For anyone wishing to learn music, the place to be on Wednesday the 16th of September at 8pm is the Bohemian Centre, Ardee, the home of Ardee Concert Band. On that night, the band will hold their annual Enrolment Night for new members, aged 9 years and over. To quote our local arts officer, Brian Harten the band is one of the most vibrant organisations in Louth.
Every year at this time the band opens its doors to a new influx of students taking the first step to becoming members and indeed for some, it may be their first step to a musical career. The usual form of entry to the band is to join the recorder group. This night is also suitable to anyone who can already play an instrument or read music who may not need to go through the recorder group.
All the schools in our local area will receive notification of this enrolment night, they are Monastery National School, Educate Together National School and Scoil Mhiure na Trocaire, Ardee, and the following national schools, Ballapousta, Collon, Dunleer, Dromin, Stabannon, Tallanstown, Drumconrath, Heronstown, Newtown and Philipstown. The band committee request that the parents accompany their child to the enrolment night where they can fill in an application form and where they will be given a detailed overview of the excellent opportunities that their child can receive from being a member of the band.
The band is a fantastic hobby and very sociable. Its not like going to other music lessons where a student is usually one to one, in the band they are taught in small groups and when they become members of the youth band and senior band, friendships are well established, often for life. The band of course has a wonderful recreation facility where the students and members socialise together playing pool, table tennis, table football or watching TV or DVDs.
The band teaching system is all about progression. Last year the band had 30 applicants who joined the recorder group, 21 of these are now progressing onto brass or woodwind instruments. The 17 members remaining from the 2007 recorder group, who went on to instruments this time last year, started in the Youth Band last week. This brings the number in the Ardee Youth Band up to 37 members and makes it one of the largest youth bands of this type in the country. The Youth Band is under the baton of local man John Gaynor, John also devotes his time to giving trumpet lessons to band students.
Of course the band could not provide all of the above without the support of the people of the town. The band has brought many accolades to the town. The members would like to make people aware that their church gate collection will be held next Saturday and Sunday 12th and 13th of September at all masses in Ardee and Ballapusta. This is one of the main sources of income for the band other than the weekly Sunday night Bingo in the Bohemian Centre. The Band receives great support from the people of the town and surrounding areas says Fiona Reilly PRO and we really appreciate this support.