Musical maestros laud orchestral opportunities

March 10, 2014

The Cross Border Orchestra of Ireland (CBOI) has recently completed a hugely successful national tour, playing to packed houses in cities across the country including Dublin, Limerick, Killarney, Kilkenny and Belfast.

For many of the talented musicians who form this symphonic orchestra, this tour was their debut with the CBOI, which was established 19 years ago to promote peace, tolerance and understanding of the different, cultures, religions and traditions using the medium of music.

The CBOI is led by some of Ireland’s top professional musicians including renowned Uilleann Piper, Patrick Martin from Inniskeen.

Many of the young musicians from the local area have spoken of their immense pride and honour at being a part of such a prestigious group.

Matthew O’Brien from Lislea is 13 years old and plays the trumpet: “I am so proud to be a part of this, I have learned a huge amount,” he said of the recent tour.    Matthew has just recently joined the orchestra while Siobhan McCreesh (15), a violinist from Crossmaglen is more of a veteran, having been a member for the last three years.

“I love the craic and the music, especially the concerts.  My favourite was the Royal Albert Hall, London,” Siobhan said.

As part of this most recent tour, thousands of schoolchildren from across the country were afforded the unique opportunity to perform alongside the orchestra during its thirteen shows nationwide.

A highlight for the orchestral musicians was performing at the Belfast Peace Proms at the Waterfront Hall, which Culture Minister, Carál Ní Chuilín, described as “an excellent example of how the arts can be used to unify people, helping everyone to enjoy the diversity both within music and culture”.

“The organisers of the event, the Cross Border Orchestra of Ireland, are acclaimed both here and internationally. I am delighted they have been working with local school choirs, giving the children the unique opportunity to perform with a full symphony orchestra,” she said.

Junior Minister Jennifer McCann said the Cross Border Orchestra of Ireland plays “a very important role” enhancing music and arts education north and south.

The orchestra is set to embark on a tour of America later this year, which will culminate with a performance in the world famous Carnegie Hall in New York.

As part of this pivotal mission, a major fundraising drive is underway to help furnish the costs of the trip.

Local communities are being urged to support the upcoming fundraising initiatives of these young musicians, one of which is Derek Ryan in concert to be held in the Carrickdale Hotel on Thursday 10th April.

For more information on CBOI visit