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Local Talent Showcased at Christmas Celebrations Concert

The very best of young local talent was on show at The Burnavon last Friday evening as the Cookstown venue hosted their annual Christmas Celebrations Concert.

The concert showcases a few of the groups supported through Mid Ulster District Council’s Arts and Cultural Development programme, delivered by The Burnavon, including representatives from the Traditional Music in Schools group, Cookstown Folk Club and Cookstown Youth Choir take to the stage.

Under the expert guidance of Meta Bell, the Cookstown Youth Choir once again hit the right notes with the large crowd in attendance, running through a repertoire of Christmas classics to help get everyone in the festive spirit.

Donald Canavan’s Traditional Music in Schools is now well established in Mid Ulster, with over 2000 pupils taught how to play instruments as a result of the programme. On Friday night, around 60 of the current crop took to the stage, along with fellow tutor Ryan McGarrity, and got the crowd’s toes tapping and hands clapping with a great medley of tunes.

The Cookstown Folk Club was established to give an outlet to those who had completed the Traditional Music in Schools programme, and the young musicians went through a great range of tunes and songs both classic and modern, as well as some crowd favourites with a contemporary twist.

Leading proceedings on the night was compere Malachi Cush, himself finishing what has been a difficult year on a high. He thanked the audience for their support and good wishes following his accident, and showed that he has lost none of his showmanship as he took centre stage after the interval alongside fellow musicians Plunkett McGartland and Matthew Campbell to bring proceedings to a wonderful conclusion with a brace of his own hits and some festive favourites.

It set the tone for the Burnavon’s programme of Christmas activities, with Santa’s Grotto, Christmas-themed workshops and some cracking entertainment including Aladdin in pantomime to look forward to in the coming weeks. For more information visit www.burnavon.com.

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