Clondalkin Youth Band perform for the President’s garden party

By Taylor Gleeson

The Clondalkin Youth Band had a presidential experience on Saturday, June 8 when 40 of the band’s members were invited to perform at a garden party in Áras An Uachtaráin hosted by President Michael D Higgins.

President Higgins and his wife chatted with band members, congratulating them on their musical achievements.

Vincent Dolan with President Higgins and the band 1Members of Clondalkin Youth Band with President Michael D Higgins and Vincent Dolan at the garden party

Vincent Dolan, director of the Clondalkin Youth Band said that since 1990 the Clondalkin Youth Band has been performing for each president, which many other bands have not had the opportunity to do.

“The President hosts a number of garden parties throughout the summer,” Dolan said. “He has seen the band many times at parades and festivals and especially at the Dublin St Patrick’s Day Parade and has always admired the standard of musicianship.”

The band played both classical and modern music to suit the occasion, despite not having much time to prepare.

“Due to limited rehearsal time, the band students pulled out all the stops, especially those doing Leaving and Junior Cert Exams,” Dolan explained. Altogether the band had two weeks to get ready for their presidential performance.

Dolan said the highlight of the day for everyone was the opportunity to meet President Michael D Higgins and his wife Sabina.

Dolan explained some of the band members’ other favourite parts of the day, he said: “The group were treated to an array of assorted food items in the Hyde Room. 

“They also had the opportunity of free time to walk through the grounds of Áras An Uachtaráin.”

On why the Clondalkin Youth Band stands out from other bands, Dolan said “Clondalkin Youth Band stand out due to their musical choices and how splendid they look in their colourful uniforms – they are very adaptable at marching as well as with sitdown concert performances.”

Clondalkin Youth Band’s next performance will be on Sunday, July 7 at 3pm in Farmleigh. 

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