Sunday 22 October 2017

Show goes on for HFC band

By David Tucker

The Holy Family Confraternity Band playing at the John Barry Memorial Service at Crescent Quay.
The Holy Family Confraternity Band playing at the John Barry Memorial Service at Crescent Quay.

WEXFORD'S Holy Confraternity Band have decided the show must go on and are now looking for new members.

Band Secretary Alan Mahon said the group had fallen on hard times over the past couple of years, finding it hard to recruit new members. At the same time their then-musical director found his time taken up elsewhere.

'We came to a critical point last June and found it difficult to get players, eventually we did. But we're now trying to target secondary school students and to get more adults who can play wind instruments,' he said. Alan said the band believed there was a rich pool of talented musicians leaving national schools as accomplished musicians, Kennedy Park and Scoil Mhuire, are examples of this talent stream, and moving to secondary schools, some of which may not have music programmes.

'The national schools are frustrated because they see some of their star pupils leaving school and giving up music and we're frustrated because we are unable to provide professional help with regard to teaching.. in the good old days it used to be done in house, but sadly those days are gone,' said Alan, adding that the band was looking for a musical director as well.

'We need to get the message out that we're looking for musicians, from 13 upwards to 99. We don't it to become a junior band or an adults band and want to strike a balance,' he said. Alan said the 'new' band's first rehearsal is due to take place at the top floor of the Dun Mhuire at 8 p.m. on Wednesday, September 23. 'We're hoping we would get 10 to 12 students,' he said. The Holy Family Confraternity Band was founded in 1926 by Father Martin O'Connor to play sacred music for church occasions. Since then, the band has grown and received several awards, including first prize in the 45th National Band Championships of Ireland and is highly regarded for its musicianship. Anyone interested in joining the band can reach Alan on 087 6260889 or just go along to the rehearsal where you will be welcome.

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