Over sixty of Ireland’s finest young wind, brass and percussion players have been selected to play in this year’s Irish Youth Wind Ensemble – a week long music course where young musicians can hone their talents under the guidance of professional conductors and musicians. The course will this year culminate in two concerts open to the public; one taking place in the Good Shepherd Chapel in Waterford and the other in University Concert Hall, Limerick. Many of the players are members of renowned orchestras, such as the National Youth Orchestra of Ireland, the Dublin Institute of Technology Wind Ensemble and the Royal Irish Academy of Music symphony and chamber orchestras. The musicians will be led by the talented conductor Ronan O’Reilly, who is the Director of Music at the Artane School of Music/Artane Band. The young players themselves are also involved in various musical activities abroad, such as the British Army Band Summer Academy in Twickenham and scholarships to attend summer courses in America.
The concert’s repertoire will feature works such as Extreme Beethoven by Johan de Meij, alongside compositions by Itara Sakai, James Barnes, and Alfred Reed.
The Wind Ensemble was formed in 1985 by James Cavanagh and Fred O’Callaghan. Since its beginnings, over a thousand people have participated in the event. The ethos of the IYWE is to offer young wind, brass and percussion players an opportunity to study, perform and experience music specifically composed for the wind ensemble medium and to present music which otherwise would not be heard by Irish audiences. Not only is the Wind Ensemble the leading platform for these young musicians to exhibit their musical prowess but, due to its unique nature, is often the birthplace of many Irish and even world premieres of wind ensemble compositions.