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On Saturday 1st February 2014 Kilmainham Tales attended the now annual Peace Prom in the City West Convention Centre, Dublin.  

We support this because peace is the desired outcome of Ireland’s turbulent past, and this initiative, based on the Cross-Border Orchestra, is a very practical attempt at moving further from that past.

Another reason to attend was more personal – our Company Secretary, Jenny, was playing French Horn in the orchestra.

Jenny has travelled the world with this orchestra, which was established in 1995 as a peace initiative and now consists of 120 young musicians from all over the island of Ireland. 

Recognised internationally as one of the most significant peace initiatives on the island, The Orchestra has become one of the most acclaimed youth orchestras this island has ever produced.

Since its foundation the Cross Border Orchestra of Ireland has played in Aras an Uachtarain and Hillsborough Castle, Slane Castle, Dublin Castle and all over Ireland.

It has played before President McAleese and Queen Elizabeth II, and in overseas venues such as the

Royal Albert Hall (2012), World EXPO in Shanghai (2010), Carnegie Hall, New York, Chicago Symphony Hall etc. The orchestra has played across Europe too, in such countries as England, Italy, Czech Republic and Finland.

The Orchestra’s repertoire is impressive – classical, modern, jazz, film, pop … you name it, they can play it.

As well as orchestral instruments the Orchestra also incorporates traditional instruments such as lambeg drums, uileann pipes, bagpipes, bodhrain etc.  It is no wonder that it was given an award for the ‘Most Outstanding performance’ at the World EXPO in Shanghai, and that it always plays to full houses, all performances sold out long in advance.

The Peace Proms are a tour de force where the Orchestra gets to show off its broad range, accompanied by a choir of over a thousand children from schools from the whole island. 

Several of the pieces performed were specially commissioned to incorporate traditions from both sides of the border.

Another reason for us to attend was that the children of the International School of Dublin who had visited Kilmainham Gaol only a few days earlier were part of this huge choir. Perhaps their new knowledge and understanding of Irish history acquired there and in their studies made taking part in this event even more significant for them.

It goes without saying that this was an incredible evening’s entertainment, one no-one should miss. It had everything, music, song, dance, spectacle. Just look at the pictures and you will get a glimpse of what this initiative is achieving, and then go to a performance near you. Remaining concert dates and places are:

Sat 1st March 2014 – The Hub, Kilkenny. 2pm & 8pm

Sun 2nd March 2014 – The Hub, Kilkenny. 2pm & 8pm

Later this year there will be a concert in Carnegie Hall, New York.

For further information visit the Peace Proms here 

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