ARDEE Concert Band performed to a very appreciative audience at their annual Christmas Concert at the 400-seater Bohemian Centre concert hall in mid-December.
“It was probably our best concert ever judging by the feedback we are getting,” said Fiona Reilly, PRO.
The night kicked off with the 50 strong Recorder Group. Forty of these children only started to learn the recorder 12 weeks ago.
The tutors of this group are senior band members Emily Cox, Gerry Farrell and Aisling Reilly who conducted them in turn while they gave renditions of the “Grand Old Duke Of York”, “When The Saints Go Marching In” and “Jingle Bells”. It was a conducting debut for Emily and Aisling with an audience. “They were all brilliant “says Fiona “especially as another feature of this group is that many of them are only eight-years-old due to the band lowering the entry age this year”.
The next performers were Ardee Concert Youth Band conducted by John Gaynor. Ten new members have joined this group since September.
They played a very entertaining selection of music containing “Pirates of the Caribbean: At Worlds End”, “Hedwig’s Theme”, “Treasury of Carols”, “Little Brown Jug” and “Thriller”. This group range in age from eleven to fourteen. John has worked very hard with this group and they performed really well on the night.
The senior band took the stage for the second half under the baton of Brendan Breslin who is a professional musician with the Garda Band. This was due to regular conductor Harry Kelly taking a break due unfortunately to illness. However Harry attended the concert and conducted one piece. “The band wish Harry a very speedy recovery,” said Fiona, “it was great to see him there”.
The band had some featured soloists, Nicky Callan, Robert Finegan, Darren Kirk and Lorcan Fields.
The band accompanied guest artist Niall Callan on guitar playing an arrangement by Paul O Brien of some Horslips tunes.
For many the highlight of the night was Amazing Grace played on bagpipes by guest artist Patrick Martin.
The band, ably assisted by narrator Ciara Douglas from the Youth Band, performed a comedy rendition of The Three Little Pigs.
Brendan Conlon did “Proud Mary”. The band also performed at the local carol service at Ardee Church and at Mass on Christmas Day.