Video by Ronan Timmins
Irish Youth Wind Ensemble
The Irish Youth Wind Ensemble was formed in 1985 by James Cavanagh and Colonel Fred O’Callaghan. It is one of the lasting legacies of European Music Year, when the Ensemble was one of many artistic initiatives throughout Ireland. That the IYWE has survived and flourished for over three decades is due to the enthusiasm and vision of its founders, the talent and enthusiasm of its members and the efforts and commitment volunteered by numerous supporters.
The group meets once every year for a week-long residential course in addition to other, shorter, gatherings and collaborations. The course commences with sectional rehearsals that are tutored by some of Ireland‘s finest professional wind, brass and percussion players. The Ensemble then move into intensive rehearsals which are followed by a series of concerts in Ireland. The IYWE have also toured abroad on numerous occasions.
The ethos if 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 that otherwise would not be heard by Irish audiences. As a result, the Wind Ensemble has had many world and Irish premieres.
IYWE has commissioned works by Philip Martin, John Buckley, Fergus Johnston, Jennifer Walshe and John Kinsella. The group has also recorded a highly praised and well-received CD of Music entitled Where The Wind Blows (after the work by John Buckley for wind ensemble of the same name). A second CD – featuring a recording of their performance at the WASBE conference in 2007 – is also available to buy on Amazon and iTunes.
James Cavanagh and Fred O’ Callaghan shared the podium until 1995. James Cavanagh was appointed Musical Director in 1995 and Ronan O’Reilly took over as Musical Director in 2008. Guest conductors who have worked with the group include Tim Reynish, John Wallace, John O’Connor, Fergus O’Carroll, William Halpin, Mark Armstrong and Wayne Jeffers.
In the past, the IYWE have had the pleasure of working with Evelynn Glennie, Finghin Collins, Philip Martin and other distinguished soloists from Ireland and abroad. Recent soloists have included Martin Johnson, cello; Gary Curtin, euphonium; James Dunne, percussion; Kenneth Edge, saxophone; Michael Marshall, trombone and Aileen Cahill, piano.
Musical Director: Ronan O’Reilly
Ronan O’Reilly was appointed Principal Conductor / Artistic Director of the Irish Youth Wind Ensemble in August 2007. In the last decade, he has worked with some of Ireland’s leading instrumentalists as soloists with this ensemble and is delighted to be performing at the Mid-Europe festival 2017 in Schladming, Austria.
Ronan has worked with many of the top names in Irish entertainment over the years and has conducted various ensembles including the Irish Philharmonic Orchestra, the Dublin Institute of Technology Symphony and Chamber Orchestras, the Irish Symphonic Wind Orchestra and the Royal Irish Academy of Music Symphony Orchestra.
As an instrumentalist, Ronan has performed in some of the most world-renowned venues such as Carnegie Hall, Boston Symphony Hall and Chicago Symphony Center. He has worked throughout his career with many ensembles including the RTÉ National Symphony Orchestra of Ireland, RTÉ Concert Orchestra, Ulster Orchestra, Lyric Opera and the Irish Chamber Orchestra and he has been a regular performer on national TV shows over the years.
Ronan is the Director of Music at the Artane School of Music Dublin, Ireland. The flagship ensemble of the school is the world-renowned Artane Band of which he is Artistic Director and Conductor. He also coordinates, conducts, composes and arranges music for the various ensembles incorporated within the school. The Artane ensembles regularly perform nationwide and participate in live radio and TV broadcasts. The Artane Band performs for thousands at the annual GAA football and hurling championship matches in Croke Park, Dublin. The Band were honoured to perform for Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II and His Royal Highness The Duke of Edinburgh on their visit to Croke Park in May of 2011. The bands have toured extensively across the USA, Russia and the UK and more recently to the Glasgow Tattoo ‘17 and also the Nice Carnival ’17 in the Cote d’Azur, South of France.
Ronan is the conductor of the Dublin Youth Orchestras Concert Orchestra which has toured extensively throughout Europe under his direction over the last two decades. He also holds the position of Principal Conductor of the Greystones Orchestra and is a regular wind, brass and percussion tutor and rehearsal conductor with the National Youth Orchestra of Ireland.
Ronan’s musical career is now principally that of a conductor but also includes teaching, performing, adjudicating and examining. He has made a name for himself as a conductor whose musical experience comfortably strides the worlds of classical, opera, jazz, pop and musical theatre with conducting engagements with wind ensembles and orchestras bringing him across Europe, the UK and the USA.
Guest Conductor: Captain Thomas Kelly
Captain Thomas Kelly (b. 1989) is a Dublin-born conductor, composer and trombone player. He began his musical studies in Riversdale Community College, Blanchardstown. At the age of 16 he was awarded a scholarship to study trombone at the DIT Conservatory of Music and Drama. He went on to complete his undergraduate degree in Music Education at Trinity College Dublin in association with the Royal Irish Academy of Music.
Upon completing the Bachelor in Music Education course in 2012, Thomas joined the Defence Forces School of Music as a trombone player and was posted to Band 2 Brigade in Athlone, Co. Westmeath. He spent over two years in the band before leaving in August 2014 to pursue his postgraduate studies at the Royal Northern College of Music in Manchester. He completed his Master of Music in Composition in June 2015. Thomas rejoined the Defence Forces School of Music as a conductor and technical officer in November of that year. Since July 2016, Thomas has held the position of Officer inCommand of Band 2 Brigade.
Over the last two years he has had a number of original compositions published and performed all over the world, from Ireland and the UK to the USA and Thailand, for example ‘ Set Adrift ’ for Euphonium and Electronics which was recorded by Steven Mead for his CD ‘Dream Times’.