Wednesday 21 March 2018

CUMAS band scale new musical heights at Fleadh

Members of the New Ross CUMAS band at the Fleadh Cheoil in Ennis
Members of the New Ross CUMAS band at the Fleadh Cheoil in Ennis

David Looby

The CUMAS traditional music band have made a name for themselves in recent months having performed on the All Ireland gig rig at the Fleadh Cheol in Ennis and at numerous venues across the east coast.

The band is comprised of ten members, and includes one female. There nine button accordian players and one drummer play in the group.

Band facilitator Ann Barnes said: 'We were originally base at the CWCW on the quay but it got flooded in October 2012 and in early 2013 we moved premises to Barretts Park. While there we wanted to bring the lads in a different direction. They want to learn music. We started with just three and it mushroomed.'

She said: 'It took about one year to 18 months for them to learn the music. We started by going out into community nursing homes once a month and then into New Ross Library and you could quickly see the progress they were making.'

Band facilitator Liam Murray said: 'It brought on their social skills and their confidence.'

The band competed at the Fleadh Cheol two years ago achieving some second and third place prizes and it won the county senior competition two years ago at the county fleadh in Craanford.

'They have developed even more since, with a lot more practice and a lot more changing tunes,' Ms Barnes said.

The band performed on stage at the Irish America Fesival this summer and regularly perform outside the Dunbrody Visitor Centre.

'The festival was the icing on the cake for them as they were playing in front of a home audience. They also loved playing at the St Patrick's Day Parade where they won the adjudicators' prize and at the Celtic Weave concert earlier this year.'

Martin Brown won first place at this year's county fleadh in Carrig on Bannow, while Aidan Sinnott, Chelsea Flynn and Martin Brown competed well, achieving second place and making it through to the Leinster finals where they competed very well in the singles and trebles.

The CUMAS band performed at Seisiun at the Horse & Hound during the summer.

The band also performed in Longford at the Leinster Championships and were invited to play at the Fleadh Cheol on the back of that impressive performance.

They have been invited to perform at next year's Fleadh Cheol so the future looks bright for the CUMAS traditional music band.

New Ross Standard