There were the joyous scenes at Christ the King PS when Nathan Carter waltzed into the school’s assembly hall, complete with guitar and support band, as part of a special surprise visit on Thursday afternoon.
As you can imagine, there were many shocked and smiling faces among the pupils, with some even holding their hands over their mouths because they – quite evidently – couldn’t believe their eyes.
And perhaps there was none more excited than super fan Leah Donaldson in primary three who admitted to her teachers recently that she had been a massive fan of his “always”.
But while the visit was a big treat for all the pupils, the country superstar told the Tyrone Herald that he had his very own special reason to perform at the primary school – to cheer up a young pupil called Dylan McGale who had sadly lost his mum the previous week.
“I was contacted by Mickey Kelly from the school’s board of governors to see if I would come and sing a couple of songs,” Nathan explained.
“Especially for a young lad called Dylan who lost his mother last week.
“So I said I’d love to come along and sing a couple of songs because it would cheer the pupils up – and particularly Dylan.”
Nathan added, “I’ve sang in schools across Omagh before, but never in this one so I have been looking forward to it.
“Hopefully the pupils will sing along and enjoy themselves!”
And sing along, the pupils did, with Nathan’s versions of ‘Take Me Home Country Roads’ and ‘Wagon Wheel’ proving a big hit with the young audience.
Roisin Darcy, principal of the Christ the King PS, said the teaching staff were just as star-struck as the pupils to have the Liverpudlian star grace the school’s assembly stage.
“I think that the kids and the staff were in awe as we did keep the visit a surprise from them as well,” she said.
“Only myself and one other teacher knew he was coming… I was thrilled, but dying to tell everybody!”
The Tattyreagh woman continued, “The day is a big treat for the children, staff and school.”
The exciting afternoon concluded with the school’s senior choir – comprised of primaries four, five, six and sevens – singing a number of songs to Nathan to return the musical favour.
One such song was the beautiful ‘Little Star of Bethlehem, which the pupils previously had performed to Derek Ryan.
Roisin has expressed her thanks in particular to Michael Kelly, chair of the Board of Governors, who organised the event.
“I am delighted that Mickey was thinking of us,” she said. “We are just over the moon. I’m sure the occasion will have created many happy memories for the pupils.”
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