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DkIT Lecturer and Composer to Premiere New Work at Upcoming Concert

25 April 2019

The Oriel Traditional Orchestra (OTO) will premiere a new work by DkIT-based composer Dr Daithí Kearney at a concert in Tí Chulainn, Mullagbawn, Co. Armagh on Saturday 27 April 2019 at 8pm. The OTO are an Ensemble-in-Residence at DkIT and performed with student groups from the Institute at the successful Oirghialla Oscailte concert in An Táin Arts Centre last November. They will be joined on the night by a visiting group from Curso de Música Silva Monteiro from Porto and other special guests.

The Oriel Traditional Orchestra is a cross-border community orchestra whose members come from Louth, Meath, Monaghan and Armagh and focus on Irish traditional music repertoire from the region arranged especially for the orchestra. The orchestra is under the direction of Adèle Commins, Daithí Kearney, Noreen McManus and Róisín Ward-Morrow. Their repertoire includes music from Mullaghbawn fiddle player Josephine Keegan, Meath born harper-composer Turlough O'Carolan and Brian O'Kane from Ballybay, Co. Monaghan. The new suite, The Oriel March, is supported by the Department of Culture, Heritage and the Gaeltacht who are funding an ambitious collaborative project that connects the research and expertise at DkIT with the musicians of the region.

The OTO performs repertoire from and inspired by the Oriel region with new compositions by members and local composers. To date, the repertoire has included music sourced to the Luke Donnellan collection, which formed part of Pádraigín Ní Uallacháin’s seminal study The Hidden Ulster (2003) and local fiddle player Gerry O’Connor’s MA dissertation at Dundalk Institute of Technology (2006), which was recently published as The Rose in the Gap (2018). The orchestra has also sought to include new compositions by its members and to date this has included a set from composers and directors Daithí Kearney and Adèle Commins from their album and collection A Louth Lilt (2017) and a new set from member Philip McGuinness. As the group develops, it is planned to include some songs from the rich Oriel tradition also.

Dr Daithí Kearney is co-director of the Creative Arts Research Centre at DkIT. Well-known as a performer, his most recent album with colleague Dr Adèle Commins entitled A Louth Lilt (2016) featured new compositions in the traditional music idiom. Together they were also recently commissioned to compose music and song for a new production celebrating the history and heritage of East Cork by Youghal-based group Ceolta Sí. Kearney lectures on Irish traditional music and community music at DkIT and is director of the DkIT Ceol Oirghialla Traditional Music Ensemble, which has developed an international profile in recent years through performances in North and South America, Norway and Scotland.

Tí Chulainn in Mullaghbawn regularly hosts rehearsals for the orchestra who are delighted to perform in the centre, which sits in the shadow of Sliabh Gullion.  The relationship between the OTO and Centre for Creative Arts Research at DkIT highlights the shared themes and goals of the members and provides opportunity for a sharing of research, expertise, space and performances. The orchestra are delighted to welcome their Portuguese friends who will participate in workshops while visiting Dundalk and surrounding areas.

Tickets for the concert are available from OTO members or at the door. To reserve a ticket email

Relevant Links:

BA (Hons) in Applied Music

BA (Hons) in Production of Music & Audic

MA in Traditional Music Studies

MA/MSc in Music Technology

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