ABOUT THE GALWAY TRADITIONAL ORCHESTRA
GALWAY TRADITIONAL ORCHESTRA…PLAYING A SIGNIFICANT ROLE IN THE LIVES OF MANY YOUNG PERFORMERS.
Galway Traditional Orchestra held its inaugural rehearsal in January 2019 at the Aula Maxima at the National University of Ireland, Galway and since then rehearses weekly in Galway city. The orchestra comprises young Galway based Irish traditional musicians performing alongside other orchestra members who are drawn from classical, jazz and popular musical traditions.
Galway Traditional Orchestra is the brain child of well known Headford musician & producer Eric Cunningham and he explained his reasons for wanting to develop such an ensemble in Galway:
“While Galway is known generally for its creative capacity, it has always been home to some of the world’s greatest Irish traditional musicians and vocalists. As a result I couldn’t understand why a number of other counties have an Irish traditional orchestra and yet Galway, a cultural melting pot and nexus for traditional music, had no dedicated traditional based orchestra of its own. In establishing this orchestra I want to ensure that Galway becomes a shining example nationally and internationally in this regard and most importantly that our young Galway performers are given the succour and impetus they need to enrich their musical palette. The existence of diverse musical forces within the orchestra will I believe give rise to a compelling musical fusion and one that will ultimately become the innate and imaginative voice of Galway Traditional Orchestra.”
Cunningham stated that the orchestra is unique in Ireland in many ways including the fact that it encompasses both Irish traditional musicians, some of whom prefer to perform without notation, together with those accomplished in the performance of other musical genres and who are accustomed to performing with the aide of musical notation. Other similar Irish traditional orchestras in Ireland are also commonly made up of Irish traditional musicians and traditional instruments exclusively but Cunningham’s vision is for a more all-encompassing sound.
“The existence of performers from disparate musical backgrounds encourages a more varied and inspired artistic output and increases the interaction between young performers from different parts of the city and county. At a time when well being is so important in the lives of young people, the orchestra acts as a type of musical catharsis ” he believes.
Cunningham explained how he was first enthralled and inspired by the unification of Irish traditional music with orchestral arrangements:
“Over a number of years I had the great pleasure of working closely with the revered academic, performer and composer Prof. Mícheál O Súilleabháin. It was while on stage with him for the first time in the early 1990s, with an orchestra enveloping the sound of the traditional soloists, that I fully understood how captivating the confluence of these sounds and styles can be in the hands of master musicians, imaginative composers-arrangers and inspired conductors. The sonic landscape emanating from this musical synergy is indeed quite compelling. Later I also had the pleasure of working with well known traditional performer and composer Dr. Charlie Lennon while performing his original Irish traditional based orchestral scores with a number of international orchestras. I wanted to try and emulate this type of experience in Galway through the work of a new and exciting young orchestra where Irish traditional music is at the core of each and every performance.”
Galway Traditional Orchestra will also bring together established and emerging performers as part of a collaborative community of performers and this will contribute to creative placemaking amongst a variety of young performers in Galway from diverse musical backgrounds.
Cunningham is also keen to acknowledge that the orchestra is the culmination of the collective efforts of many:
“Galway Traditional Orchestra would never be possible without the invaluable work carried by a whole host of music educators who have, through their teachings, helped shape many young musicians into becoming highly talented performers during their formative years. On being accepted as members of Galway Traditional Orchestra a new chapter in the musical lives of these young performers begins and with it a new learning experience. We endeavour to make our teachings as enjoyable and productive as possible and hope it is both a musical and networking experience that they will hold dear for many years to come. This orchestra is not about any one individual but instead dedicated to a community of young talented performers based in Galway.”
CEOLFHOIREANN THRAIDISIÚNTA NA GAILLIMHE…AG IMIRT RÓL LÁRNACH I SAOL ROINNT MHAITH TAIBHEOIRÍ ÓGA
Bhí an chéad chleachtadh ag Ceolfhoireann Thraidisiúnta na Gaillimhe i mí Eanáir 2019 san Aula Maxima in Ollscoil na hÉireann, Gaillimh agus ó shin i leith bíonn siad ag cleachtadh gach seachtain i gcathair na Gaillimhe. Tá breis agus 70 ceoltóir óg páirteach sa cheolfhoireann. Is ceoltóirí traidisiúnta iad atá lonnaithe i nGaillimh agus iad ag seinm taobh le baill cheolfhoirne as traidisiúin an cheoil chlasaicigh, an tsnagcheoil agus an phopcheoil. I measc na bpleananna atá ann do 2020 beidh an cheolfhoireann ag seinm ag líon mór imeachtaí iomráiteacha in Éirinn agus ar chláir náisiúnta teilifíse, craoladh de cheolchoirm ó Ghaillimh le linn na Nollag ar TG4 ina measc. Beidh Ceolfhoireann Thraidisiúnta na Gaillimhe ag seinm ag Carnegie Hall i mí na Nollag 2020 chomh maith.
Is é an ceoltóir agus an léiritheoir aitheanta as Gaillimh, Eric Cunningham, an té a bhunaigh Ceolfhoireann Thraidisiúnta na Gaillimhe. D’oibrigh Stiúrthóir Ealaíne na Ceolfhoirne i 6 mhór-roinn in ionaid mar An Teach Bán, Áras Ceoldrámaíochta Bhéising, Pálás na nÉimíorachtaí, Lárionad Kennedy, Amharclann Stáit Sydney agus Halla Úlloird Tóiceo. Sheinn sé le ceolfhoirne agus ealaíontóirí idirnáisiúnta, Ceolfhoireann Shiansach Náisiúnta na hÉireann, Ceolfhoireann Cheolchoirme RTÉ, Ceolfhoireann Shiansach BBC, Ceolfhoireann Aireagail na hAstráile agus Ceolfhoireann Fhiolarmónach Dubai ina measc. Sheinn sé ceol do thriúr Uachtarán na Stát Aontaithe mar aon le daoine eile mór le rá agus baill de theaghlaigh ríoga. Tá Céim Bhaitsiléara agus Céim Mháistreachta (Céadonóracha) sa Cheol aige ó Choláiste na hOllscoile Corcaigh, agus bronnadh Gradam Cuimhneacháin Sheáin Uí Riada air agus é san Ollscoil.
Mar chumadóir, rinneadh cur síos ar bhunsaothar Eric in The Irish Times mar ‘Terrific’, in The Irish Independent mar ‘Stunning’ agus in The Irish Examiner mar ‘Music to marvel at’. Tá cláir cumtha ag Eric Cunningham do Theilifís RTÉ agus do TG4 agus tá taifeadtaí léirithe aige do líon ceoltóirí, ina measc Frankie Gavin & De Danann agus Ceolfhoirm Fhiolarmónach Bhaile Átha Cliath, ceolfhoireann ina bhfuil 90 ball.
Is í Ita Geraghty Stiúrthóir Cheolfhoireann Thraidisiúnta na Gaillimhe. Rugadh agus tógadh Ita i nGaillimh agus féachtar uirthi mar dhuine de na stiúrthóirí/cóiritheoirí atá ag teacht chun cinn in Éirinn, agus rinne Eimear Noone (stiúrthóir ag Oscars 2020) cur síos uirthi le déanaí mar ‘seoid náisiúnta’. Tá Comórtais Uile- Éireann buaite ag Ita ar an bhfidil, ar an gconsairtín agus ar an bpianó, rinne sí staidéar ar an veidhlín agus ar an bpianó le Coláiste na Tríonóide (Londain) agus tá Céim Bhaitsiléara aici sa Cheol agus Nua-Ghaeilge agus Céim Mháistreachta in Oideachas an Cheoil.
Tagann baill Cheolfhoireann Thraidisiúnta na Gaillimhe as gach cearn den chontae, as an bpointe is faide soir sa chontae, gar do Bhéal Átha Ghártha (ar theorainn Ros Comáin), an bealach ar fad siar go hInis Mór ar na hOileáin Árann. Tagann na ceoltóirí óga as réimse leathan d’áiteanna sa chathair agus sa chontae, mar Bhaile Átha an Rí, Port Omna, Baile Locha Riach, Tuaim, Baile Chláir, Béal Átha na Sluaighe, Órán Mór, Gort Inse Guaire, Uachtar Ard agus Áth Cinn.
Más mian leat ceol traidisiúnta na hÉireann a chloisteáil agus é faoi chúram na céad glúine eile de cheoltóirí óga cumasacha na Gaillimhe, ní mór duit freastal ar thaibhiú le Ceolfhoireann Thraidisiúnta na Gaillimhe.
To establish an Irish traditional music based orchestra for Galway comprising outstanding and dedicated young musicians from across Galway city and county who will work together under the direction of an inspired creative team to achieve the highest possible standards of orchestral performance.
To invite and enable diverse musical forces within the orchestra to give rise to a compelling musical fusion and sonic landscape that will ultimately become the innate and imaginative voice of Galway Traditional Orchestra.
To bring together established and emerging performers as part of a collaborative community of performers and to contribute to creative placemaking amongst a variety of young performers in Galway from diverse musical backgrounds
To expand the number and range of musicians who perform Irish traditional music in Galway and to enable diverse future generations to know, perform, participate in and enjoy the music of the Galway Traditional Orchestra.
To provide an opportunity for Orchestra members to develop friendships and understanding in a welcoming, inclusive, nurturing and professional environment and one that enhances the quality of life for all.
To contribute to the development of young musicians’ careers & employment while cultivating their capacity for life-long learning.
To foster a community of followers that becomes enriched and transformed by the power of music.
To evince the highest ideals of the people of Galway and be an example of the cultural community in Galway at its finest in all its work.
INTERESTED IN APPLYING?
Music gives a soul to the universe, wings to the mind, flight to the imagination and life to everything.― Plato
Orchestra Founder & Artistic Director
Resident Conductor & Arranger
Michaella Mc Mahon
Cllr. Mike Cubbard (Mayor of Galway City)
Cllr. James Charity (Galway County Cathaoirleach)
Cllr. Jimmy McClearn (Galway County Cathaoirleach)
Chair of the Board and Former Patron
Cllr. Niall Mc Neilis (Former Mayor of Galway City)
Cllr. Sean O'Tuairisg (Former Galway County Cathaoirleach)