The Desmond Factor has become an annual event for Desmond College, 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.
The audience were awe struck by the professional attitude of the performing pupils and the professional screens and camera shots. It is true that there is a science in producing such an event; attempting to merge appropriate lighting, slick sound and creative camera work with an ‘X factor’ sound introduction for each performer.
With good decision making by our organisers and technicians, every piece of the jigsaw fit together to give the public an outstanding nights entertainment.
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!
The event came to a climax with Competition Night on Friday. Even in competition it was so evident that students helped out their fellow contestants, which shows the positive and caring ethos of the College.
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 Limerick’s 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).
Particularly poignant was the dedication by Dance Group ‘Adrenalin’ and Drama Sketch ‘Republic of Desmond’ of 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!
Thank you to Donie O’Conor and Bridie Murphy for the photographs.
View more photos of the Desmond Factor on Bridie Murphy Photography’s Facebook page: