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Updated 06-03-2014

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

Open Ensembles

1st Navan: Francis Duffy, Alan Duffy, Craig O’Brien & Leona Cantwell

U12 Solo

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

U16 Solo

1st Ailish Newton, Drogheda

2nd Brendan Leacy, Ardee

3rd Ellen Murray, Lourdes & Sadhbh O’Brien, Ardee

U18 Solo

1st Robert Finegan, Ardee

2nd Grace Cassidy, Drogheda

3rd Sarah Clare, Ardee

Open Solo

1st Francis Duffy, Navan

2nd Robert Finegan, Ardee

3rd Mark Newman, Lourdes

Updated 05-03-2014

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.