Aoife O' Donovan CCSM Past Pupil - Graduate of CIT School of Music- Teacher and Performer
My time with the CCSM shaped my future career in music!!
I can remember distinctly the introductory session I spent in the Junior Orchestra and the years of madness and wonderful music-making with the Senior Orchestra. I was lucky enough to go on tour with the orchestra to Tarragona in 2003 as one of the more senior members of the group. My first time playing solo with an orchestra was with CCYO! I have made lifelong friends from within this group.
My flute lessons I will never forget! Having one-to-one lessons with a baroque specialist laid a foundation for what has become my current field of expertise.
I was lucky enough to be a part of the VEC staff for three years after I finished my BMus.
To me, this felt like passing on some of the great experiences and opportunities that I had myself as a student.
Aoife O' Donovan
Oonagh Barry - Head of Hounslow Music Service and Past Pupil of The Co. Cork School of Music
Well......Where to start(!);
I first started to play violin when the local tech in Kinsale offered violin lessons through the Co Cork VEC. Around that time I remember (clearly) hearing Ruxandra Colon playing the Four Seasons in Cork and decided that violin was what i wanted to do! Through the Co Cork VEC I had the Saturday morning ensembles, graded examinations, local orchestra and the once a year county orchestra, where I sat beside Carol Daly. This was often just as well, as I frequently forgot to count and so Carol had to be ready to jump in at the drop of a hat. I also played piano through the service!
At UCC I studied Maths and Music and played in the University Orchestra. After graduation I entered a number of competitions. Carol Daly will remember many adventures from this time; who can forget Lalo's Symphony Espagnole with a faint in the middle, or that amazing hostel we stayed in while doing the Sligo Feis? A summer in Nantuckett in the USA was spent playing violin (accompanied by Anne Healy-Mayes on piano) in a posh hotel.
I was lucky enough to attend master classes in Santiago de Compostela with Augustin Leon Ara during two summers. Numerous shows and concerts later, I moved to Holland where I studied violin with Robert Szreder and Andre Gertler (who was a friend of Bartok and recorded most of his music). I also played in the Andre Rieu Salon Orkest all over Holland and Belgium - this was a great experience as I got to see a lot of the country and played everywhere from big concert halls, to tiny theatres and even in an airplane hanger.
In 1993 I moved to Kenya where I became Head of Music at an International School. I taught all music across the school and while there produced and directed 'The Boyfriend'. I appeared many times on Kenyan television and believe they still use some of those recordings! I left Kenya and moved to London where I played in various orchestras and taught violin at the Blackheath Conservatoire. In 1997 I moved to Brighton to take up a violin teaching post in East Sussex. Gradually I became a Music Centre manager, then an Area Leader and finally Senior Manager. My job involved managing teachers, organising concerts and working with ensembles and orchestras...and of course I have continued to play violin in various ensembles.
In September 2008 I took up my new job as Head of Hounslow Music Service in London. I am also on the National Executive of the Federation of Music Services for the UK. Sadly this means I no longer teach children, however I know that I can still have an impact on children's lives if I make the right decisions and policies. I was immensely lucky that the Co Cork VEC Music Scheme came to Kinsale and offered affordable violin lessons.
Music has changed my life and given so many opportunities - and thats what I want to do for children here in Hounslow. Thank you to everyone who made it possible for me at the Co Cork VEC!
Oonagh M Barry, Head of Hounslow Music Service, Feltham, London, England.
Deirdre & Paul Carroll – Parents of CCSM Pupils
Just a quick note to congratulate you on a wonderful concert in Ballincollig. The quality of the content of the entire concert was fantastic. All the artists including the traditional group were absolutely fantastic, as usual.
On a personal note, I just want to thank you for the pleasure that you have given to Nicola and Hazel for the past 8 years since Nicola started in the Orchestra. I have to be honest and say that never once did either of the girls complain about attending rehearsals and they will both look back with very fond memories of their time with the orchestra and the friends that they have built up. But most importantly, they have now gained such a respect for music, for the work that goes into a production such as a concert, and indeed to an orchestra performance. They also look back on the quality of teaching they received from all the teachers and yourself.
Many thanks for providing such enjoyable hours to the girls and to Paul and myself.
Best of luck.
Deirdre & Paul Carroll
Joan Keniry and family – Parent of a CCSM Orchestral Member
Dear Carol and Orchestra team,
Just a note to say the whole family thoroughly enjoyed the showcase concert in Ballincollig recently.
The whole night was superb especially the finale.
Well done and thanks to all who prepared the musicians so well, including my daughter.
Joan Keniry and family.
Anne Dunne – Principal – Clonakilty Community College
Many thanks for your kind invitation to your annual concert which I attended with my godson and niece. It was absolutely superb!!! Not a seat to be had in the house and a much deserved standing ovation for Wendy!!! Well done to both yourself and Martin on a totally professional, enjoyable and classy showcase for the County Cork School of Music!
Olga O' Sullivan - CCSM Parent
Ciara as much as her friends and parents enjoyed the gala concert very much! It is really amazing to see what you achieved with those young people during the last few months and it is great to watch the joy on their faces while making such beautiful music.
Adrianna Dinneen - CCSM Parent
Thanks to everyone for all their hard work during the year. Ciara loves being part of the orchestra and her dad and I know it is a great opportunity for her. Being part of such a large group is wonderful for learning and socialising, important skills at any age. The Gala Concert just lifted our hearts. Thank you again.
Frank Donovan - Carrignafoy Community College, Cobh (Principal)
Congratulations to you, Martin Barrett, and all involved in such a wonderful concert on Friday night last.
It was such a wonderful evening, full of variety and so uplifting. Well done to all !
Frank,Breda and Jacinta Donovan
Joan Gill - CCSM Parent (Killarney)
Just a short note to let you know how much we enjoyed the concert on Friday night.
It really was fantastic, and I was so glad that Shane was a part of it.
Thanks again for giving Shane the chance to play with the Orchestra. It was a great experience for him, and we were very proud.
Millie Kingston - CCSM Parent
I thoroughly enjoyed the concert in April and should have written earlier to compliment you on it. We had a number of people there to support Amy and they all were very impressed, including two Australian friends of my other daughter Stef, who were very complimentary and had not experienced a live orchestra performance before. It was a lovely evening filled with lots of delightful music. I loved the orchestra - but maybe I'm biased, but was also taken with the TY group from Glanmire and their body percussionist performance. Keep up the good work and we look forward to what next year has to bring.
Avril Crotty – Cellist, Student in CCSM: 1999-2007
Substitute Teacher for CCSM: 2007 – Present
My first experience with the County Cork School of Music was when I started my cello lessons with teacher Yvonne McCarthy at the age of 12. I had moved from a previous music school to here, so I was slightly apprehensive as to what to expect. I had no need to be, because as soon as I stepped through the door, I was made feel at ease. Yvonne, like the majority of the teachers I met through the CCSM, was kind and passionate about her instrument. She was also extremely encouraging (especially nearing exams and concerts) and even convinced me to join both the junior and senior orchestras. This move created for me years of memories and many friendships that still last today. It was also Yvonne’s passion for her instrument that made me want to continue my studies in cello and I am now about to graduate from the C.I.T. Cork School of Music with a Bachelors Degree in Music. When I look back on my time as a student in CCSM, I think of all the trips away with the Senior Orchestra to places like Paris, Barcelona and Prague, and all the craic we had!
Gerald O' Driscoll - CCSM Parent
I must congratulate you and your staff for your recent excellent (VEC) concert held in Ballincollig.
I was involved with the VEC over thirty years ago when they appointed two music instructors to the brass band in Skibbereen.
It brought back a lot of memories to me when my own daughter was part of the opening trumpet ensemble conducted by Ger Condon on the above evening.
You and your staff are doing tremendous work and the standard of both teacher and student is second to none.
I hope the government will continue to support your excellent work.
Gerald O' Driscoll
Cathal Garvey, Conductor, Violinist and Teacher.
Former CCSM Student
I began my musical studies at the age of eight in the very first year of the Couty Cork Music Scheme and studied for eight years with Siobhan O'Shea, playing in the Ballincollig Youth Orchestra and the County Cork Youth Orchestra both under the redoubtable leadership of Carol Daly! My time with the CCSM was very memorable; I loved being a busy young musician and was a member of all the Cork orchestras at some stage. I continued my studies at the Cork School of Music and later at UCC and Moscow Conservatory and then taught violin in the County Cork School of Music for four years. In the years since I've been busy as a violinist and conductor but I've never forgotten my time with the CCSM and the countless concerts I was involved in - there was a great emphasis on activity and participation.
I'm delighted to return to the County Cork School of Music as Examiner of Junior Strings and see that the quality and depth of string playing in Cork is as impressive as ever.