It has been a great weekend of music and song at the Royal Dublin Society’s Simonscourt Hall in Ballsbridge in Dublin. This afternoon seven national schools from County Monaghan helped to form the large choir of schoolchildren performing at the Peace Proms 2015 along with the Cross Border Orchestra of Ireland. Last night (Saturday) the Model school from Monaghan town took part. This afternoon I met all seven schools from County Monaghan, who arrived at the complex at 11:30am for a rehearsal.
Two schools came from Carrickmacross, Bunscoil Lughaidh Naofa, Cloughvalley, and St Joseph’s National School, Farney Street. I also met pupils and their teachers from Knockconan National School, Emyvale, and my neighbours from St Dympna’s National School, Tydavnet. There were also representatives from St. Louis Girls’ National School, Park Road in Monaghan town; Scoil Mhuire, Moys, Clontibret and finally Scoil Mhuire National School, Latton, Castleblayney.
The Cross Border Orchestra of Ireland (CBOI) was established in 1995 as a peace initiative and is now composed of 120 young people from all over Ireland – north and south. It encourages diversity through music and community. The CBOI is internationally recognised as one of Ireland’s flagship peace initiatives and has become one of the most acclaimed youth orchestras that Ireland has ever produced. The Orchestra is led by some of Ireland’s top professional musicians including: Conductor, Gearóid Grant; Violinist, Patricia Treacy; Tenor, Emmanuel Lawler; and Uilleann Piper, Patrick Martin. The CBOI undertakes a National Spring Tour annually performing at:
- The Waterfront Hall, Belfast / the Ulster Hall, Belfast
- The Kingfisher Hall, NUI, Galway / Leisureland, Galway
- City Hall, Cork
- The Hub, Kilkenny
- City West, Dublin / the National Concert Hall, Dublin / the Helix, DCU, Dublin
- Letterkenny Institute of Technology, Donegal
- The Opera House, Derry
- The INEC Killarney, Kerry
- Limerick University
- Dundalk Institute of Technology
The Orchestra has performed for:
- President McAleese at Áras an Uachtaráin
- Queen Elizabeth II at Hillsborough Castle (Ensemble performance)
- Many special international Ministerial gatherings at Slane Castle and Dublin Castle.
Numerous national commemorations including:
- The Battle of the Boyne
- 10th Anniversary of the Belfast Agreement
- 30th Anniversary of the twinning of Listowel and Downpatrick
- 400th Anniversary of the Flight of the Earls in Rome.
International tours and showcase of the best of Ireland:
- ROYAL ALBERT HALL LONDON – The CBOI performed to a capacity crowd at the Royal Albert Hall London in 2012 and is only the 3rd Irish orchestra in our history to have performed there.
- WORLD EXPO SHANGHAI – The CBOI represented Ireland, the UK and Europe at the historic World EXPO in Shanghai in 2010 where they received an award for the most “Outstanding International Performance”.
- CARNEGIE HALL NEW YORK – The CBOI has toured to the United States many times selling out prestigious venues including Carnegie Hall, New York, Chicago Symphony Hall, and Boston Symphony Hall. The CBOI as also sold out concerts in eight cities throughout California including San Fransisco and Los Angeles
- EUROPE – The CBOI has performed in many European countries such as Italy, England, Czech Republic and Finland.
The CBOI plays a vital role in enhancing Music and Arts education in Ireland thourgh “Peace Proms”. Peace Proms is a choral education project for Primary Schools devised and delivered by the Cross Border Orchestra of Ireland. Over 15,000 children from 300 schools participate in Peace Proms annually. It is not a “classical orchestra”. Their music highlights the pop, folk and traditional cultures of the island of Ireland. They use all the instruments of a full symphony orchestra but include traditional instruments for example Lambeg Drums, Uilleann Pipes and Highland Pipes. Many of the CBOI’s commissions have been written by Brian Byrne who is recognised as one of Ireland leading contemporary composers and arrangers. Based in Los Angeles, Brian is an IFTA winner and OSCAR nominee.
Over the past 18 years, the CBOI has played an important role in building and nurturing vital cross border and cross community relations. We are delighted to have recently established a link with the Royal Scottish Pipe Band Association Northern Ireland Branch and look forward to showcasing our combined cultural talents and working with them for a better future.
Belfast Odyssey Arena Sunday 8th February 3pm Belfast Peace Proms
Limerick Saturday 28th February