Belvedere College - The College Orchestra

The College Orchestra

The College Orchestra

BELVEDERE COLLEGE ORCHESTRA

The Belvedere College Orchestra was founded in 2006 by Ms. Marie-Louise Bowe.  Ms. Louise Curtin took the baton from Ms. Bowe in 2010.  It has grown from a small group of about twenty musicians to over sixty members in that time! The aim of the College Orchestra is to give students to opportunity to experience the thrill and challenge of playing with a full symphony orchestra.  It enables students to improve their ensemble playing, their sightreading skills, and to develop a good musical ear.
All orchestral musicians from First to Sixth year are welcome.  There are no auditions for the College Orchestra, but any student who would like to join should contact Ms. Curtin for further information.  The only requirements are an ability to sightread music and a commitment to attend rehearsals on a regular and punctual basis. The College Orchestra rehearses every Wednesday morning before school and extra rehearsals are scheduled when necessary.

The Orchestra takes part in the Wesley Interschools Music Festival (beg. March) and Feis Ceoil (end March/beg. April) every year.   In its début performance (March 2007), the orchestra received runner-up prizes in both the Wesley and the Feis Ceoil competitions performing The Farandole, from L’Arlésienne Suite No. 2 by Bizet and Gabriel’s Theme from the film, The Mission by Ennio Morricone with Cian Quinn (Clarinet) and Conor Cavanagh (Oboe) playing the soli.  In 2008 and 2010, the Orchestra won the Kenevey Cup at the Wesley Festival.  In 2008 and 2009, the Orchestra won the West Challenge Cup at Feis Ceoil.  This year, the Orchestra was awarded second place at both Wesley and Feis Ceoil for its performance of ‘Pirates of the Caribbean - Dead Man’s Chest’ - by Hans Zimmerman, arr. Paul Lavender.

In November 2010, the Orchestra joined forces with the pupils from St Agnes Primary School, Crumlin for a joint concert in the O’Reilly Theatre.   Pupils from local primary schools attended and the concert was a wonderful opportunity for all musicians to share their talents.

The College Orchestra also performs at the Annual Musical Evening.  Since 2010, the Orchestra has performed individually and also joined forces with the College Choir for a number of pieces.  In 2012, the Orchestra and Choir performed ‘Rawhide’ and ‘Bridge Over Troubled Water’ together. 

Advanced orchestral musicians also have the unique opportunity of participating in the College Show Orchestras throughout the year (leader - Ms. Louise Curtin and Conductor Mr. Daniel Dunne).

Further information about the Orchestra can be obtained from Ms. Louise Curtin (lcurtin@belvederecollege.ie).

Orchestral instruments:

  • Strings:  Violin, Viola, Cello, Double Bass
  • Wind and Brass:  Flute, Oboe, Clarinet, Bassoon, French Horn, Trumpet, Trombone, Tuba/Euphonium, Saxophone Percussion instruments and Timpani.

BELVEDERE COLLEGE CHAMBER MUSIC

The Chamber Music Programme was founded in 2007 by Ms. Louise Curtin and Ms. Marie-Louise Bowe, and is now coached by Ms. Curtin and Mr. Daniel Dunne. 

Chamber Music gives musicians to opportunity to develop musical independence while playing in a duo, trio, quartet or larger ensemble.  Chamber groups rehearse with a tutor but generally perform without a conductor and this enables students to develop a strong sense of musicality, and gain greater precision in intonation, rhythm, and dynamic range.

The composition of chamber groups depends on the musicians interested in performing.  Ensembles range from a string or wind quartet or trio, to a mixed string and wind ensemble.  However there are no limits on the type of ensembles that can be put together; the sky’s the limit in Chamber Music!  Smaller groups are decided on the age and playing level of individual musicians, while larger chamber groups attempt to get students of all ages and abilities playing together.  This is particularly beneficial for younger students as they learn from the more experienced musicians.

Belvedere enters chamber groups into the Wesley Interschools Music Festival every year.  In 2012, the chamber groups were awarded second and third place in the Senior Chamber Music and Chamber Orchestra categories.  Chamber Groups also perform at the Annual Musical Evening in May and by invitation at events like the Union Dinner, Parents’ Evenings and other events in the College.

In 2012, a new musical event was put on the calendar in Belvedere when the inaugural Chamber Music Evening was held in the Parlour of Belvedere House.  All the chamber groups in the College performed, and there were also solo performances from individual students (Naoise Dack, Cathal Twomey).  The Parlour was a wonderful venue for the concert because chamber music was originally performed in small, intimate venues.  It is intended to hold another Chamber Music evening in 2013.

Chamber Music Rehearsals take place on Thursday and Friday mornings @ 8 am and all musicians (who are not absolute beginners) in the College are invited to join in on the fun!  Students who would like to become part of this programme should contact Ms Louise Curtin (lcurtin@belvederecollege.ie).

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