Another Success Story for DIT's Ballymun Wind Band Project

5th of April, 2006: This June will see music being taken as a Leaving Certificate subject in Ballymun schools for the first time. 12 students from the area today took their practical examinations in recorder, clarinet and singing.

While music has long been an option for local Junior Certificate students, it has not, up until now, been available as a subject for the Leaving Certificate. However, thanks to the efforts of Angela Murray, former Principal of the Ballymun Senior Comprehensive, the School's music teacher Marge Togher, and the steering committee of the Ballymun Wind Band, the possibility of studying music from 1st year to 6th has now became a reality.

The Ballymun Wind Band Project is an initiative of the Dublin Institute of Technology's Community Links Programme. It is an innovative project designed to promote the playing of instrumental music in schools. The project commenced in 1996 with recorder lessons for 1st class students in St Joseph's Junior National School. Over the years, the project has grown, with five schools now involved:

  • St Joseph's Junior NS
  • St Joseph's Senior NS
  • The Ballymun Junior Comprehensive (Boys)
  • The Ballymun Junior Comprehensive (Girls)
  • The Ballymun Senior Comprehensive

According to Dr. Thomas Cooke, Head of DIT's Community Links Programme; "The work undertaken to develop music in the schools has been both unique and groundbreaking. It has enriched the lives of the young people involved and indeed the wider Ballymun community as a whole".

Along with numerous performances in the Axis Theatre and at a state governmental dinner, they became the first-ever school band to perform with the National Symphony Orchestra in the National Concert Hall. They also took part in a video conference exchange with a school in Virginia in the presence of the US Secretary of State for Education, Rob Paige, and several students have been awarded scholarships to DIT's Conservatory of Music and Drama.

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