Music and Performance

Desmond Factor 2012

February 20, 2012

The Desmond Factor has become an annual event for Newcastle West over the last seven years. It is true to say that each year, the event becomes more professional due to the dedication and hard work of the teachers and the students that are involved.

This year, Desmond College decided to run the show for two nights and also hold a matinee performance for the local primary schools. At each show the audience were treated to a huge variety of performances, catering for many areas of the arts. Thursday Night, saw 30 acts perform including winners from the past. Edyta Soltys, Leanne Quilligan, Alicia Magner, Vincent Markham, Leon Bourke and Laura Fitzpatrick all graced the stage. The Desmond Factor Diaspora, combined with our current talented pupils, performed to 400 people for the Variety Show Night.

On Friday afternoon, local primary school children were treated to a sample of the acts. It was an exciting show as many little sisters and brothers grew in pride as they watched their siblings perform on stage. The children returned to their primary schools with dreams in their hearts of the day they too will take to the stage and perform at the Desmond Factor!

On Friday evening, the event came to a climax with Competition Night. In all 25 acts performed in front of a packed crowd of 530 people and 3 judges. We were delighted and honoured that Denis Allen (Writer of the famous song Limerick you’re my Lady) was able to join us as one of our judges. The other judges were well known dance co-ordinator and producer, Niamh Toomey along with Ola Goodman from Limericks School of Dance.

There were 6 categories of prizes, with a winner and runner up in each. The judges really had their work cut out for them as there were so many truly gifted performers.

The overall winner on the Desmond Factor was a wonderful and unique performance by James O’Connor on the Bodhran playing Avicci Level combined with dance music. It was a truly stunning and popular performance.

Group winners included Niamh Nolan, TY Drama (The Witches), Anastasija Kostockina (gymnastics and ballet combined), Rachel O’Mahony, Robert Toomey and The Show Goes On (Jeff Kadima, Van Mambouana and Damian Frackowiak).

Runners up in each category were Gemma Lacey, Shauna Cronin and Sarah Enright, Adrenalin dance (choreographed by Suan Murphy and 3rd year girls), Rose Magner, and the Republic of Desmond (drama sketch).

Dance Group ‘Adrenalin’ and Drama Sketch ‘Republic of Desmond’ both dedicated their win to their dear friend Darra O’Donovan who passed away in December.

Each performance would not have been out of place on any talent competition aired on any television station. It was a credit to the students, parents, teachers and the wider community, to have a production of such magnitude and a calibre of student that can perform the arts to such a wonderful level.

The show was made all the more special by the wonderful presenters on both nights. This difficult job was professionally done by the beautiful Nicola O’Brien and the charming Tom Flavin.

Special recognition must go to the gifted Daniel Cremin, for putting together the ‘X- Factor’ style introduction for each act. It was a master piece of technical ability.

We are already looking forward to our show next year!

Desmond Factor

January 16, 2012

Variety Show is on Thursday 26th January.

Competition on Friday 27th January.

Tickets are limited to two per student for Friday nights show, due to the huge demand.

Tickets €10 each.

Desmond Rocks!

August 8, 2011

From months to go to seconds to go suited up with my friends Cian and Dylan but our friend Robert got the whole suit thing wrong, he came as RAMBO. Cian on bass, Dylan on drums, Robert going mad with the mic and me on guitar. We were The Splinters. We rocked it out.



Outta Control

Luke Barry – Bass guitar, vocals: “Some craic
Steven Mac – Rhythm guitar, Lead vocals: “Great Experience
David Upton – Drums: “Out of Control
Ciaran Nolan – Lead guitar: “Awesome

We picked this song because we knew it would get the crowd going”  LUKE BARRY


Exciting, one of the biggest moments of my life! Hard work but it paid off! Singing ‘For the First Time’ by The Script was unreal, the atmosphere and the buzz was amazing and dancing to ‘Fascination’ was so lovely and energy filled.  An extremely proud moment in my life.



I remember the first time performing my song in front of everyone.  I had butterflies in my stomach, my hands were shaking.  Actually I changed the song several times and eventually I picked ‘White Horse’ by Taylor Swift.  I enjoyed the night very much and it was one of the best experiences here in Ireland for me, one I will take to Slovakia with me.



I’ve taken part in the Desmond Factor almost every year.  When my name was called out announcing I was the winner I couldn’t believe it was such an honour.  The atmosphere on the night was epic!  I always have a good laugh rehearsing and all the teachers involved give great support.



Desmond Factor 2011 was a great show of the school’s talent.  On the night my nerves were in a heap.  We practiced every day after school, which I really enjoyed.  Mr. Casey and other mentors were so helpful.  When the night came I was very excited.  I couldn’t believe it when the judge called out ‘winner of the alternative category – James O’Connor.’  I was so happy.  From then on I was known affectionately as ‘Bodhran Guy’!”



Desmond Factor was the best part of the school year for me.  It’s some laugh. Can’t wait for next year.  It gets better as the years go on.


Desmond Factor

August 8, 2011

by MC James Liston

The Desmond Factor is probably one of the highest profile events in the school year and it was a real honour when Mr. Casey asked me to present it.

I was really excited and a bit taken back as I wasn’t expecting it.

My co-host that night was Jessica Purcell and she was really calm and cool on the night and we’ve become great friends after the show just like all the cast have.

When the night came it was unbelievable. I had never been involved before so it was completely new to me but it was all class.

The crowd got it all from French raps to soulful singers to dancing divas. It was a really great night where evertyhing went right.

The crowd were brilliant.

The talent was unbelievable and we all knew why the judgest too so long. I could feel the crowd waiting impatiently for the result, but thankfully last year’s winner Leanne rescued us with an encore.

I really enjoyed the night and was delighted to present it. A big thanks to everyone who made it all happen. “Isn’t that right Ladies and Gentlemen?


August 8, 2011

Under the direction of Ms. Jude Keane and Ms. Heather McCarthy, our school choir performs at school masses, local carol services, Christmas celebrations and graduation ceremonies.