Clonakilty Brass Band is booming

Clon Brass Band

Posted on: 8th August, 2014

Category: Arts & Entertainment

Contributor: West Cork People

Clonakilty Brass Band, formerly known as St Patrick’s Brass Band, was formed in 1982, relaunched in 1998 and facilitated in the Community College by then Principal Mr. Paddy Duggan.

Musical Director Mr Gerard Condon was appointed by the then VEC and the band has gone from strength to strength, with ever increasing numbers and waiting lists for coveted lessons in the various brass band instruments.

Clonakilty Brass Band has a sizeable Junior Band and Beginners Band with members hailing from most of the Primary schools in the Clonakilty area. The Senior Band comprises of 35 musicians of varying ages, many of who have moved up from the Junior Band under Ger’s tuition.

Over the past number of years many of the band members have progressed to study Music at Third Level with some graduating in September of this year. Catherine Hayes, Aaron O’Donovan, Jack Malone, Adrian Hanly and Michael Russell are all students at Cork School of Music while Ben Burton studies at the Royal Academy of Music in London.

The Bands’ hardworking committee meets regularly to fundraise, plan, liase and organise the many gigs and events undertaken by the band, the most recent being at The 35th South of Ireland Band Championship held on the first weekend of July in Clonakilty. The band, which was the youngest Senior Band in its category was awarded a Special Prize for being ‘the Band with the most potential’.

Clonakilty Brass Band holds two concerts annually — Spring and Autumn and the band performs at many festivals, sports events, weddings and charity events throughout the year.

Instruments have been generously grant aided to the tune of €38,000 by West Cork Development Partnership along with fundraising and sponsorship carried out by the Bands’ Committee, (notably Mr. Mick Hanly in securing the Grant Aid).

The total instrument Inventory currently stands at close on €100,000. Instruments can be rented for a nominal fee and members are encouraged to purchase their own, as they become more skilled. Yearly membership of the band too is affordable and lessons in all Brass instruments, from cornet to trumpet, baritone, trombone, tuba, euphonium  are provided  under the CCSM, County Cork School of Music Scheme at Clonakilty Community College. CCSM offers a wide variety of instrumental tuition programmes in 33 schools, organisations and centres throughout the county to realise a registered CCSM population of over 2,500 students.

Admission to the School is through the completion of the relevant CENTRE Application Form, available online at

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Dúchas Clonakilty's first lecture for the Autumn promises to be of huge interest to all: Emerging from the Shadow of Tom Crean – The Parish Centre, Clonakilty, Thursday September 28th 8.30pm.

Lecture by Aileen Crean O’Brien & Bill Sheppard

In May 2016, Kerry man Tom Crean, along with Ernest Shackleton and four other crew members, landed the James Caird lifeboat on the rocky isle of South Georgia. The navigation of that small boat, across 1500 km through icy winds and towering seas, is regarded as the greatest ever feat of navigation. They then trekked across the forbidding and inhospitable mountains and glaciers of South Georgia to seek help for the rest of their crew, who were left behind on Elephant Island after their ship, the Endurance, was crushed by the Antarctic ice.

One hundred years later, Crean’s grandaughter, Aileen Crean O’Brien, set off with her sons and partner to follow in her grandfather’s footsteps. Join Aileen and Bill to hear of their adventures (and misadventures) on the Southern Ocean and the island of South Georgia.
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