Irish Youth Wind Ensemble Summer Concerts

The Irish Youth Wind Ensemble will perform in the Bohemian Centre, Ardee on Friday, 2 August at 7pm. Tickets will be available on the door.

The Irish Youth Wind Ensemble will also be performing on Saturday, 3 August 2024 at SETU Arena, Waterford, at 7.30pm with special guests Music Generation Waterford. Presented in association with the Symphony Club of Waterford.

Tickets are available via Limited tickets will be available on the door.

Tickets cost €20/€10.

Under the artistic direction of Ronan O’Reilly, these talented young musicians will present an exciting programme of wind band classics spanning the decades, including Leonard Bernstein’s West Side Story Symphonic Dances and Alfred Reed’s El Camino Real.

IYWE perform March from the First Suite in E flat by Gustav Holst

The Irish Youth Wind Ensemble met in March for a weekend of sectionals and workshops with some of Ireland’s finest professional wind, brass and percussion musicians and tutors.

During the workshops, they prepared for a “stitched-together” performance of the March from Holst’s First Suite in E-flat which premiered as part of our Youth Orchestra Day of Celebration on Sunday, 9 May.

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 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 Irish Youth Wind Ensemble then move into intensive rehearsals which are followed by a series of concerts in Ireland. IYWE have also toured abroad on numerous occasions.

The ethos of 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 Irish Youth 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 Artistic 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, 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

Photo by Mark Stedman.

Ronan O’Reilly holds a Master’s Degree in Conducting. Over the past thirty years, his engagements have brought him across Europe, the UK and the USA as a conductor 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. During his tenure as Artistic Director, Ronan has expanded the repertoire of the ensemble, having conducted many Irish premieres of US and European literature written especially for the Wind Band medium. He is delighted to be conducting the ensemble this year in the Bohemian Centre in Ardee (home of the award winning Ardee Concert Band of which he is principal conductor) and in the SETU Arena, at the invitation of the Symphony Club of Waterford. In 2025 IYWE will celebrate its 40th anniversary. To mark this milestone year, the ensemble will be headlining the IAYO Festival of Youth Orchestras in February 2025 at the National Concert Hall, as well as accepting the invitation to perform in the Mid-Europe Festival in Schladming, Austria in July 2025.

Throughout Ronan’s career he has held conducting positions with Dublin Youth Orchestras, Greystones Orchestra and the University of Limerick Orchestra, amongst others. He has guest conducted various other ensembles, including the Irish Philharmonic Orchestra, Dublin Institute of Technology (TUD) Symphony and Chamber Orchestras, Irish Symphonic Wind Orchestra, Royal Irish Academy of Music Symphony Orchestra and Notre Dame Symphonic Wind Bands in the USA. He regularly collaborates with international wind ensembles as guest conductor and workshop facilitator on their visits to Ireland, including the University of Massachusetts Wind Ensemble, the Shorecrest High School Band, Shoreline WA, and more recently the Texas Woman’s University Band. Ronan was appointed Musical Director of the award winning Ardee Concert Band in 2019, and has been the wind, brass and percussion tutor to the National Youth Orchestra of Ireland for over a decade. As well as holding the role of NYOI rehearsal conductor for the past few years, most recently for their 2024 summer residential course.

His musical career is now principally that of a conductor but also includes teaching, performing, recording, composing, arranging, adjudicating and examining. As an instrumentalist, Ronan holds an LTCL in oboe teaching as well as an ALCM in piano performance. He 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 as an oboist and piano/keyboard player, he worked frequently with many ensembles, including the RTÉ National Symphony Orchestra of Ireland, RTÉ Concert Orchestra, Ulster Orchestra, Lyric Opera and the Irish Chamber Orchestra. He has regularly performed on live National TV shows over the years. As the Director of Artane School of Music he is responsible for the day to day running of the school and for the activities within the Artane Band, Artane Senior Band and the school’s 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 Belfast, Glasgow and Liverpool Tattoos, Nice Carnival Parade in the Côte d’Azur, South of France, as well as a UK Tour in 2023 and regular performances in the National Concert Hall and O’Mahony Hall in the Helix. For his most recent artistic endeavours, Ronan was invited to conduct the Irish Symphonic Wind Orchestra to celebrate their 10th Anniversary year, this includes a two year tenure for 2024/2025. Ronan also returned to his post as Principal Conductor of the Adult Youth Orchestra of Ireland in June for their collaboration with the Brain Tumour Ireland charity fundraising project ‘Christmas In June 2024’.

No stranger to the concert hall platform, he has made a name for himself as an orchestral and wind ensemble conductor whose musical experience comfortably strides the worlds of classical, opera, jazz, pop and musicals.