Young Meath musicians all set for Carnegie Hall

A GROUP of 17 young musicians from Meath will have the opportunity of a lifetime when they perform with the Cross Border Orchestra of Ireland in New York's iconic Carnegie Hall on St Patrick's Day.

The CBOI concert in Carnegie Hall follows a sell-out series of 17 concerts across Ireland in January, February and March with peace proms choirs celebrating the orchestra's work and achievements in promoting peace, unity and tolerance on the island of Ireland since its foundation in 1995. Significantly, the concerts also mark the 25th anniversary of the Good Friday Agreement.

The CBOI is now composed of over 130 exceptionally talented young musicians from all over Ireland and Northern Ireland, including 17 from Meath.

The musicians from Meath in the orchestra are: Hazel Lattimore (Cello), Anna Maria Mills (flute), Laura Ann Rothwell (flute), Grace Anna Cunningham (harp), Orla Marie Cunningham (harp), Aodhamair Reilly (harp), Lara Villing (harp), Conor Meehan (trombone), Liam McDonnell (trombone), Bence Zele (trumpet), Christopher Zele (trumpet), Aisling Meehan (violin), Laura-Kate Gaughan (violin), Aoife McLoone (violin), Asha Szlachta (violin), Erica Moran (violin), Alex Slattery (violin). Members travel to Coláiste Chu Chulainn, Dundalk for weekly rehearsals.

The Cross Border Orchestra of Ireland performing at the Peace Proms.

A staggering 35,000 primary school children from almost 700 schools in Ireland and Northern Ireland form their Children’s Peace Choirs and performed with the orchestra at concerts held across the island in January through March including choirs from 21 Meath schools who took part in performances in the RDS on 4th and 5th February.

Sisters Ana and Lucy Murphy from Navan are among the performers from Meath travelling to New York to play in the world-famous Carnegie Hall. Both are students of Loreto Secondary School, Navan.

Ana (16), joined the orchestra in 2021. She has played the violin since she was 5 under the tutelage of Ms Maria Mason, travelling to Dublin every week for lessons. Ana completed her Grade 8 exam when she was 15 and performed on the Late Late Toy Show when she was in 5th class.

Ana Murphy, Laura Rothwell, Ella Rooney, and Hazel Lattimore

Speaking of the experience, she said she really enjoys the friends she has made and the best part is all the Peace Proms concerts they take part in. Ana added that she is really looking forward to travelling with the orchestra to New York for St Patrick's Day to perform in Carnegie Hall.

Ana’s sister Lucy (14) joined the orchestra this year having been inspired by the concerts last year. Lucy also plays the violin and said she had great fun at all the concerts they have played including University of Limerick, Waterford, the RDS, Dublin.

Ana and Lucy’s mother Sinéad Murphy said: "I am super proud of both the girls and the dedication they both have towards practicing and rehearsing every week in Dundalk.

"Playing in an orchestra is giving them opportunities to travel that they wouldn’t otherwise have and the experience is giving them confidence and most importantly they are having great fun and making new friends for life."

Also travelling to New York is 14-year-old Asha Szlachta from Enfield who was thrilled to be chosen for the New York trip having only joined the Orchestra in August.