From Bach to One Direction:  Wexford Festival Orchestra members to host workshops for local students

For more than sixty years, Wexford Festival Opera has staged groundbreaking and breathtaking operas for international audiences. In doing so, the festival has catapulted many performers, artists and musicians to worldwide fame and has played a part in establishing their reputations.



From Bach to One Direction:  Wexford Festival Orchestra members to host workshops for local students

This year will see a special focus on encouraging and fostering young, local talent, as four world-class musicians will facilitate three workshops in three separate schools in Wexford.  The four musicians are currently members of The Wexford Festival Orchestra and will introduce students to a variety of musical styles.  The workshops will include everything from Bach to One Direction, and will be set at a pace where all participants will gain a better understanding of music. Kennedy Park National School, Crossabeg National School and St Peter’s College Secondary School have all signed up to be part of this exciting new initiative.


The orchestra workshops are the brain-child of Orchestra Manager Joe Csibi, who himself is an accomplished percussionist and has a long history of music and education.  He commented, “Here’s an opportunity for these world-class musicians who come from Ireland and the UK, but make their home in Wexford for two months every year, to bring their rich experience and musical talents to children in Wexford in a fun and interesting way.  It should be an incredibly unique opportunity for all involved."  Our 2013 Schools and Education Programme is made possible through the Philanthropy Initiative for Arts in Education from the Department of Arts, Heritage and the Gaeltacht. 


An Introduction to Music and Performance will be hosted by trumpet player Dan Newell, tuba and Cimbasso player Michael Levis, percussionist Bernard Reilly and violinist Lynda O’Connor. The workshop will give students of all interests a unique insight into the life of a working artist, the inner workings of an orchestra, as well as the value of each individual’s contribution within a piece of music. Interactivity is a particularly important aspect to the workshops, with rhythmic, percussive and melodic exercises playing a key role throughout.

The four musicians are all extremely accomplished.  Bernard O’Reilly is a highly respected composer and musician, and has recorded with many international names, such as the London Philharmonic, National Symphony Orchestra, Andrew Lloyd Webber and The Corrs.  Lynda O’Connor is from Wicklow and has played the violin since the age of three. She has gone on to become a regular prize-winner at the DIT Conservatory of Music and Drama and the Feis Ceoil. She regularly performs with Camerata Ireland, RTÉ Concert Orchestra, National Symphony Orchestra or Ireland, Irish Chamber Orchestra and Young European strings.  Michael Levis studied at the Guildhall School of Music and Drama and has since forged a career playing across the UK and beyond, including the BBC Scottish Symphony Orchestra, the Orchestra of the Royal Opera House, the BBC National Orchestra of Wales and BBC Radio 3.  Dan Newell aka ‘Dan the Trumpet Man’ has worked on more than 50 soundtracks including Hugo, Skyfall, Shrek, Harry Potter and The Lord of the Rings. He has also played with musical heavyweights such as Muse, Elbow, Bryan May, Peter Gabriel and Sir Paul McCartney. Dan regularly performs alongside Andy Crowley as part of DUAL, a trumpeting duo that specialises in soundtracks.

The public will also have the opportunity to see Dan Newell up close and personal in his concert with other DUAL member, Andy Crowley. The ‘Music from the Movies’ concert will be performed on 29 October in Rowe Street Church at 11am and will feature excerpts from classics of the silver screen and is suitable for music and film lovers of all ages. Special ticket prices for families are available for this must see concert.  Visit for booking information.