Image credit: Leo Murphy
Tomorrow evening – Friday 30 November – 13 young musicians from Cork City together with their mentors will raise the roof on RTÉ studios in Dublin when they perform on the 2018 Late Late Toy Show! Ranging in age from 12 to 17, the group, collectively known as ‘Rebel Brass’, was selected from among thousands of applications through a hugely competitive audition process earlier this year and will now join a top-class line-up of young artists, performers and entertainers to be broadcast across the globe on Friday night!
A New Orleans-style brass ensemble emerging from Cork’s Barrack Street Band in partnership with Music Generation Cork City, ‘Rebel Brass’ is led by a team of dedicated professional musician-tutors: Shauna McCullough, Clodagh Kearney and Stephen Manning. Shauna described the whirlwind experience of getting from application stage to audition:
‘…on a whim one Tuesday evening at a rehearsal session we got talking and decided to throw our hat in the ring. Two of players, Amy O'Callaghan and Caoimhe Barry, put the application together and sent it off – next thing we knew it we were called for the auditions in Limerick. We knew that going for the audition was going to be tough because it’s the Toy Show – everyone wants to be on the Toy Show – and there were lots of other brilliant and talented acts auditioning. But Ryan was exactly like you see on TV – bubbly, chatty and all about the music – he was so impressed with the band…’
Rebel Brass keep Tubs entertained during regional auditions for The Late Late Toy Show in Limerick. Video courtesy of Finbarr Barry.
‘Rebel Brass’ was formed just over one year ago as a result of a number of collaborations and unique performance opportunities created for young musicians through the partnership between Music Generation Cork City and Barrack Street Band. Among these is the highly successful ongoing collaboration between Music Generation Cork City and the Guinness Cork Jazz Festival, which in recent years has provided a platform for many of the ensemble members to develop their skills, cultivate new ideas and creativity. At the most recent edition of the Festival, ‘Rebel Brass’ performed for hundreds of Cork City natives and visitors on stage at Emmett Place alongside the New York Brass Band, at the Crawford Art Gallery, and even on board an open-top bus.
Watch the group's performance with the New York Brass Band, courtesy of Music Generation Cork City:
During the summer, having built a reputation for their energetic, vibrant performances, the young musicians were invited to welcome His Royal Highness the Prince of Wales and Camilla, Duchess of Cornwall to Ireland with a fanfare outside the English Market on Grande Parade. In March, they performed for guests including President Michael D. Higgins in Cork City Library as part of the Cork Lifelong Learning Festival 2018. And the previous week they represented Music Generation as young musicians-in-residence at the inaugural ‘National Musicians Day’ in St Patrick’s Campus, DCU.
Describing this super group of young people, Shauna explained how: ‘they are like a big family, the dynamic and friendship of the group is indescribable really – they look out for, encourage and support each other to be the best they can be and rise to new challenges – we've had plenty of those! There is something magic about playing music together – there's a social and creative connection between players that's not easy to describe and it gets stronger every time they play together. I can say that ‘Rebel Brass’ and all the people that have supported the band has helped shape the young players and will continue to do that – they are confident, motivated, creative, forthcoming with new ideas and certainly not afraid to be out on the spot for a random solo in front of a crowd!’
Rebel Brass provide a royal fanfare on the Grande Parade last June.
Following their Late Late Toy Show appearance ‘Rebel Brass’ will perform in two Dublin City locations on Saturday 1 December: The Jervis Street Shopping Centre (12 noon) and St Stephen’s Green Shopping Centre (2.30pm). Then they’ll be hitting the streets of Cork throughout December for performances on Grand Parade at the Glow Festival Stage and at other pop-up locations throughout around the City. Their message to their home town? –
‘We love what we are doing and we will keep doing it as long as people enjoy listening to us, so if anyone sees us playing just give us a thumbs up and say hello! We are really proud of Cork City and we want the city and its people to be proud of us.’