St Patrick’s Brass Band celebrates centenary with charity concert
By Kernan Andrews
Galway’s St Patrick’s Brass Band will celebrate its 100th birthday with a special concert in St Nicholas’ Collegiate Church tomorrow at 7.30pm.
As well as celebrating a major milestone in the life of this musical institution, the concert will be a fundrasier for the Simon Community and its work in Galway.
St Patrick’s is Galway city’s oldest band, having been founded in 1896. Originally it was a fife and drum band, eventually becoming a brass and reed band, before evolving into a brass band voluntary community based organisation.
Thanks to the band hundreds of Galwegians have learned to play musical instruments, and been taught the rudiments of music theory in the band room.
Throughout its history the band have played at many memorable events, such as the first St Patrick’s Day parade in Galway city n 1903and every parade since; during the visits of US presidents John F Kennedy and Ronald Reagan in 1963 and 1984 respectively; as well as the visit of Pope John-Paul II in 1979.
President Mary Robinson made a personal visit to St Patrick’s Band bandroom in 1996, while in October of this year, the band paraded and played for President Michael D Higgins on his homecoming to Galway after his success in the Presidential election.
Galway Simon provides accommodation for some 100 single men and women who have become homeless. It operates 10 housing projects and more than 50 apartments which have varying degrees of support. Some projects are ‘homes for life’ while others are designed for people who wish to remain for a while and then move on. Galway Simon also works to advance the rights of people who are homeless and works with them in an advocacy role.
Tickets are €10/15 from Charlie Byrnes Bookstore, Cornstore Mall, Middle Street; Galway Simon Furniture Shop, Briarhill; and Simon Shop, Sea Road.