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History of Cór Fhéile na Scol in Cork

In 1947 a very interesting experiment was tried when Fr. Matthew, President of the Fr. Matthew Hall, decided on the advice of Proinsias Ó Ceallaigh, B.Mus,L.R.A.M., Inspector of Music in Primary Schools, to inaugurate a non-competitive festival for schools: Cór Fhéile na Scol. When it was founded in Cork in 1947 it was the first such festival in the country.

The idea caught on and still to this day, approximately 60 schools comprising over 3,500 pupils combine annually to show the public what is being done for music and the arts in Primary Education.

The festival was run by a committee of teachers on a voluntary basis under its director, Proinsias Ó Súilleabháin, Cigire Timireach Ceoil. For many years the Cór Fhéile catered for both Primary and Post-Primary schools, with both matinee and night performances over two weeks.

A festival anthem was composed on the occasion of its 21st year - 'Amhrán na Féile'. An Br. S.E. Ó Cearúill a scríobh an dán agus an B. C.B. Ó  Treasaigh a scríobh an ceol. For its 50th a competition was held to select a new anthem. The winner was  'A Sheanchathair Aoibhinn' composed by Áine Ní Charthaigh, Blarney.

Over the years many illustrious visitors have attended the Cór Fhéile. Amongst them were The Minister of Education, General Mulcahy (1955) and Dr. Aloys Fleischmann in 1972.

The Festival has endured over the years primarily through the ongoing commitment of a voluntary group of teachers. It is now staged annually in the City Hall - night performances only - still over 2 weeks for primary schools.

The Cór Fhéile is a unique festival, unique in its atmosphere, in its approach to music and in the fundamental reason for its attractiveness, which is that it is non-competitive. Thus the festival is much nearer to the fundamental idea of a festival - a time for gaiety and joy, expressed by the children through music.

Items include choirs, action songs, dance, movement, choral verse, mime and various types of bands.

In short the Cór Fheile is an outstanding example of co-operation between parents, teachers and children.

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