What a fabulous night! It never ceases to amaze us that two groups of 30 to 40 strangers each can come together in one large group of 70 musicians and after just 25 minutes rehearsal become one very large band of friends putting on a show for the large audience. This is what happened when Fermanagh Concert Band came to visit with the Ardee Concert Band on Saturday, 7th March 2009.
The contact first came through Ardee band member, Alan Cox, who was at college with the conductor of the Fermanagh outfit, David Baxter. The date was set last year and each band set about organising the event, deciding on music etc. After a large number of emails, everything was set for a great night of music. Thanks to all the Ardee members and parents who helped clean the bandroom and set it up for the concert. The Fermanagh band were blown over by the hospitality shown to them, especially the spread of food which was all donated by members and parents.
The concert opened with the well known March Our Director, followed by a selection from Pirates of the Caribbean which was followed by You are the music in me, performed by the Ardee Concert Junior Band conducted by John Gaynor. Then followed Chitty Chitty Bang Bang and Cockles and Mussels performed by the Ardee Concert Band Recorder Group conducted by Adam Byrne. Ardee Concert Band conducted by Harry Kelly were next to perform their programme which consisted of Phantom of the Opera, Copacabana, Highlights from Shrek 2, Mission Impossible, Mambo No 5, and finished up with Music of the Beatles.
After a short interval it was the turn of the Fermanagh Concert Band conducted by David Baxter. Their programme consisted of James Bond Theme, Take the A Train, Ashokan Farewell, Big Bands in Concert and Dixieland Jam.
The highlight of the night was the combined concert bands who were conducted by David in performing And All That Jazz and Lord of the Dance and by Harry for On The Quarter Deck, Cartoon Symphony and Hootenanny with David conducting The Stripper as an encore. The compere for the concert was Alan Kelly who did an excellent job. Ardee Concert Band Chairman, Austin Nevin, welcomed our visitors and made a presentation of a Galway Crystal Bowl to David on behalf of the band. Brian Harten, Arts Officer with Louth County Council, also said a few very encouraging words. Afterwards the audience and performers were invited up to the bandroom for some light refreshments. The Ardee band is looking forward to a return trip to Enniskillen in the autumn.
St Patricks Day
The next item on the agenda for Ardee Concert Band is the Mass for deceased members of the band at 12 pm on St Patricks Day, this has long since been a tradition for the band. St Patricks Day is the busiest day of the year for the band, as they have to be out again for the parade in the afternoon at 3pm. Up until more recent years, the band were the organisers of the parade, a duty that thankfully has been taken over by the wonderful St Patricks Day Committee.
Church Gate Collection
Saturday 21st and Sunday 22nd March is the annual Church Gate Collection in aid of Ardee Concert Band. We would like to thank the people of Ardee and surrounding areas for all their support in the past and hope that this will continue into the future.
The band are currently making plans to record a CD and are considering the end of April as the most suitable time. This will be a great experience for the members, the main difficulty will be trying to decide what pieces to use as the band has a very wide reportoire.