Mar 19, 2012

Mannheim and Dublin playing together

In April 2012 the Mannheim University Orchestra will go to Dublin to rehearse and perform together with the UCD Symphony Orchestra. In October 2012 the orchestra from Dublin will go to Mannheim. Conductors Ciarán Crilly (UCD Symphony Orchestra) and Manus O'Donnell (Mannheim University Orchestra) about their collaboration:

Why did you want to play together?

Manus: The simplest answer is: because it’s fun! It is always a pleasure to bring to compatible groups from different universities together and allow them to interact.

Ciarán: The collaboration will be a fantastic opportunity for the students to engage socially and artistically with musicians from another country. By having two parts to the exchange, the connections made shall be deeper and promote a better understanding of music-making in the two countries.


What are the benefits of playing together?

Manus: The benefits of such collaboration are several. Logistical: it’s easier when there is a host group to organise the concert, advertising, provide percussion instruments, etc. Motivation: The players in my orchestra are motivated to rehearse and are really looking forward to an enjoyable, but also productive weekend in Dublin. Musical: With a joint orchestra, it is also possible to perform music that requires larger forces than normally available. In April, we will perform two movements from Holst, The Planets (Mars & Jupiter), for example.


Do you have tips for orchestras that want to play together?

Ciarán: It is important to be aware of the levels of the respective groups in planning shared repertoire.

Manus: Make a realistic budget at the start and communicate this to the orchestra, so that everyone knows what the financial commitment is. Always remember – and remind your university – that this is a cultural exchange and deserving of financial support. Try to find a balance between an interesting/challenging musical experience and the opportunity for sightseeing and socializing.


Why should we go to your concerts?

Ciarán: There will be a tremendous buzz with all the players on stage. That excitement will make for a terrific audience spectacle.

Manus: For the same reasons they should go to our concerts in general: to hear talented and committed amateurs playing with passion.



To see the Mannheim University Orchestra and the UCD Symphony Orchestra play together, you can go on 14 April to the Astra Hall, University College Dublin.