Background to Vocal Mania Project:
Vocal Mania is an exciting new youth choir organised and presented by Athlone Drug Awareness Group and Andante Music School. Using music and song as educational tools Vocal Mania aims to encourage young people to:
• Participate in the Arts
• Develop a greater awareness of alcohol and drug abuse.
• Develop a strong sense of community and team work
• Be healthy, strong and confident
• Be happy and positive
The Vocal Mania organisers were delighted to have secured vital support from AIT Healthy Campus and the Student’s Union. First year students from the Music Technology Department also played their part on the night assisting with sound, stage management, lighting & supervision, said Frankie Keena, Chairperson ADAG.
Primarily a fun project Frankie explained that while supporting young people, Vocal Mania is also about promoting drug awareness. Health promotion stands on display showed a diverse range of information which was geared towards both youth and parents.
“Singing from the same hymn sheet”, Liz Fletcher said that both ADAG and Andante Music School believe strongly in the power of music and its capacity to get a positive message across to young people. Through music and song, Vocal Mania will strive to promote positivity based on a belief that confident young people can and will say “no to drug and alcohol abuse”, she added.
On the night the Radisson Hotel swayed to the sound of 240 Transition Year students singing their hearts out. The Vocal Mania Youth Choir sang songs by Coldplay, Ed Sheerin, Amy Winehouse , Katy Perry and Jessie J to mention but a few. Singing to a packed house, the students under the baton of Liz Fletcher, Andante Music School raised the roof with an energetic concert bursting at the seams with talent. All five local secondary schools took part in Vocal Mania, namely The Marist College, Summerhill College, Our Lady’s Bower, St Aloysius College and Athlone Community College.
Cllr. Keena thanked all the schools and TY Co-ordinators for their co-operation and emphasised the importance of providing consistent support and information to young people on the negative effects of drugs and alcohol pointing out that there is no better way to address the issue head on than through music and song. The success of Vocal Mania was based he said on the simple fact that both Athlone Drug Awareness Group and Andante Music School were singing from the same hymn sheet and believe deeply in the power of music and its capacity to get a strong message across to young people.
The feedback from the schools, parents & students was fantastic and very heartening, he said.