Accordion players from all over the world will take part in the World Accordion Championships to be held in Innsbruck, Austria from 8th to 12th May. Forty musicians from Meath’s Castletown Accordion Orchestra, ranging in age from 11 years to adult, will fly to Austria to represent Ireland at the world's largest competition for accordion orchestras with more than 330 orchestras taking part. Held every three years, this event attracts in excess of 30,000 people to Innsbruck, Austria. The musicians will be accompanied by their family and supporters with a total group of 70 flying the flag for Ireland in Austria. They are holding a free concert, which will be their final rehearsal performance before flying to Austria, showcasing the three Castletown Accordion Orchestras who are representing Ireland. The concert will take place on Sunday 5th May at 3pm in Mullagh Hall, Mullagh, Co Cavan.
Brenda Donohue from RTE’s Derek Mooney show came down to one of their rehearsals to interview the orchestra members and their teachers and recorded them for the show which was aired on Wednesday 24th April.
This is the third time for the Castletown Accordion Orchestra to represent Ireland at this festival and they have always come in the top 10 in the World, being awarded a 2nd and 3rd place in 2007. According to John Chilton, Musical Director with Castletown Accordion Orchestra, “This year we will have three orchestras travelling to Innsbruck. There will be twelve countries represented including Austria, Estonia, England, Germany, Ireland, Italy, Moldova, Netherlands, Poland, Switzerland, Slovakia and Ukraine. The Junior Orchestra, with musical director Sara Brennan, will compete in the Under 16 Section: The Intermediate Orchestra, with musical director Yvonne Chilton, will compete in the Under 21’s section: and the Senior Orchestra, which I lead, will compete in the Adult Section. We are all very excited to be playing at this prestigious world music event and hope we perform to the best of our ability and make Ireland proud”.
The members of the Castletown Accordion Orchestra rehearse in the O’Carolan College in Nobber, Co. Meath every Friday from 5pm to 9.30 pm and in preparation for the World Accordion Festival they also rehearse on Sunday’s from 11am to 2pm in Mullagh Primary School, Co. Cavan.