Auditions announced for the Oriel Traditional Orchestra - 7th October 2017

Commercial: A new community initiative seeks to bring together musicians from Armagh, Louth, Meath and Monaghan to create a new orchestra to perform arrangements of Irish Traditional Music. The Oriel Traditional Orchestra will perform repertoire from and inspired by the Oriel region with new compositions by members and local composers as well as historical compositions. 

Auditions will be hosted by the Centre for Creative Arts Research at Dundalk Institute of Technology on Saturday 7 October. Researchers at DkIT are engaged in a study of ensemble pedagogy that will inform the rehearsals for the new orchestra. Related to this, the Department of Creative Arts, Media and Music will host the Society for Music Education in Ireland Annual Conference from 9th - 11th November. Bringing together established academics and practitioners from Ireland and overseas, the conference will include a dedicated roundtable on ensemble teaching. 

Plans are already in place for partnerships with other ensembles around the country and an experienced group of tutors will facilitate rehearsals and sessions.  Regular masterclasses with guest tutors are also planned and we look forward to organising performances beginning in 2018. The directors have engaged with their own international network to explore international opportunities from 2019. 

Rehearsals will take place in venues in Louth, Monaghan and Armagh to encourage participation and collaboration across the region.  In contrast with other groups, the orchestra will not only include young musicians from the age of ten upwards; preparations over the summer have attracted adult members to this intergenerational group.

Noreen McManus, Director of the OTO says "the OTO is a long-term dream of mine. The Oriel Region is rich with wonderful music and musicians and this is a terrific opportunity to bring together musicians of all ages in a fun, learning environment".

Elaine O'Sullivan, musician and teacher in Traditional Arts Partnership (TAP) County Armagh says "I’m delighted to hear about this cross border musical collaboration and I am very excited for our pupils to be given the opportunity to learn, play and appreciate music from the Oriel Region.”

Dr Daithí Kearney, Director of the Ceol Oirghialla Traditional Ensemble at DkIT and a teacher with the Dundalk Comhaltas branch says "the interest in ensemble performances at DkIT over the past few years, at home and abroad, have led to enquiries to extend opportunities beyond the Institute students and DkIT bring students into the wider community".

Sean Walsh, a music teacher in the inniskeen area, said "I think is a great idea, especially for the older pupils who will be able to link up worth other musicians from other places".

Dr Adèle Commins, Head of Department of Creative Arts, Media and Music says "DkIT is a signatory of the Charter for Community Engagement and we are delighted to meet our commitment by contributing our expertise to this new initiative that reaches out beyond Dundalk and into the Institute's wider region and link together a variety of community groups and teachers".

Those interested should apply to Those shortlisted may be invited for audition on 7th October with rehearsals beginning in Carrickmacross on 14th October. The OTO is an independent community and voluntary initiative, not affiliated to any existing organisation or funded body and all are welcome to apply for membership. Tell your friends and spread the word! 

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