Regional Solo & Ensemble Competitions
On Sunday February 23rd 2014, many band members performed in the Irish Association of Brass and Concert Bands North East Region Solo and Ensemble Competitions. Ardee Concert Band hosted the event in the Bohemian Centre, Ardee. This was a busy afternoon of music with competitors ranging in age from nine years up to adulthood. The adjudicator for the day was Fintan Sutton from Dublin. Fintan plays the clarinet/bass clarinet with the RTÉ National Symphony Orchestra since 1987. Fintan is also a regular player with the Orchestra of St Cecilia and he also works with the Irish Film Orchestra. He works extensively with the final year composition students at NUI Maynooth as well as teaching students in the Royal Irish Academy of Music since 1997.
82 members from bands from across the region including Ardee Concert Band, Drogheda Brass Band, St. Mary’s Brass and Reed Band, Kingscourt, Lourdes Brass Band, Drogheda and Navan Silver Band all took part on the day
The six local bands were well represented and it was a great afternoon of music. There were three sections in the Ensemble section, under 14, under 18 and Open. There were five sections in the Solos, under 12, under 14, under 16, under 18 and Open section. Fintan complemented all the participants and the bands for encouraging their members and commented on the high standard from such young players in the lower sections. Kevin Reilly, representing the North Eastern Branch of the Irish Association of Brass and Concert Bands expressed thanks to Fintan Sutton, Edward Holly on Piano and praised all involved, in particular, the committee and members of Ardee Concert Band for hosting the competitions.
The winners were as follows.
Under 14’s Ensemble
1st Niamh Byrne & Sinéad Byrne – Kingscourt
2nd Angelo Ingram & Ellen Taaffe – Drogheda
Under 18 Ensemble
1st Jack Powell, Rebecca Russell, Roise Quinn – Ardee
1st Navan: Francis Duffy, Alan Duffy, Craig O’Brien & Leona Cantwell
1st Eimear Clare, Ardee
2nd Grace Campbell, Drogheda
3rd Kayleigh Kearns, Lourdes
4th Luke Murphy, Drogheda
U 14 Solo
1st Hannah Plunkett, Drogheda
2nd Medb Brereton Hurley, Drogheda
3rd Sinéad Byrne, Kingscourt
4th Eoin Brereton Hurley, Drogheda
1st Ailish Newton, Drogheda
2nd Brendan Leacy, Ardee
3rd Ellen Murray, Lourdes & Sadhbh O’Brien, Ardee
1st Robert Finegan, Ardee
2nd Grace Cassidy, Drogheda
3rd Sarah Clare, Ardee
1st Francis Duffy, Navan
2nd Robert Finegan, Ardee
3rd Mark Newman, Lourdes
Ardee Band in Pilot Project with The
Royal Irish Academy of Music
Ardee Concert Band has been invited by The Royal Irish Academy of Music (RIAM) to take part in a joint pilot project as part of a planned Out Reach Programme by the RIAM to promote music education. Bill Dowdall, Head of the Woodwind, Brass & Percussion Faculty at the RIAM visited Ardee’s band rooms in December to meet with committee members and also to see the senior band in action itself in rehearsal setting for their Christmas concert. On the night Bill, who is also the principal flute player with the National Symphony Orchestra, gave a 15 min workshop tuition to the flautists of the senior band. He was very impressed by what he saw on the night and he has offered to provide the band’s members with top class tuition workshops by some of the finest tutors in Ireland free of charge.
As a first step, Colm Byrne, Co-Principal Trumpet player with the RTE National Symphony Orchestra came to Ardee on Saturday February 8th, to give individual and small group tuition in Ardee’s own purpose built band rooms of the Bohemian Centre in Ardee. The trumpet tuition was available to all members, junior and senior, regardless of levels of competency on the trumpet. Nineteen trumpet players from the band benefited from Colm’s expertise and all agreed it was a fantastic experience to hear and be taught by one of the best trumpet players in Ireland.
This is a great opportunity for all members to gain technique, advancement of skills and gain new knowledge on various instruments already being taught on a voluntary basis, throughout the band in the future. This huge opportunity for the Bands status in the banding world can only bring the bands future from strength to strength for the years to come.
This Outreach Programme will develop and lessons are planned on all of the other instruments of the band, recorder, flute, oboe, clarinet, saxophone, bassoon, french horn, trombone, euphonium, tuba and percussion.