Posted: 28th January 2015

In the perfect setting of the National Concert Hall, The Dublin Youth Orchestras (DYO) Annual Gala Concert took place on Saturday 10th January from where Michelle Burke, Fundraising & Marketing Manager of the Clongowes Foundation and her cub reporter (and daughter) Nicole Tracey (wise beyond her 13 years) filed this report…

Early in January four disparate orchestras showcasing enormous talent, entertained a full house in the National Concert Hall with a wide repertoire that ranged from Duke Ellington to Shostakovich. The energy and commitment revealed by each of the 400 plus musicians – Junior Strings, Intermediate Orchestra, Concert Orchestra and Symphony – was truly outstanding leaving the audience spellbound. Conductors Philip Thomas (OC’87), Ronan O’Reilly, Vanessa Sweeney and Fergus Sheil displayed true synergy with their musicians. This bond was amply demonstrated by the wonderfully boisterous (not to say partisan) applause reserved for each conductor, by their own orchestra, towards the end of the evening.

Clongowes Wood College was well represented with Luke McMahon (Elements) in Junior 1st violins, Sean McMahon (Poetry) in Concert violas, David Dudeney (Rhetoric) in Symphony percussion and Mark Thomas (Rhetoric) as Symphony leader. Also performing with Symphony were Andrew Hegarty (OC’10) on cello and Darragh Corbett (OC’14) on double bass. Alumnus and member of the Clongowes Music Department, Mr Philip Thomas is conductor of the DYO Intermediate Orchestra.

The Dublin Youth Orchestra provides young musicians with an outstanding opportunity and is a true nurturing of musical talent. As one DYO tutor explained ‘she brings them so far musically and then gets such joy in watching them take-off, fulfilling their potential – above and beyond expectations!’

Nicole Tracey observed that ‘The Dublin Youth Orchestra’s performance on the 10th of January can only be described as breath taking. The skill and practice it must have taken to put on such a brilliant show is astounding and the range of instruments and musicians’ ages is wonderful. It’s just great to see how much musical talent there is in Dublin’.

Pictured above are Philip Thomas, Luke McMahon, Andrew Hegarty, Sean McMahon, Mark Thomas, David Dudeney and Darragh Corbett.

Michelle Burke and Nicole Tracey

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