By Niamh Kelleher and Olivia Klostermann
Over the past 50 years, every house has battled it out, from lunchtime rehearsals to screaming Cruci on the night, as all houses viciously compete for the coveted Music Festival trophy. The sounds of joyous cheers to heartbroken tears have echoed from the humble halls of the DRC to the ICC stage, worthy of Ariana Grande. Fast forward to the past ten years, there has been an array of winners and obvious losers. It’s the question burning on everyone’s mind: “Who’s gonna win?” So, here’s a quick rundown on the past 10 years of Music Festival winners:
In 2012, Ward was the winning choir of the night with their 1982 hit ‘Africa’ by Toto. The song was a huge success at Loreto, however, it was not such a large success in the rest of the world. Despite the artist Toto winning a Grammy in 1983, it was not for this Loreto winner, but rather for his other hit song called ‘Rosanna’. Ward had a double win that night, also receiving the award for Best Conductor, Amanda Clarke. Mulhall however gave Ward house a run for its money, winning Spirit Cup and Best Accompanist, Phoebe Galbraith.
In 2013, Ward’s joy continued, once again winning House Choir with their song ‘Mr Blue Sky’ by Electric Light Orchestra. Their success however was shared by Maye, winning Spirit Cup, Aston, with Carla Arcuri winning Best Conductor and Mornane, with Annie Ya winning Best Accompanist. This day would have been a happy one for many Loreto students and parents.
2014 was a celebratory year for Kuring-Gai, which won House Choir for their 1995 song ‘Adiemus’ by Karl Jenkins, the composer of the band, Songs of Sanctuary. Kendall started their two-year winning streak of Spirit Cup in 2014 (who knew Kendall’s winning eclipse started so long ago? - look at 2022), Barry’s Grace Langford won Best Conductor and Mulhalll’s Natalie Oong won Best Accompanist.
In 2015, Mornane won House Choir with their absolute classic ‘I Wanna Hold Your Hand’ by The Beatles. I’m sure all the parents and grannies were singing along in the audience. This year seemed to have been the year for M houses as Mulhall won best Conductor with Natalie Oong (who must have been exceptionally musically talented) and Maye won Best Accompanist with Jayda Gursel. Kendall, as already mentioned, continued their two-year winning streak with Spirit Cup.
2016 marked Aston’s first House Choir win in quite a while, with their Natasha Bedingfield song ‘Unwritten’. Their conductor, Yasbel Say, also won Best Conductor this year, obviously to Aston’s delight. Spirit Cup was won by Ward, beginning another two-year streak for them and Kuring-Gai won Best Accompanist with Xinyu (Sabrina) Chen.
Maye house claimed their first House Choir win in 6 years with their rendition of Neil Diamond’s slightly solemn country bop ‘Soolaimon’. Ward continued their winning streak of Spirit Cup, Laura Campbell from Mornane won Best Conductor (beginning the ritual for the Campbell family - look at 2021’s Best Conductor) and Aston’s Gahee Bong won Best Accompanist.
Barry won the Best Choir trophy with Joni Mitchell’s ‘Big Yellow Taxi’ whilst Kuringai’s Ginger Soames claimed Best Conductor. Stephanie Arnold made her debut as Best Accompanist for Kendall, paving the way for her Music Festival glory in the next coming years. Mulhall went on to claim the Spirit Cup, spreading the love for Music Festival!
2019 marked Barry’s second year in a row of winning the Music Fest title. The British singer-songwriter, Boy George’s ‘Karma Chameleon,’ Barry won both Best Choir and Best Conductor. Well done Barry! A great introduction to Loreto for the Barry Class of 2024. However, Aston’s amazing pianist Emma Bower took the prize of Best Accompanist and Ward won the much-sought-after Spirit Cup.
(Kuring-Gai absolutely smashed Somebody to Love)
The year of Covid. Fear struck the hearts of the whole Loreto community when the Music Festival was cancelled at the ICC. Luckily, resourcefulness and innovation took the reign as our community developed Loreto’s first-ever online Music Festival. I’m sure many of us cherish the fond memories of singing into a phone while cramped in our cupboard, the jumpscare of seeing your face flash up on the screen and the mini-Music Fest parties thrown to watch the much-anticipated recording! Mornane’s hit ‘Warriors’ by Imagine Dragons stole the show as the People’s Choice award, with Barry winning both Spirit Cup and Best Accompanist for Monica Teng. Finally, the Best Conductor of the evening was awarded to Kendall’s Stephanie Arnold.
With the return of Music Fest at the ICC, Mornane once again won the Music Fest title with their amazing rendition of ‘High Hopes’ by Panic at the Disco. The whole stage was filled with a buzz of excitement - and laughter - as they sang their hearts out! Mornane also claimed the Best Conductor with much-loved Maddie Campbell, whilst Monica Teng won Barry the Best Accompanist yet again! Mulhall also deserves some recognition for their Spirit Cup win - well done Mulhall!
Kendall claimed their first win in ten years with George Michael’s ‘Freedom 90’’ - the audience was blown away by their stunning performance, led by Lauren Lawer, who won the much-deserved Best Conductor. Kuring-Gai was overjoyed with their Spirit Cup win, whilst Barry - for the third year in a row - won Best Accompanist at the hands of Katrina Huang! A very musically talented house.
That’s a quick recap of the winning songs from the past decade and a trip down memory lane for many of us. The real question burning in everyone’s mind is:
“Who will win 2023?”
The Loreto Archives; photos courtesy of Nicola Ashworth