National honour for young Donegal musicians

Staff Reporter


Staff Reporter


National honour for young Donegal musicians

Pictured are tuba player Kevin Gavigan from Glenties and sax player Rory Doherty from Letterkenny, members of the Donegal Youth Orchestra,

Two members of the Donegal Youth Orchestra have been chosen to take part in the Irish Youth Wind Ensemble this summer.

Kevin Gavigan from Glenties auditioned on tuba and Rory Doherty from Letterkenny auditioned on sax. The auditions were in Dublin. Both were accepted.

Two former members of the Donegal Youth Orchestra, now off at university, are also involved in the Irish Youth Wind Ensemble (IYWE). They are Kieran Sharkey, Glenties, on trombone, and Lara Sweeney, Ardara, on French horn.

The four will take part in a week-long IYWE residential at the University of Limerick at the end of July, followed by concerts in Galway and Cork.

The Donegal Youth Orchestra is one of the performing groups of the Donegal Music Education Partnership. All four young musicians have had music tuition with the DMEP. Three of them have studied with brass tutor Ian Behan, Glenties. Rory Doherty is taught by sax tutor Sean McCarron, Fahan.

Kieran Sharkey, Lara Sweeney and Kevin Gavigan have also been involved with Glenties Brass Band. Rory Doherty plays with Carndonagh Brass Band. His dad Fergal is the band’s musical director.

Bertie Buckley, administrator of the Irish Association of Youth Orchestras, which works in association with the Irish Youth Wind Ensemble, said Donegal could be proud of its representation in the ensemble this year.

He said: “The IYWE sets high standards. To have four musicians involved is an achievement for Donegal. It’s a credit to everyone involved in the musical development of these talented young people.”

Aisling Grier of the Donegal Music Education Partnership said being part of a national ensemble will be a wonderful experience for all four.

“The residential week in Limerick is pretty full-on and they’ll be playing practically non-stop. They’ll be working with top-class tutors and with the outstanding young wind musicians in the country, so they’ll learn a lot. And have a great time!”

Kevin Gavigan’s mum Bríd said Kevin made the switch from tenor horn to tuba just a couple of years ago, so she’s delighted that he was successful in the audition.

“Kevin does music for the love of it – he doesn’t even do it as a subject at school. He’s really looking forward to the week in Limerick and the concerts. We can only thank Ian Behan and the DMEP for the tuition and the opportunities that gives to young people like Kevin.”

The DMEP, part of Donegal Education and Training Board, is enrolling for a new year of music tuition, beginning in September. The programme is part-funded by the Department of Education and offers classes in a whole range of instruments and singing across a range of centres in Donegal, including Letterkenny and Donegal Town.

For more information contact Aisling or Martin at the DMEP office, 07491 76293, visit or email