor ‘Bert’, a much-loved long-serving colleague, who as well as being Chaplain and a teacher of Religious Studies was a distinguished Head of the Irish Department.

Then the concert began. Currently Master of Music of the Chapels Royal, HM Tower of London, Colm Carey started his career on the organ as a teenager in our Chapel under David Milne and Chris Jenkins, and has gone on to an impressive performing and recording career. His complete mastery of the instrument was obvious from the opening piece, a spectacular delivery of Egil Hovland’s Toccata, ‘Now thank we all our God’.  Angela Hicks (soprano) sang exquisitely throughout the concert, including a stunningly controlled version of Schubert’s Litanei auf das Fest ‘Aller Seelen’ and the engaging love song ‘Sweeter than Roses’ by Purcell.

The choir, who in December travel to Amsterdam to perform in several venues, gave us Bach’s ‘Sheep May Safely Graze’, and Mozart’s beautiful ‘Laudate Dominum’ in support of Angela Hicks.

Colm Carey’s virtuosic skills were in evidence in a wonderfully varied programme, the rest of which included pieces by Locklair, Hakim and Karg-Elert, and a memorable Durufle ‘Veni Creator’, with plainsong intervals by Angela Hicks.

The concert concluded with the choir’s resounding rendition of George Hewson’s “Let us Now Praise Famous Men'”. The standing ovation for organist and soloist at the end was thoroughly deserved. It was a superb evening, and a deserved tribute to Reverend Walsh, and is now memorialised by a new brass plaque on the organ casing.

Refreshments and chat were enjoyed by all in the Big Schoolroom afterwards.

The funeral of Old Columban Orla McCooey will take place in the College Chapel at 2pm on Saturday 24th September.
Those attending are advised that there is likely to be a large attendance, and space is limited, and they should arrive in the College well in advance. May Orla rest in peace.