IN what promises to be a superb evening of music, the Iowa University Concert Band will perform tomorrow (Tuesday, March 13) with the Mayo Concert Orchestra at the GMIT Mayo Campus.
This is a rare opportunity to experience the US group as the Mayo date is one of only two performances in Ireland. They promise to raise the roof of the fantastic St. Mary’s Hall tomorrow night.
The concert is presented by the Mayo International Choral Festival, who were approached two years ago to facilitate this group in the west of Ireland. Arrangements have been ongoing since then by the festival producer, Declan Durcan, and the committee.
Formed in 2017 in anticipation of their concert tour to Ireland and Northern Ireland, the Iowa University Concert Band comprises of 50 musicians, the majority of whom are university students representing a wide range of majors including music, engineering, nursing, anthropology, English, journalism, biochemistry, enterprise leadership, geography, finance, marketing, human physiology and international studies.
With all of their diverse interests and backgrounds, it has been their passion for music that has brought them together. Their concert program is an enjoyable blend of American and Irish musical selections, including 'The Symphonic Gershwin', 'Solas Ane', 'The Rakes of Mallow', 'The Green Glens of Antrim', 'Declaration Overture' and '76 Trombones'.
The concert band will be conducted by Richard Mark Heidel and Kevin Kastens. Richard is director of bands and professor of music in the School of Music at the university where, among other things, he conducts the symphony band and oversees the University of Iowa band program. Kevin is associate director of bands and director of the Hawkeye Marching Band. As a professor in the School of Music, he teaches marching band techniques, band arranging and conducts the concert band.
Closer to home, it's been a very busy few months for the Mayo Concert Orchestra, not least with its performance at the innovative Symphonic Dance DJ and orchestra colloboration at Christmas (with another scheduled for March 31) and rehearsals each week.
Directed by Kathy Fahey, the orchestra - through rehearsals, concerts, lessons and church performances - strives to bring musical synergy to its members and friends by providing opportunities for amateur musicians to perform together and in public for the entertainment of all.
The repertoire of music is varied, from recognisable classical to instrumental and film music to current chart pieces.
The chairman of Mayo Concert Orchestra, Tom Kelly, at a recent concert briefing, thanked and praised Declan Durcan and Frank Murray, chairman of the Mayo International Choral Festival and the festival committee, in facilitating this concert in the west of Ireland, and stated how the Mayo Concert Orchestra members were delighted to be involved and were really looking forward to the event.
It takes place at 8 p.m. tomorrow evening at the GMIT Mayo Campus in Castlebar. Admission is €10 and adults and €5 for students and children under 12. Tickets are available from Downtown Records, Castlebar and Westport, or online from www.eventbrite.ie (additional online ticketing-operator service fees apply), or phone (086) 2658038 or (086) 3024170. Tickets will also be available on the door on the night. For more information, see www.mayochoral.com.