The overarching aim of the Junior Orchestra is to provide a fun and sociable outlet where young children of all abilities can enjoy playing their instruments together. It is the beginning of what we hope will be a long musical journey where players develop their musical skills while making new friends with a shared interest. Children in this orchestra are generally attending primary school and range from 6 years of age to approximately 13 years but there are no hard and fast rules. The repertoire of the junior orchestra is a wide and lively mix of pieces ranging from the classical to the contemporary and we welcome suggestions from players. Music is arranged for players according to their individual ability and we have players of all abilities from those who are just beginning to take lessons, to children who have been playing for a number of years.
We have a wide range of instruments in the Junior Orchestra. Our string section has violins, violas, cellos and double basses ; in our wind and brass section we have flutes, clarinets, trumpets and trombones. We also have a very exciting percussion section complete with timpani drums, bass drums, snare drums, cymbals and a glockenspiel as well as many other smaller percussion instruments. Many of our players own their instruments but we also have an instrument rental policy particularly for some of the more expensive and less common instruments.
Rehearsals are held in Coláiste na hInse in Laytown every Saturday morning from 8.50-10.15am; this allows everyone to sign in, set up and get tuned. The session ends with cookies and a drink and players are collected at 10.20am. Individual instrument lessons and group theory classes are available to members of the orchestra in the school on a Saturday morning.
Our performances over the year include an informal Christmas concert for family and friends, an end of year performance usually with the Senior orchestra and the orchestra may also participate in a festival or do an exchange with another orchestra.
We welcome all parents and potential players to come any Saturday morning to observe a rehearsal to see how it all works; committee members are always on hand to provide information and answer any questions.