Clonmel ‘bands’ celebrate 20 years of harmony

Danny Carroll, Michael O'Gorman, Luke Condon, Yvonne Moran (who started the band in 1993) and James O'Donnell at the joint concert performed by Banna Chluain Meala and Ss Peter and Paul's band to celebrate the school band's 20th anniversary.
A gala concert to celebrate the 20th anniversary of the school band took place in Ss Peter and Paul’s School in Kickham Street, Clonmel.

A gala concert to celebrate the 20th anniversary of the school band took place in Ss Peter and Paul’s School in Kickham Street, Clonmel.

The concert opened with a performance by the 45 member schoolboys’ band. They played a selection including Chariots of Fire and Star of the County Down. The alto sax section featured prominently in Sax to the Max. The Senior band was joined on stage by the 18-strong Junior band who gave an impressive performance of Big Rock Candy Mountain.

Banna Chluain Meala then gave a fantastic recital which included a Beatles medley, Slapstick from The Circus Suite and Adele’s Rolling in the Deep.

It was wonderful to see so many ex-members of the school band in their ranks. Familiar faces such as Emmet Donlon from the Army band and Alan McCormack and James O’Donovan of the Pearly Whites were delighted to return to their alma mater for the concert.

It was great also to see Anthony Wall and Charlie Millea, who help to tutor the school band, performing at the concert. Families like the Leos and McDonalds were well represented with members in both bands.

The concert concluded with a joint performance with over 100 musicians on stage. The Ss Peter and Paul’s boys were thrilled to have the opportunity to perform with Banna. Together they performed some favourites including Eye of the Tiger and Raider’s March, the Indiana Jones theme tune as well as a bass instrument feature piece Brass in the Basement.

Founded in 1993 by Yvonne Moran, the band has gone from strength to strength and is a familiar sight on the streets of Clonmel at Christmas time, fundraising for charity. The boys attend the Cor Fheile in City Hall, Cork each year and performed in The National Concert Hall last year in the Walton’s Music Finals.

Ms. Moran expresses her gratitude to Peter Taylor of Banna Chluain Meala for all his work with the school band and to Eddie Kearney and all the staff of Ss Peter and Paul’s for making the anniversary celebrations so successful. Many retired members were present at the concert.

Danny Carroll and all the committee of Banna Chluain Meala were acknowledged for the encouragement and support they have given to the school band over the years.

Chairperson of the Board of Management, Siobhan Ambrose, congratulated the staff and pupils on their 20th Anniversary and commended all the extra-curricular activities available in the school.

Celebrations continue with a concert by the Band of the First Southern Brigade next Tuesday, June 11th.