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October 22: DIT Conservatory celebrates its 125th birthday with CD recording Launch of Western Wind

DIT Conservatory of Music and Drama is delighted to announce the launch of a new CD recording marking its 125th anniversary.

Western Wind provides the opportunity to wind through the Conservatory’s corridors and eavesdrop on the intricate soundscape of one of Ireland’s most treasured performing arts institutions.  

On 15th October 1890, the Dublin Municipal School of Music opened its doors at the Assembly Rooms in William Street with classes in flute, piccolo, clarinet, horn and drums.  It quickly expanded to include the full range of instruments, voice and drama, and in 1963 became known as the College of Music.  New opportunities followed in 1978, when the College of Music became part of Dublin Institute of Technology (DIT).  Today the renamed DIT Conservatory of Music and Drama provides high quality, performance-based arts education encompassing a vibrant Junior Conservatory, third-level degree programmes and the largest music research centre in Ireland.  It offers the broadest range of performing arts disciplines of any institution in Ireland with degree programmes in classical, jazz and Irish traditional music performance, composition, musicology, music education, opera, drama and, in association with partner colleges, rock and pop music, music theatre, and scoring for film and visual media. The Conservatory shortly embarks on another exciting chapter with the move to a stunning purpose-built facility for the creative and performing arts within the new DIT Grangegorman campus in the heart of Dublin City.

The CD is produced by Conservatory lecturer and graduate, Laoise O’Brien, and she provides the following information on the concept of the new CD recording:

“Ireland is a country on the western fringes of Europe. Over the centuries we have been shaped and influenced by many diverse forces: Celts, Vikings, Normans, English, Scots, Spanish, Huguenots and more recently, by other nationalities and cultures. The Conservatory comprises many of these elements; the music and drama we collectively perform comes from many parts of the world, spanning a millennium of creativity. We are shaped, not only by these influences, but also by the people who perform and teach at our Conservatory. Our students and staff come from all parts of the island of Ireland with many coming originally from other lands and our performances are increasingly varied as we move with the fashions of our time. Western Wind aims to bring these elements together to demonstrate the wide-ranging talents on display at the Conservatory.

Imagining us as a nation, and more specifically as a school, shaped by the winds blowing from foreign lands, I pursued the theme of wind and how, in some cultures, people’s feelings and moods are determined by which wind is blowing. At the time of planning this programme, during the winter of 2013/14, our normally benign winter was interrupted by a conveyor belt series of fierce Atlantic storms, which caused havoc and even resulted in areas declaring a state of emergency. This gave me the idea to follow the pattern of a storm: calm conditions, a gathering storm, the eye of the storm (that deceiving period where the sun shines and all appears well), the peak of the storm, and eventually the winds dying away leaving a sense of relief before the task of clearing up begins.”

A short musical overview of the CD, featuring DIT Irish Traditional Music Ensemble performing 'An Gaoth Aneas':
Western Wind: DIT Conservatory of Music and Drama 1890-2015

 
Launch Date:    Thursday 22nd October 2015      
To order CD: conservatory@dit.ie

Press Contacts:
Laoise O’Brien, CD Producer:  laoise.obrien@dit.ie
Dr Cliona Doris, Head of Conservatory: cliona.doris@dit.ie