EWSB in Ireland
All Pictures by EWSB Members and Companions
On June 15, 2019, the East Winds Symphonic Band flew from Pittsburgh, PA to Dublin, Ireland, kicking off our first international tour. EWSB partnered with Music Celebrations International to participate in the “American Celebration of Music in Ireland”, bringing a mixture of American compositions, marches, and pop culture fanfare to the Irish people.
Persevering through airline and weather delays, EWSB eventually landed in Dublin and headed straight to the city of our first performance – Cork, Ireland. Our tour guides showed us through Cork City and the Ring of Kerry, where the band soaked up the sun, rain and breathtaking scenes of Molls Gap and the Kerry Mountains.
After a long day of adventure and exploration, EWSB returned to Cork to prepare for our first International Concert titled, “Strike up the Band!” at the Cork School of Music’s Curtis Auditorium. The band was met with a great and lively audience then celebrated our performance at The Oliver Plunkett Pub in downtown Cork.
EWSB’s Ireland adventure continued the next day, as we loaded the tour buses for Waterford, Ireland. On our way, we stopped at Blarney Castle and enjoyed exploring the castle, castle grounds and shops. We then ventured on to Waterford City, where the band enjoyed a walking tour of the city a well as a factory tour of the House of Waterford Crystal center.
The next day found us back on the bus to Kilkenny for our second performance. EWSB spent the morning exploring Kilkenny Castle and the city of Kilkenny before trekking up to St. Canice’s Cathedral for the concert. St. Canice’s Cathedral dates back to the 13th century and is one of the longest running cathedrals in Ireland. The experience of performing in such an old and acoustically brilliant cathedral was one the band will not soon forget. It was truly an experience of a lifetime, as the band was once more met with an enthusiastic audience.
From Kilkenny, EWSB circled back to Dublin, where we spent a day site seeing, including a tour through Dublin Castle and a trip to Trinity College Library to see the Book of Kells, an 800 A.D. illustrated manuscript of the four gospels of the Bible. We also enjoyed a traditional Irish dinner and performance at the Merry Ploughboy Irish Music Pub.
Our final day in Ireland brought us through the beauty of Glendalough and the Wicklow Mountains before heading back into Dublin City for our third and final performance at the Artane School of Music. This concert was especially enjoyable due to the joint performance with members of the Artane Senior Band, one of the premier concert and marching bands in Ireland today.
Thank you to all who supported our fundraising efforts and helped make this trip a reality. EWSB’s International Tour through Ireland was full of adventure, history, beauty, kindness, and of course, great music. It was an honor to act as ambassadors from Pittsburgh to Ireland and to bring some of America’s greatest wind ensemble music to the great nation of Ireland. We are excited to see what our next International Tour brings.