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 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 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.

Artistic Director: Ronan O’Reilly

Ronan holds a Masters Degree in Conducting along with an L.T.C.L. diploma for Oboe teaching and an A.L.C.M. for Piano performance. His musical career is now principally that of a conductor, but also includes teaching, performing, recording, composing arranging, adjudicating and examining. Conducting engagements have brought him across Europe, the UK and the USA with various orchestras and wind ensembles.

Ronan has been Principal Conductor/Artistic Director of the Irish Youth Wind Ensemble, Ireland’s premiere wind ensemble since 2007. In July of last year the IYWE represented Ireland in the Mid-Europe Festival in Schladming, Austria. This year Ronan is delighted to have invited Captain Tom Kelly, conductor for the Defence Forces School of Music (and former Principal Trombone player of the ensemble) to share the stage with him to guest conduct for the 2018 performances.

Throughout Ronan’s career he has guest 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 New York’s Carnegie Hall, Boston Symphony Hall and Chicago Symphony Centre. In his earlier years he was an oboist and keyboard player 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. He has also given workshops and guest conducted the University of Massachusetts Wind Ensemble and the Shorecrest High School Band, Shoreline WA during their visits to Ireland. In November last he travelled to the Chicago, where he presented workshops and guest conducted the Notre Dame Symphonic Wind Bands in concert at Leighton Hall, the DeBartolo Centre in Notre Dame University.

Ronan was the Director of Music at the Artane School of Music since 1998 and has recently been appointed overall Director of the school. He is now responsible for the day to day running of the Artane School of Music and for the activities within the Artane Band and School programmes. He also co-ordinates, conducts, composes and arranges music for the various ensembles incorporated within the school. The Artane Band itself performs at many corporate engagements as well as performing for thousands at the annual GAA football and hurling championship matches in Croke Park annually. The Artane Band has toured extensively across the USA, Russia and the UK. More recently they have travelled and performed in both the Belfast and Glasgow Tattoos and also the Nice Carnival Parade in the Cote d’Azur, South of France, as well as performing in the National Concert Hall and O’Mahony Hall in the Helix. The Artane Band are very much looking forward to performing in the Liverpool Tattoo in the Echo Arena next September.

Ronan has also been the brass and percussion tutor to the National Youth Orchestra of Ireland for over a decade, also acting as NYOI rehearsal conductor from time to time.

No stranger to the concert hall platform, he has made a name for himself as a conductor of both orchestras and wind ensembles, his musical experience comfortably strides the worlds of classical, opera, jazz, pop and musical theatre.

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 in Command 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’.

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