Students at St Louis Grammar School in Kilkeel have launched a charity album in support of a local mental health charity at their recent Spring concert.

The Sixth Form Music Technology students recorded and produced two songs to raise mental health awareness and much needed funding for “Mind your mate and yourself” (MyMy) as part of a Music Technology project.

MyMy is a voluntary and community sector counselling organisation with extensive experience in suicide prevention and intervention. “They support families and communities dealing with various health issues as well as providing services that will help support individuals struggling with bereavement, self-harming, relationship problems, bullying, mental/physical health and financial issues.  Very few communities are isolated from these problems and for some people experiencing such issues, they can often find aspects of their every-day life overwhelming.

The two songs that feature on the Album are ‘John Condon’, sung by Year 10 student Niamh McDowell, who is 2017 All Ireland Scór na nÓg solo singing champion, and ‘Video Games’ which was composed and sung by Year 13 student Aoife McQuaid. Both songs were performed and produced by Music Technology students with help from their teacher Mr Tim Brown. Both students are delighted to use these songs to raise awareness for this vital and worthy charity.

The CD produced by St Louis Grammar School students will raise money for mental health charity MyMy
The CD produced by St Louis Grammar School students will raise money for mental health charity MyMy

Year 10 student Niamh McDowell said, “I chose a song called ‘John Condon’, which I heard recorded by Niamh Parsons, and thought the lyrics were brilliantly captivating as its tells a story about a fourteen-year-old boy, the same age as myself, fighting in the first world war. The Music Technology students in school asked me if they could record and arrange the song for the album. I am so glad that the money is going to “MyMy” as issues such as suicide and mental health are prominent in today’s society and it’s good that more awareness is being raised.”

Aoife McQuaid who both wrote and performed the song “Video Game”, whose lyrics are linked to mental health issues, told us about the inspiration and meaning behind the song, “In a video game you are given instructions and can pause anytime. If it gets too much or if you make a mistake you can always go back and try again. But life is a game with no instructions and no pause button. The fear of being judged, the fear of failure and wishing that we could change the past are some of the greatest curses that we inflict upon ourselves. Holding on to these fears can cause so much anxiety and can make you feel worthless. The message in the lyrics is that everyone can feel this way, and that's okay and there is always someone who can help”.

Music Technology teacher, Mr. Brown, oversaw the recording and offering his professional experience and expertise in the mixing and editing stages of producing the tracks. A former professional musician with the famous 90’s group, “Boo Radleys”, he was able to give advice and musical guidance to the students at each stage of the production.

He said “I gave the students the task of producing recordings as part of their coursework. As we looked into the criteria the students decided to take it up a level and put the recordings into the public domain and raise money for a local charity. It demonstrates great initiative and compassion on behalf of the students. They organised the singers and musicians and took control of the recording sessions using our school studio. When I heard what they had done musically, and how they had applied their technical skills, I was blown away and was really impressed with what they had produced. The amount of musical talent in St. Louis is outstanding and these students are a credit to the school”.

Mr Martin, Principal, stated “It is important that we as a school are able to help those in need. We have a strong tradition of supporting charitable causes here in St Louis and I am pleased the students could use their talents in this way to raise money for Mind Your Mate and Yourself. I urge parents, students and the local community to get online and download the album!”

The songs will be released on  iTunes, Amazon Music, and other download sites in the next few days and everyone is encouraged to download the songs to help raise awareness of MyMy.

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