“This is a society that seeks to meet both the needs of its musical members and the college itself with their events throughout the year ranging from two classical concerts in the exam hall, to the hip and hop music festivals of Forbidden Fruit, Metropolis and Electric Picnic.”
Even if you are not a Trinity student, there is a good chance that you would have heard of the Trinity Orchestra. Founded in 1989, the orchestra has grown in status in recent years and has established itself as a cherished institution, with their events throughout the year ranging from two classical concerts, to the hip and hop music festivals of Forbidden Fruit, Metropolis and Electric Picnic. Recently, the recognition of the orchestra has increased dramatically due to its performances on the main stages of music festivals.
For example, last Saturday the orchestra were lucky enough to perform a tribute to David Bowie at Metropolis with the singers society. More impressively, they also performed this rendition at Electric Picnic where Hozier joined them on stage for a spine-tingling performance of Bowie’s ‘Heros’ to a massive reception.
The Public Relations Officer, Iseult Browne, says two important aims of the orchestra is to: ‘‘Provide a platform for Trinity students to perform’’ and to: “Unite talented musicians from every discipline within the college.” Browne also emphasises that: ‘‘For those of us who don’t study music at third level, it is a fun and convenient way to keep music in our day to day lives.” Impressively, the orchestra is Ireland’s only orchestra that is run entirely by students and this can be “challenging’’ for the committee, explains Browne: ‘‘We’re all students with other commitments and the orchestra has a high workload as it is in demand more than ever before.’’
Browne expresses the laborious work that goes into organising just one performance. ‘‘For the likes of Electric Picnic, it is necessary to rent out and organise lights, sound systems and even chairs for us to sit on. We must also organise the transport of our larger instruments e.g the double basses and timpani, which is a mammoth of a task.’’
But having said this, the membership perks of the orchestra would make any Trinity student jealous. Daire Pryal, a first year student and new to the orchestra says he is: “blown away’’ by them. He tells us that: “They include free passes to the likes of Electric Picnic, Trinity Ball and Metropolis. There is also an annual tour!” This year, in an attempt to overcome the January blues, the whole orchestra (70 players and their instruments) will depart for Budapest.
For those who play an orchestral instrument, recruitment for new members takes place over freshers week, each year. Each applicant is required to audition by playing a piece of their choice along with a given extract. For those applicants that are successful, a level of commitment is required.
The orchestra rehearses every Tuesday evening of the college term for up to two and a half hours. But, there is no doubt that this seems a small sacrifice to pay, for membership to possibly the uniquest and most remarkable society within Trinity. Alternatively, if you’d rather just sit back and enjoy their fabulous music, Trinity Orchestra will play on Wednesday, the 7th of December in St Andrew’s Church on Westland Row.
Edited with added content