Northern Ireland news

Ulster Orchestra musician performs at north Belfast school as part of wellbeing events for staff

Staff at St Malachy's College in north Belfast enjoying the musical performance. Picture by Hugh Russell

BEAUTIFUL violin music yesterday rang out from the chapel of a north Belfast school as part of a series of wellbeing events for teachers and staff.

Ioana Petcu-Colan, associate leader of the Ulster Orchestra, gave two inspiring performances at St Malachy's College.

The 20 minute sessions were held in the college chapel with all school staff able to take time out from their day to watch the performance.

It was the first of the Ulster Orchestra's series of wellbeing events aimed at school staff, with hopes that other sessions can take place across the north.

Some of the orchestra's musicians, in partnership with Age NI, previously provided short performances and conversation with participants and residents in day centres and care homes.

Colin Stark, education liaison with the Ulster Orchestra, said: "This is about giving something from the orchestra to the entire school community, from the teachers to the cooks, the cleaners right up to the principal.

"It is something we have been trying to do for a long time during the pandemic, but with various restrictions we have been unable to get into schools - it is about wellbeing for staff and allowing them time to just sit and listen to the music.

"Staff at the school were able to come in and listen to Ioana perform, she did two 20 minute sessions, so they were able to come to the college chapel and take time out of their day and listen to her play. We hope that this will be a long-running series and we hope other schools will also be able to hear the orchestra in the months ahead."

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