FETSS Factor by Ryan McMullen

A comprehensive report on our inaugural talent show!
13-June-24
FETSS Factor by Ryan McMullen

On Sunday, 21 April, a huge crowd that included many Firhouse Educate Together Secondary School students, their parents, and teachers, flocked to the Civic Theatre in Tallaght as our school showcased the plenty of talent we hold, in our very own show ‘FETSS Factor.’

It was a fine day weather-wise, and it was almost certain the show would be described similar, come the end.

That turned out to be true, with Conor Harrison (Chairperson) claiming there was a ‘very tough decision’ to make when speaking about having to decide on the awards winners after the show.

Following the event, he also stated: “It was an absolute joy and a privilege to be one of the judges at today’s very special event. Congrats to all of our performers - you are all winners! And well done to Eimear (Mac Court, Music and Business Teacher) and the entire team for making this FETSS Factor happen. What talent we have in our school!!”

The show started at 3pm, and hosts Hussain Abbar and Jael Pila Di Wumba, from second year, kicked us off. They explained the running order of the event which saw seven student acts perform prior to the fifteen-minute interval and the same amount following it. Afterwards, they introduced the first act.

That was Transition Year student, Luke Smith, who performed an excellent piece of music called ‘Clair de Lune’ by Claude Debussy on the Piano.

Next on stage came double act Jasmine Murphy and Mia Bailey from first year. They sang an amazing cover of Olivia Rodrigo’s song ‘Drivers Licence'.

Third years’ Layla Sheridan and Joseph Sotaridona also featured – a superb version of ‘Let her go’ by Passenger, was smashed out by Joseph whilst Layla played the guitar.

‘That’s life’ - the Frank Sinatra classic, is highly praised, but a cover of the song by third year Charlie Hinde was arguably better.

Charlie produced amazing vocals throughout his time on stage and he was very deserved of a standing novation from the packed-out theatre afterwards.

The ‘heavy stuff’ came from TY students Tuva Mard Kavanagh and Lucy Maguire as they played the song ‘Boulevard of broken dreams’ by American rock group Green Day. That was fantastic to say the least.

Our first band then took to the stage, it included Yasmin Knowles, Mia Farrell, Laragh Mooney and Saul Woodfull, all from TY. The three girls sang John Legend’s ‘All of Me’ as Saul added the background music on piano.

A large group of second and third year students were all part of The Firhouse Educate Together Secondary School Drama Society, who had a hectic schedule in the week leading up to the show – the night before it, they performed for one hour in Tallaght’s Rua Red, which is situated beside the venue where FETSS Factor took place, before taking to the stage at the venue, the following afternoon.

They amazed the audience when they brilliantly performed ten minutes of the play called ‘Dont feed the animals.

Following the commencement of that, a fifteen-minute-long interval was enjoyed by the attendees who had the opportunity to buy food and drink at the Belenut Cafe that sits inside the Civic.

Also occurring at the break, was a raffle that was hosted by the school, with its’ funds going towards a larger production of a similar show in the school next year. Many local businesses kindly donated the prizes - Thanks to all of them for their support.

Joseph, the younger brother of TY student Lucy - who had performed prior to the pause, drew the first ticket. Notably, he picked out the raffle ticket that was held by his own family and grabbed a prize.

Many other items were taken from the table respective winners – it just highlighted the fantastic businesses, near to the school.

An 8ball golf driver worth €800 at retail price was auctioned off following the draw, one golfer in the crowd was the highest bidder and took it home for a whopping €270.

Following the interval, Erica Reilly and Emmet Lucas from first year got the crowd going as they did a ‘country-like’ mashup of 2 songs, ‘Kiss Me’ by Sixpence None The Richer, as well as ‘Valerie’ from Amy Winehouse.

Ninth to perform was TY student Ethan Mahon, he played Jamie Duffy’s song ‘Solas’ on the piano.

The high-quality sound stood out in his music. It was clear he had put a lot of preparation into his music ahead of the day.

It was a family affair when brothers Jude and Saul Woodfull came on stage – Jude was on guitar as well as vocals, whilst Saul was the guitarist, during a rendition of ‘Hushabye Mountain’ from the 1968 film ‘Chitty Chitty Bang Bang’, the song was originally released by Dick Van Dyke.

Second year, Charlie Hall, impressed as she superbly hit the drums to Rock Band Surf Curse’s song ‘Freaks’.

Everyone in attendance experienced magnificent singing and dancing from Slawa Jaskiewicz – she actually sang in a mix of English and Japanese during the instrumental track of ‘My time’ from Omiri.

Another Green Day hit was belted out by Erica Reilly in First Year – Alex Whelan of the year above (Second year) was the guitarist in that performance.

Saul Woodfull closed the show, with his third appearance on the day – this time, playing a mashup of multiple songs, as was arranged by himself prior to the event.

To raise money for Jigsaw back in March, a group involving some our teachers called ‘Firhouse Flatleys’ did Irish dancing, which they performed after all our amazing acts were finished showcasing their talent, and the judges began choosing their winners.

The event was judged by a panel that included two members of the Firhouse ETSS team, and one person from the school board – those were: Chairperson, Conor Harrison, Deputy Principal, Andrew Maloney, and Board of Management Community Nominee, plus former Social Democrats councillor for Rathfarnham and Tempologue, Carly Bailey.

In the end, the judges vote saw different awards given to the following students:

Junior cycle award – Erica Reilly and Emmet Lucas (First year).

Senior Cycle award – Ethan Mahon (Transition year).

Firhouse Spirit award – Hussain Abbar and Jael Pila Di Wumba (Second year)

Charlie Hynne won the ‘Audience Favourite Award’ which was voted on by the attendees.

FETTS Factor Award (overall winner) - Saul Woodfull (Transition year).

Whilst the winners were presented with their respective prizes, Queen’s 70s hit ‘We Are The Champions’ played loudly over the theatre’s speakers.

Although those students were awarded, all those who put all their effort into performing on the day, were really talented, as was seen by the large crowd at the theatre.

Everyone who worked tirelessly ahead of the event was thanked following the show too.

FETSS Principal, Claire Matthews, stated: “(It was an) Incredible afternoon, full of creativity and talent, (it was) just amazing.”

Andrew Maloney (Deputy Principal) also spoke, commenting: “(The) standard of (the) schools' talent was absolutely phenomenal.”

Overall, it is fair to say that FETSS Factor didn’t disappoint.

Ryan McMullen, Transition Year.

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