EPIC Award for DkIT Ensemble-in-Residence10 October 2019
The Oriel Traditional Orchestra (OTO), an ensemble in residence at Dundalk Institute of Technology, won two awards at the recent Epic Awards ceremony organised by Voluntary Arts in Edinburgh on Thursday 3 October. The event hosted by BBC Scotland presenter Janice Forsyth recognised the achievements of creative groups across the England, Scotland, Wales and Republic of Ireland. As well as the prestigious People’s Choice Award, the OTO were runners up in the Ireland category of the awards.
The Oriel Traditional Orchestra is a voluntary cross-border, intergenerational community orchestra established in September 2017. With members from Louth, Meath, Monaghan and Armagh the OTO concentrates on Irish traditional music repertoire from the Oriel region arranged especially for the orchestra. The orchestra benefits from the voluntary involvement of local music teachers, as well as lecturers and researchers at Dundalk Institute of Technology. Orchestra directors include Dr Adèle Commins, Head of Department of Creative Arts, Media and Music, Dr Daithí Kearney, Co-Director of the Creative Arts Research Centre, and Noreen McManus, fiddle tutor at DkIT. The orchestra’s repertoire also includes compositions by DkIT computing lecturer Dr Philip McGuinness and the orchestra’s membership includes DkIT students and graduates.
Josepha Madigan TD, Minister for Culture, Heritage, and the Gaeltacht stated in her message to the attendees,
"The Epic awards recognise the volunteerism which thrives across so much of the arts and cultural sector. Winning the People’s Choice Award is also an incredible accolade for the Oriel Traditional Orchestra and reflects its huge achievements in founding a cross-border intergenerational ensemble whose aim is to explore the musical heritage of the region. These awards capture the wealth of creativity in all of our communities and the many benefits of living in a more creative Ireland. Enabling and enhancing culture and creativity in communities nationwide is central to the Government's Creative Ireland programme, which aims to put creativity at the heart of public policy at local and national level, for the very first time."
Performances by the OTO over the past twelve months include a concert in An Táin Theatre in Dundalk in collaboration with the Department of Creative Arts, Media and Music at DkIT, performances at Fleadh Cheoil na hÉireann in Drogheda and a collaboration with the Lourdes Brass Band for Aifreann na bhFleidhe broadcast on Raidió na Gaeltachta. With the support of the Department of Culture, Heritage and the Gaeltachts, the OTO commissioned a new suite of music inspired by the region, which the orchestra premiered in April 2019 in Co. Armagh, with subsequent performances for the Louth and Monaghan County Fleadhanna Cheoil in May 2019.
The next performance by the Oriel Traditional Orchestra will be as part of a fundraiser for the Louth Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals to be held in the Lisdoo on 15 November 2019 at 8pm.