Wednesday 21 March 2018

Musical director Pat was a true gent with a big heart

The late Pat Dunleavy
The late Pat Dunleavy

Members and friends of Bray Musical Society were deeply sad to learn of the recent death of Pat Dunleavy, a former Musical Director.

Pat was an enthusiastic and supportive honorary member of Bray Musical Society (BMS) for many years. Pat took on the challenging role of Musical Director for the society's productions of The Pyjama Game, Oliver, Annie, West Side Story, Annie Get Your Gun, and most notably Chess, for which he won Best Musical Director at the prestigious AIMS Awards Ceremony in 2001.

Pat was also the first Musical Director to bring BMS to the New Ross Choral Festival, where the group won the Ballyclare Rose Bowl Trophy for their rendition of 'The Rhythm of Life'.

He is described by his friends as small in stature, but big in heart, a true gentleman and always with a beaming smile on his face.

He would never ridicule the cast for getting a song wrong, instead he would work backwards with the cast through the song from the last bar to the first until it was right.

Those who knew Pat have incredibly fond memories of music and laughter with him, which are shared regularly by current society members.

Pat was well known to have a camera around his neck the closer it got to opening night and now many of those memories are captured in his photos forever.

He lived in Templeogue, but came to Bray daily to enjoy a walk. He remained a patron of Bray Musical Society and, last April, attended their production of Godspell at the Mermaid Arts Centre.

He was also a former RTÉ orchestra manager and concerts manager, as well as musical director of Dublin Concert Band for over 30 years and a contributor to the Army School of Music.

He left a huge impression on all those who had the privilege to play under his baton, and his contribution to the world of banding in Ireland was immense. Dublin Concert Band were among those to play at Pat's funeral Mass.

Pat passed away peacefully at Tallaght Hospital on December 29 after a short illness.

He is survived by his wife Angela, Lily, son Colum, daughter-in-law Catherine, grandchildren Bryan, Siobhan and Niamh, brothers-in-law, sisters-in-law, extended family, neighbours and friends. He was sadly predeceased by his son Patrick.

Pat's funeral took place at the Church of St Jude the Apostle, Templeogue, on Tuesday, January 2, before burial at Kilmashogue Cemetery.

Wicklow People