Latest news updated 24th February 2013
A Musical Twist
– A Concert with a Difference
Ardee Concert Band presents “A Musical Twist – a concert with a difference” on February 28th 2013 at 8pm in the Bohemian Centre, Ardee. This is a new departure for us as we normally have just one concert every year in December. As well as giving the Junior and Intermediate bands a chance to perform to family, friends and supporters, it is also an opportunity for the senior band to put on a slightly different programme than the usual Christmas concert.
The senior band conducted by Brendan Breslin will play a mixed and entertaining programme, some of which will involve some members of the band showing their theatrical abilities as well as their musical abilities. Some of the younger members have been rehearsing their acting parts for the past number of weeks to bring a different dimension to some of the band arrangements. The admission is €5-00, payable at the door on the night, children must be accompanied by an adult. The Intermediate Band will be conducted by John Gaynor and the Junior Band by Kevin Reilly.
Solo & Ensemble Competions
We have a busy schedule over the coming months. We are hosting the Annual Solo & Ensemble Competition in the Bohemian Centre on this coming Sunday 24th February. This competition is open to all members of bands in the North East area of the Irish Association of Brass & Concert Bands and will include members from Drogheda Brass Band, Lourdes Brass Band, Navan Silver Band, St. Mary’s Brass & Reed Band from Kingscourt as well as members from Ardee.
St. Patricks Day
In March, we have the busiest day of the year, St Patrick’s Day, when we play at 12pm Mass in Ardee for deceased members of the band and then in the afternoon, we have the privilege of leading the very successful Ardee Parade.
Trip to Derry
In April, we have the National Band Championships in Limerick on the 6th and a return trip to the Britannia Band in Derry for a joint workshop is scheduled for the 20th.
Annual General Meeting
On Monday last, 11th February, we held their AGM where there was a great turn out of members, parents and other interested parties. The officers of the new committee are as follows Chairperson Austin Nevin, Vice Chairperson Jenny McKeever, Joint Secretaries Aisling Reilly and Darragh Browne and Treasurer Peter McKeever. The band has a large very active committee of over thirty members. Some new additions to the committee this year are Bernadette Keaskin , Grainne Dillon, Evelyn Russell, Helena Balfe as well as the new Joint Secretaries, Aisling Reilly and Darragh Browne.
Latest news updated 17th December 2012
145 musicians perform on Bohemian Centre stage
145 musicians, all members of Ardee Concert Band, performed to a packed house in our 31st Annual Christmas Concert. For many Ardonians the Annual Christmas Concert marks the start of their Christmas festivities. There were four different ensembles performing. The concert opened with the Senior Band who performed 3 numbers, this was followed by the 52 strong recorder group who played The Good Old Duke of York conducted by Darren Kirk, this was followed by Chicken Noodle Cha Cha conducted by Gerry Farrell and Jingle Bells conducted by Sarah Clare. This was a conducting debut for Darren and Sarah who are both young members of the Senior Band and give freely of their time to pass on the tradition of music in Ardee.
This was followed by the Junior Band, which currently has 15 members and is conducted by Kevin Reilly. This group was only formed in September and this was the first time it formed part of a concert programme. The first half ended with the Intermediate Band, which has 32 members and was conducted by John Gaynor.
The second half opened impressively with the Senior Band spread throughout the hall all playing Viva La Vida by Cold Play while they accompanied band member Alan Cox singing this well known pop song. The concert was very entertaining with lots of audience participation. The band also did a very funny musical comedy sketch which featured Sean O’Brien as an IMF debt collector, Peter McKeever as a doctor and the star of this sketch, local businessman, Mark McLoughlin, who “died” and came back to life with the help of good music. Brendan Breslin conducted the Senior Band for his second Christmas concert. MC for the night was band treasurer Peter McKeever. All in all it was a fantastic success and a fantastic night. Some clips of the night are available on UTube
Othe Activities over Christmas
The band will perform at the Ardee Parish Carol Service on Sunday 23rd at 7pm and 12.30pm Mass on Christmas day. They will also be performing carols on the street and in Moorehall Lodge on Christmas Eve. The Senior Band members will be on the main street from 10.30am and at Supervalu at 2.30pm and the Intermediate Band will be at Supervalu at 12 noon.
The band members would like to wish all the members their families, all band supporters and Bingo goers a very healthy holy and happy Christmas and 2013
Latest news updated 28th November 2012
Biggest Concert Ever for Ardee Concert Band.
For the first time ever in Ardee Concert Band’s history, there will be four different musical groups from within the band itself performing in the Christmas concert. For the past few years, the concert has consisted of performances by the senior band, intermediate band and the recorder group. However this year with the introduction of the new junior band under their conductor Kevin Reilly, they too have been included in the programme for the annual concert. On the night there will be 145 performers, which is a fantastic achievement for the band. This will be the 31st Annual Concert and the second one for the senior band to be conducted by Brendan Breslin, the current musical director.
There will be a change in the running order for this year as the concert will open with the Senior band for a short programme. They will be followed by the sixty strong Recorder Group. This group consists of those young students who have only been learning music since September and those from last year’s class. These very young performers will be conducted in turn by their tutors Gerry Farrell, Sarah Clare and Darren Kirk. This will be a conducting debut for Darren and Sarah.
The third segment will be a performance by the Junior Band who will be followed by the Intermediate Band conducted by John Gaynor. All of the segments will include some seasonal music. After the interval, our audience will see the return of the senior band for the second half.
Bohemian Centre Activity
Other upcoming events for the season in the Bohemian Centre are the Ardee Floral Art Club Christmas Gala Demonstration on Thursday, November 29th and the Ardee Credit Union AGM on December 10th
The band’s weekly Sunday night bingo will continue every Sunday (except for Sunday, December 30th) and there will be extra cash given away for the four Sunday’s in December.
Members Christmas Jumper Disco Party
There is also a special treat for the younger members of the band of a Christmas disco/party on December 8th as a reward for all their hard work
The band will take part in greeting Santa on the town on Friday 30th November at 6.30pm and also the Christmas Carol Service in the Church on Sunday 23rd of December. Band members will also perform Christmas carols on the street and in Moorhall Lodge on Christmas Eve.
Christmas Day Mass
The culmination of this season for the band members will be playing at 12.30 Mass on Christmas Day, then a well-earned rest for all the members till the New Year.
The Band committee and members would like to wish all their bingo goers and supporters a very Happy Christmas and New Year.
Latest News updated 08/11/2012
Weekend Music Workshop
Last weekend saw the band really put through its paces with 14 hours of rehearsals over the three days.
Friday saw the usual Friday evening rehearsal with Brendan Breslin but this time it started at 7pm and finished at 10pm! Saturday started bright and early at 10am when the band broke into sectionals with seven specialist tutors for each instrument, flute, clarinet, sax, double reeds, trumpets, lower brass and percussion. After seven hours of intensive group and full band rehearsals, some senior members headed for a well earned meal and a few relaxing beverages.
A 10.30am start on Sunday morning woke people up and after 4 hours of very enjoyable rehearsals and band training, every member agreed that it was an excellent weekend of music making
Latest news updated 21st October 2012
Ardee Concert Youth Band take another trophy
On Saturday October 20th 2012, the Ardee Concert Youth Band took the Northern Ireland title in the 4th Grade Concert Band section of the North of Ireland Band Championships in the prestigious Market Place Theatre, Armagh. The 30 strong group mostly ranging in age from eleven to fourteen years travelled to Armagh city with conductor John Gaynor accompanied by some committee members, parents and family. For some of these young people it was their first time to compete. They played an own choice selection of two pieces” Lift off” by Peter Meecham and “Colours of the Wind” the Disney theme music from the film Pocahontas. They gave a great performance and we are all very proud of them. They enjoyed their day out in Armagh and they performed brilliantly, they were great ambassadors for the band and the town.
As usual the band room has been a hive of activity. The Senior band has been working very hard under the baton of conductor Brendan Breslin. It was felt that the senior band would opt out of the Northern Championships which they won in 2011 for this year. They are preparing for a weekend music workshop from November 2nd until the 4th .
New Junior Band
All lessons have now resumed and new classes started. The band also started a new junior band which will be a training band for younger musicians who will aspire to getting into the Intermediate Band and eventually into the senior band. This group is under the guidance of Kevin Reilly. It is hoped that the children who have started learning band instruments will join this group in January.
New Recorder Groups
There is a new recorder group of thirty four beginners. The tutors for this year’s recorders are Gerry Farrell, Sarah Clare and Darren Kirk.
Halloween Spooktacular Party
All our young members are looking forward to the Halloween Spooktacular Party which promises to be spooktacularly good according to organisers James Gargan, Sinead Nutley and Aisling Reilly. This will take place at 7.30pm on Sat 27th October and is for members of Ardee Concert Band only.
Bingo goers were surprised to see the hall transformed into its Halloween glory in preparation for the season. Bingo continues every Sunday at 8pm in the Bohemian Centre with lots of prizes including a weekly jackpot, all welcome.
Website updated 13th September 2012
Busy autumn schedule planned for Ardee Concert Band.
Now that schools resume, it’s time for Ardee Concert Band to turn its attention to the new academic year for its budding musicians and prospective new members. But before that can happen the band members, committee and parents will be out in force for their annual Church Gate Collection this coming weekend Saturday 8th and Sunday 9th of September. The band provide music lessons for the young people, and indeed some not so young, from Ardee and surrounding areas, so this collection is vital in funding all that the band provide for the local community. Collectors will be at all Masses in Ardee and Ballapousta. All donations will be gratefully received. “The people of the community are always generous and supportive both financially and otherwise” says Fiona Reilly PRO.
This is always a very busy time for the band, rehearsals resume after the holidays for both the Senior and Youth bands. All lessons resume and preparations for next year’s assessments and grade exams begin. The band policy sub committee have been meeting over the last few weeks to try and get things up and running. The sub committee consists of Band Chair person Austin Nevin, secretary Dermot Murray, vice chairperson Jenny McKeever, Treasurer Peter McKeever, PRO Fiona Reilly, John Gaynor conductor of the Youth band, also band members Kevin Reilly, Niall Doherty, Alan Cox and committee member Tim O Callaghan. The sub committee and indeed all the sub committees make recommendations to the general committee who make final decisions.
New Recorder Group
At this time of year, thoughts turn to starting our newest recruits which is done every year in the form of a recorder group. All schools in the district will receive information leaflets. Parents can be on the lookout for these or check out the band web site for this information as sometimes forms can get left in the bottom of the school bag and be discovered too late. The starting age is eight and older. There are already some applicants on a waiting list who looked to join during the year. Our annual Enrolment Night for new members will be held in the Bohemian Centre on Monday 17th September at 7.30pm. An adult preferably a parent should accompany all children.
This year the band is starting a new venture in the form of a training band. All those learners who have just completed a year on a brass, woodwind or percussion instrument will now form our first ever training band. It is hoped that the successful members from last years recorder group who will start band instruments in the next few weeks will join this group early in the New Year. This group will be under the guidance of Kevin Reilly. The idea is to get the students used to playing in a group earlier. The transition for learners in the band will now be Recorder group for a year, for some this may take longer, then going on to tuition on a band instrument for four months approx, before progressing to the Training Band. Hopefully then into the Youth Band, all the while on tuition. Finally if members have reached the required standard and still committed they will progress into the Senior Band. It is hoped that as this progression evolves it will raise the standard of the senior band in the long term.
The band would like to hear from any musicians moved into this area who would consider joining, they would be most welcome as would any past members who now find time on their hands and would like to rejoin. With all of the above, the future of Ardee Concert Band as an organisation is very bright.
Website updated 10th July 2012
Success for Ardee Concert Band in South of Ireland Band Competitions.
On Saturday last, 7th of July, 2012 forty members of Ardee Concert Band took part in the South of Ireland Band Competitions, which are held annually in Clonakilty, Co Cork. It was worth the trip, as they took 2nd prize for the second year in a row. Most members and their families and partners travelled down on Friday and although the weather was a bit inclement, the band still managed to perform outdoors for the people of Clonakilty.
Twenty-four bands entered the competitions, eleven in the Senior Section, which was won by Dublin Concert Band beating Ardee by a narrow margin. In 3rd place was Barrack St Concert Band from Waterford. Also taking part in the Senior Section were bands from Fermoy, Clonakilty, Limerick, Drogheda, Dublin, Arklow and Ennis
Ardee’s conductor for this trip was Brendan Breslin. Brendan a Tyrone man now living in Dublin is the current musical director. The prize for the Best Percussion section was won by Ardee percussion section, Niall Doherty, Paul and Annamaria O’ Brien. The adjudicator was Denis Wilby, a Yorkshire man well known in band circles.
This was an entertainment type of competition, each band had to do a fifteen minute programme of their own choice, the only stipulation was each band must perform a march. Ardee’s choice was the March “Punchinello”, a Latin American style piece ”Malaguena” followed by the “Derry Air” and “Just a Closer Walk With Thee” a New Orleans jazz style piece.
The band were the last performance of the day and brought the house down with a little comic sketch in the middle of their last piece, Just a Closer Walk With Thee. A special mention must go to the band members who took on the acting roles, Mark McLoughlin who played dead but came to life again, to Sean O Brien who played the representative of the IMF and to Peter McKeever who played the doctor. This piece also included a Dixie land sextet and they were Oisin Clarke, James Walsh, Jenny McKeever, Nicky Callan, Paul O Brien and lastly Niall Doherty.
All of the pieces the band played in Clonakilty can be viewed on YouTube, just search for “Ardee Concert Band Clonakilty”
Website updated 01st July 2012
Ardee Band head to Clonakilty for South of Ireland Band Competitions
Ardee Concert Band will travel to Clonakilty for the South of Ireland Band Competitions due to be held there on Saturday next the 7th of July. After the torrential rains hit Clonakilty last week, the band commiserated with the people of Clonakilty through competition organiser, Eileen Kingston. Eileen thanked the band for their good wishes and stated that the people of Clonakilty were looking forward to a smile being put on their faces by the visiting bands.
Ardee Band has been putting a lot of preparation into their programme for the competition and also for the street performance, which they hope to give on Friday evening, 6th July. The conductor for this year is Brendan Breslin and he has planned an interesting programme, as this is an entertainment style of competition. Forty members are due to travel, some are going for the whole weekend and the remainder are making a day trip in order to take part. There are several supporters travelling also, mostly parents and partners and family of the band members, “Clonakilty has a special place in the hearts of the members of Ardee Concert Band” says Fiona Reilly PRO. There are eleven bands in the senior section including neighbouring Lourdes Brass Band from Drogheda. The competition is of a very high standard and should be very entertaining.
In recent weeks the Bohemian centre has been a hive of activity. On May 16th and 17th, forty members sat the grade exams through the Royal Irish Academy of Music. The accompanist for the higher grades was Edward Holly and band member Gerry Farrell accompanied the remainder. The standard yet again was very high. Special recognition must go to Rebecca Mc Eneany who received a distinction in Grade 3 saxophone
On Friday 25th May, the Awards Night was held where Grade Certificates were presented to members by Vice-chairperson, Jen McKeever. The parents and members attending were entertained by the Recorder Group and by the Ardee Concert Youth Band under their conductor John Gaynor who presented medals to every member of the Youth Band who performed so well at the National Band Championships in Cork last April and took 2nd place in their section.
All members who started on band instruments last September were assessed recently by Laura Jones and these members will now form a new group within the band, a Junior Band where they will learn the basics of playing in a band before moving to join the Youth Band.
The Youth Band has been busy preparing a summer programme as they hope to perform in the locality a few times over the summer under the baton of John Gaynor. Even though school is out for summer, the Youth Band rehearsals keep going.
The Ardee Concert Band’s next performance will be at the Ardee Credit Union open day on Saturday July 14th and after that in Farmleigh on 29th July. Follow the band on their web site, www.ardeeconcertband.com or on Facebook for all their news.
Website updated 19th March 2012
Ardee Band leads 45th Parade
St Patrick’s Day is usually the busiest day of the year for Ardee Concert Band and this year was no exception. At twelve o’clock mass which was offered for the living and deceased members, they performed a programme of Hail Glorious St Patrick, An Irish Blessing, Vivaldi’s Winter, the hymn to St Columba, Faith of our Fathers and the St Patrick’s Day march, all conducted by Harry Kelly.
The members had a quick turn around when they had to be back in the band rooms for 2.30pm to form up for the Parade at three o clock. The band was led this year by Fiona Reilly PRO acting as Staff Major in the absence of Paddy Ward. The four flag bearers Clodagh McClean, Lauren Mathews, Samantha Connolly and Sinead Nutley carried the Ardee Town flag, the Louth flag, the Leinster flag and the Italian national flag in honour of our visitors from Nettuno. This was the 45th parade for the town and it just gets better and better every year. The band were the original organisers of the parade, which started in 1968.
Next weekend the 24th and 25th are busy for the band again as it’s the weekend of their Church Gate Collection at all masses in Ardee and Ballapousta. For the junior members of the band, it’s their annual trip, which this year is to Bowling and Quasar in Dublin. Committee members will supervise the youngsters for the day. We appreciate our young members and like to let them mix with each other without their instruments.
The members of the Youth Band and the Senior Band have a busy few weeks ahead as the National Band Championships are being held in the Cork School of Music on the 14th and 15th of April, both bands are working towards these competitions.
Website updated 15th March 2012
Momentous musical memories created in Ardee
Saturday last 10th of March was a momentous day for Ardee Concert Band when they hosted an intense musical workshop and were delighted to be joined by their guests for the day, the Britannia Concert Band from Derry. The Derry band arrived at 10am to a welcoming reception of refreshments after their long and early journey. After some welcoming speeches from Austin Nevin chairman of Ardee and from Colin Laird, chairman of Britannia, the workshop began with sectional master classes given by professional tutors Brendan Breslin of the Garda Band. Alice Nolan and David Collins of the RTE Concert Orchestra.
Brendan who was the lead tutor and conductor for the day took the percussion section; Alice took the woodwind musicians and David the brass. The tutors imparted their expertise, demonstrating techniques in breathing; articulation and sound production for the brass and woodwind players while Brendan put the percussionists through their places.
After lunch the two bands formed together for the afternoon under the baton of Brendan performing the three pieces that were chosen by him for learning purposes. The pieces were a march called Punchinello, an Irish Blessing and a piece named Eire by Melanie Donahue. The members of both bands got plenty of time to chat with one another over the copious cups of tea and coffee during the day, which were supplied by committee members Aine Finegan, Caroline Kirk, Loraine Walsh, James and Nora Gargan and Chairman Austin Nevin.
The members of the Derry band were bowled over by the friendliness and the warm reception which they received from the Ardee band. They were also very impressed with the premises and facilities in the Bohemian Centre. Both bands enjoyed the day and learned a lot from the three tutors. This was a wonderful collaboration for the two bands, it was a very worthwhile experience for both bands, friendships were made and the Ardee band members are looking forward to a return visit to Derry at some stage in the future, probably later in the year.
This is the third time Ardee Concert Band has had collaboration with a band from Northern Ireland and this encourages cross border liaisons having already fused links with Fermanagh Concert Band and St Eugene’s Concert Band form Omagh.
Colin Laird, Chairman of Britannia Concert Band, presented the Ardee chairman, Austin Nevin, with a beautiful engraved plaque in recognition of the day.
The members of Ardee came together again on Sunday morning to do some more work on the test piece for the national championships with the tutors with the additional expertise of James McCafferty of the Garda Band.
On Sunday afternoon it was the turn of the Youth Band to have workshops. This was a wonderful opportunity for the younger members, they all enjoyed their afternoon and gained a lot from it. All in all it was a great success.
Website updated 11th February 2012
Hectic schedule for Ardee Concert Band.
Having recently led the Save St. Joseph’s Hospital protest march in Ardee on Saturday 28th January, the members of Ardee Concert Band have a very busy schedule over the coming weeks.
First and most importantly is the A.G.M., which is on Monday next 20th of February. Although this is usually well attended by interested parties, we like to remind members, associate members and especially, parents of younger members, of this meeting.
Solo & Ensemble Competitions
The North Eastern Region of the Band Association are holding their annual Solo & Ensemble Competitions in Ardee on Sunday next 19th March. These competitions are open to 6 bands in the area, Drogheda Brass Band, Lourdes Brass Band, Navan Silver Band, Mullingar Town Band, St Mary’s Brass & Reed Band, Kingscourt and Ardee Concert Band.
Launch of National Tree Week
On Sunday 4th of March at 12pm the band will perform at the National Tree Week Launch Ceremony organised by the Tree Council of Ireland and hosted by the Ardee Tidy Towns Committee. The President of Ireland, Michael D. Higgins, will officially launch National Tree Week 2012 with a tree planting ceremony at 12 noon, this will be the first official visit of our new president to the town.
Joint Workshop with Britannia Concert Band
On March 11th the members of Ardee will host a visiting band from Derry. Britannia Concert Band from Derry was formed in 1866 and boasts a great history and tradition of music making. They plan to do a joint workshop where the members from both bands will break into small groups for some intensive tutoring. Afterwards the bands will combine to perform together with further tutoring. Two very experienced professional musicians and conductors, Brendan Breslin and James Mc McCafferty have already agreed to act as tutors for the day. Unfortunately there is no plan to do a public performance as it is designed to be a learning day for both bands.
St. Patrick’s Day
Of course, one of the busiest days of the year for the band is St Patrick’s Day. The band will play at the 12pm mass for deceased members with a quick turnaround to lead the Parade in the afternoon at 3pm.
Church Gate Collection
On Saturday and Sunday 24th/25th March we have our church gate collection. The band appreciates the generous donations given by the people of the town in the past and hope that people continue to be as generous.
Members’ outing to Quasar & Bowling
Also on Sunday 25th March approximately 80 young members will go on a trip to Quasar & Bowling in Blanchardstown. The band have now got 115 young members under 18 in the organisation, most of them still receiving weekly tuition.
National Band Championships
Finally the band are also preparing for the National Band Championships, which are being held on the 14th/15th of April in the beautiful surroundings of the Cork School of Music. This year both the senior band and youth band intend to compete.
As usual we have our weekly Bingo in the Bohemian Centre every Sunday at 8pm.
So with all these activities going on and rehearsals and lessons in the bandroom every night, the band has a hectic schedule in the coming weeks.