Memory Orchestra to hit the right note in Athenry

Dave Flynn's Irish Memory Orchestra, Galway Apprentices. Back Row: Vitska Mulroy, Cregmore; Mary Duggan, Claregalway; Kate Reilly, Craughwell. Middle row Molly McHale, Sarah McHale and Ailbhe Sexton, Cregmore; Sinead Duggan, Claregalway; Emily Shiel, Cregmore. Front row: Laura Scanlon, Cregmore; Helena Doyle, Coolarne; Lauren McCann, Athenry.
Dave Flynn's Irish Memory Orchestra, Galway Apprentices. Back Row: Vitska Mulroy, Cregmore; Mary Duggan, Claregalway; Kate Reilly, Craughwell. Middle row Molly McHale, Sarah McHale and Ailbhe Sexton, Cregmore; Sinead Duggan, Claregalway; Emily Shiel, Cregmore. Front row: Laura Scanlon, Cregmore; Helena Doyle, Coolarne; Lauren McCann, Athenry.

Arts Week with Judy Murphy

Twelve young amateur musicians from Galway will be in concert at Dublin’s Christchurch Cathedral next month as part of Dave Flynn’s Irish Memory Orchestra (IMO), with special guest Máirtín O’Connor. They are premiering The Memory Symphony, a new, unique work, written by Dave.  Galway audiences will have a unique opportunity to attend the preview performance at the Raheen Woods Hotel in Athenry on Friday next, November 3.

The Irish Memory Orchestra (formerly the Clare Memory Orchestra) is a core chamber group of 20 world-class musicians from traditional, classical and jazz backgrounds. It’s unique among orchestras in the Western world in that the members play totally from memory.

For special occasions, the 20-strong core orchestra can expand – that’s done through the innovative Apprenticeship Scheme.

Dave devised this scheme to address what he felt was the need for a new system of education in music.

The aim is to allow performers to become equally well-versed in a variety of styles, he explains.

“I devised it to develop a 70-piece cross-genre orchestra to premiere my composition, The Clare Concerto. The scheme was needed to find 50 musicians who were capable of performing alongside the 20 professional members of the orchestra. I envisioned a spectacular orchestra like never seen before, mixing classical, traditional and jazz instruments.”

That dream became a reality in November 2013 when 70 musicians aged 11-90 from all over Ireland joined forces to premiere The Clare Concerto in Ennis, receiving a standing ovation from a full house at Glór.

For 2017, some 60 talented young and amateur musicians and singers, aged 10 and upwards, from all over Ireland and as far afield as the US, were selected to perform with the IMO. This followed a one-week intensive training scheme and auditions. Twelve are from Galway.

The musicians, professional and amateur, will perform Dave’s new piece in Galway and in Dublin next week, without sheet-music which is just what he intended when he wrote it.

For more, read this week’s Connacht Tribune.