One of the highlights at the start of the recent RTÉ Big Music Week to encourage live music was the parade in Newbridge. It made its way from the train station to the Main Street and then over the bridge across the River Liffey to Patrician Secondary School for an hour-long concert in the school hall. The parade was led in style by the Army No.1 Band from Cathal Brugha Barracks in Dublin. Tomorrow night (Saturday 12th October) they will be performing at the National Concert Hall in Dublin in the annual defence forces benefit concert and the tickets are sold out so there will be a full house. Celine Byrne from Caragh in County Kildare who was also in Newbridge for the RTÉ Music week is the guest soprano.
Christy Moore returned to his native county of Kildare to take part in the RTÉ Big Music week at Patrician Secondary school in Newbridge, where he was a pupil many years ago. When I looked around the packed school hall, I suddenly noticed him behind me sitting in the audience and moving with the music as Luka Bloom sang. Only afterwards did I realise that Luka Bloom is the stage name for Kevin Barry Moore, Christy’s younger brother from Prosperous.
What a fantastic reception in Newbridge for RTÉ’s Big Music Week. Alighting from the train, the musicians, presenters and guests were greeted by the colourful ‘Birds of Paradise’. Town Mayor Councillor Mick Deely was on the platform, waiting to whisk Miriam O’Callaghan away in a horse-drawn carriage.
Hundreds of schoolchildren and supporters lined the station car park and poured out onto the streets to cheer the musicians. One banner read ‘Thank you for the music’. The Kill Singers from County Kildare serenaded the arrivals with “Chattanooga Choo Choo”, which had also been performed on board in style by the Bugle Babes.
Numerous local bands including the Scoil na Naomh Uilig band played as the musicians and singers lined up for a parade into town headed by the Army No.1 Band from Cathal Brugha Barracks in Dublin. On Saturday they will be appearing at the National Concert Hall in Dublin at the Defence Forces Benefit Concert, which is sold out. Soprano Celine Byrne who was also in Newbridge will be making a guest appearance. I notice she is also coming to the Waterfront Hall in Belfast on October 17th to sing alongside José Carreras in the opening night of the Belfast Festival at Queen’s.
“What a way to arrive into my hometown of Newbridge,” singer Luka Bloom told the Leinster Leader. He was joined on the platform by fellow musician and friend Philip King. “What a thrill. I was at Connolly Station at 8am this morning [Monday 1st October] and what a way to spend a Monday. There was a lot of singing on the train”.
At the Patrician Secondary School, Luka Bloom’s brother Christy Moore was waiting at his alma mater. Luka sang a song he had written for his good friends the Brigidine Sisters in Kildare Town called ‘Don’t be afraid of the light within you’.
Another busy day for the RTÉ Big Music promotion in association with Iarnród Eireann. Here is today’s schedule of broadcasts on radio and television: remember to watch the Late Late Show tonight with Ryan Tubridy as the train arrives back at Connolly station in Dublin.
|07:00||RTÉ 2fm||Breakfast with Hector||Join Hector and friends for a great show live from the train in Boyle station, Co Roscommon||Various|
|9:30, 12:35 & 16:10||RTÉjr||The Beo Show||This Big Music Week join stage manager Donie and wardrobe lady Gerty Gúna as they prepare the Beo Theatre for children from across the country||Various|
|10:00 & 14:35||RTÉjr||Hubble||Hubble is going musical so watch and listen as Emma and Ogié discover a musical world full of fun and interesting sounds.||Various|
|12:00||RTÉ Radio 1||The Ronan Collins Show||Ronan broadcasts live from Maynooth, capturing beautiful performances from The Maynooth University Chamber Orchestra with Eimear Quinn, The Lost Brothers, Heathers, Gavin James and more||The Maynooth University Chamber Orchestra with Eimear Quinn, The Lost Brothers, Heathers, Gavin James and more|
|Nightly||RTÉ One||RTÉ Big Music Week update||A very special update of all the day’s action from RTÉ Big Music Week|
|21:35||RTÉ One||The Late Late Show||As the RTÉ Big Music Week Train pulls back in to Connolly Station following an epic week, the RTÉ Concert Orchestra and the RTÉ Big Music Week House Band gather in studio for a one-off live performance of Irish song-writer Brendan Graham’s RTÉ Big Music Week song. Featuring some of Ireland’s biggest and best vocalists and musicians.||The RTÉ Concert Orchestra & the RTÉ Big Music Week Train House Band with some of Ireland’s best vocalists and musical contributions collected throughout the week.|
|22:00||RTÉ Radio 1||The God Slot||Eileen Dunne meets experts in liturgical music for Roman Catholic, Anglican and Jewish faiths, who discuss the origins of music in their various traditions|
This was day two of the RTÉ Big Music Week designed to promote live music. It began yesterday at Bray station in County Wicklow with performances for early morning commuters by a host of starts including The Benzini Brothers featuring Liam Ó MaonlaÍ, Fiachna Ó Braonáin & Peter O’Toole, Luan Parle, Lisa O’Neill, The Lost Brothers & Eleanor McEvoy. The special three carriage RTÉ Music Train then made its way to Dublin’s Connolly Station where I was able to join the event. I met the RTÉ Director General Noel Curran and managed to get his picture as the Artane Band prepared to broadcast live at the end of the John Murray Show with Miriam O’Callaghan.
The Artane Band played In Dublin’s Fair City or of you prefer Molly Malone or event Cockles and Mussels to bring the programme to a lively end. Earlier Miria had introduced various top acts including Paul Brady, Luka Bloom, Kodaline, Damien Dempsey, The Bugle Babes and Bronagh Gallagher. All this was a great example of public service broadcasting at its best.
I met several former RTÉ colleagues along the way including Nationwide presenter Anne Cassin. She was working on a package for tomorrow’s programme (Wednesday) on RTÉ at 7pm viewable here. You can see me listening to the music in the hall at 6:20. When I was talking to her she was in Newbridge where former Planxty member Christy Moore performed at his alma mater, Patrician Boys’ Secondary School. Christy had developed his passion for singing as a pupil in 1958 and he was taught to play the piano by Sr Michael.