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Saturday, April 13, 2024

Carlow Nationalist — Wall of sound in Visual in Carlow as four orchestras combine

Paul Mahon from the Kiltra School of Music Youth Orchestra conducts Carlow Youth Orchestra, The Staves, Kiltra School of Music Youth Orchestra, St. Agnes CCMA Chamber Orchestra and St. Peter’s NS Orchestra during the Carlow College of Music presentation of ‘Orchestral Connections’ in the George Bernard Shaw Theatre in Visual. Photo: michaelorourkephotography.ie

 

Musicians performing during the Carlow College of Music presentation of ‘Orchestral Connections’ in the George Bernard Shaw Theatre in Visual. Photo: michaelorourkephotography.ie

 

Cllr Andrea Dalton (Cathaoirleach Carlow County Council) welcomes the audience to the Carlow College of Music presentation of ‘Orchestral Connections’ in the George Bernard Shaw Theatre in Visual. Photo: michaelorourkephotography.ie

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Majella Swan (founder and musical director Carlow College of Music) conducts 

Musicians performing during the Carlow College of Music presentation of ‘Orchestral Connections’ Photo: michaelorourkephotography.ie

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

By Elizabeth Lee

A BREATHTAKING wall of sound was created when Carlow Youth Orchestra performed with three other orchestras at Visual Arts Centre, in a concert called Orchestral Connections.

Carlow Youth Orchestra is based in Carlow College of Music, which is run by Majella Swan, who teaches and conducts the talented players.

The Carlow musicians performed with two orchestras from Dublin and one from Wexford – the Kiltra School of Music Youth Orchestra, St Agnes’s CCMA Chamber Orchestra and St Peter’s NS Orchestra, Phibsboro, to create an orchestra of 100 players. The Staves, an orchestra comprised of younger players in Carlow College of Music, were also invited onstage to play some pieces.

“We must have broken a record in Visual with the number of musicians onstage. It was sold out and the support was brilliant. It was fabulous, a great success,” said Majella.

The orchestras had spent the morning rehearsing together under the baton of Robert Mahon from the Kiltra orchestra, Ciara Kavanagh from St Peter’s, Seamus Doyle from St Agnes’s and Majella herself. They then had lunch together in the Dolmen Hotel, which was another lovely opportunity for everyone to mingle.

 

 

The concert was supported by Carlow Arts Office, with Cathaoirleach Andrea Dalton welcoming everyone while it was MC’d by Stephen Harland.

The four orchestras played together originally in February when they performed in the National Concert Hall at the 28th Irish Association of Youth Orchestras (IAYO) Festival of Youth Orchestras at the National Concert.

The musical programme included ***Three Irish Counties***, a commissioned work by composer Ailbhe Kehoe as well as music by Tchaikovsky, Sibelius and Leroy Anderson’s Irish Suite Part I.

Ailbhe is a former member of Carlow Youth Orchestra and a student and teacher at Carlow College of Music.

The concert ended with a rousing rendition of ‘Follow Me Up to Carlow’ with the lyrics provided for all to sing along.

“Thank you to Dr Joanna Crooks and Sr Bernadette Sweeney who initiated this wonderful collaboration, and to the support of Carlow Arts Office and all the team in Visual.

Carlow Youth Orchestra were proud to showcase our fabulous George Bernard Shaw Theatre,” said Majella.

 

 

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