After what can only be described as a flip-flop eighteen months, Kerry School of Music is finally gearing up for a year of celebration. In 1980 Aidan O’ Carroll suggested to the Town of Tralee VEC that there was a need in Tralee for a centrally located scheme of music classes open to the whole community. The proposal was viewed favourably and advertisements were placed in local newspapers. The classes began in the Vocational School, Moyderwell in October of that year with three teachers and roughly eighty students. In 1983 the school’s activities located to the more central Presentation Primary School and again in 1987 to the CBS Primary School in Clounalour. Ballet and Modern Dance were introduced in 1987 and by 1990 the annual student enrolment was close to 1,000 students.A company – Ceol-Scoil Chiarraí Teoranta was incorporated in 1991. Charitable and Scientific status were secured for the school in 1994 and the former Customs House in High St. was identified as being a suitable permanent home for the school. A lease in perpetuity was signed with the Office of Public Works in 1994 and refurbishment works commenced in 1995 with the support of FAS, Leader and Arts Council funds. The school officially opened its new state of the art home in September 1997. Astonishingly, Kerry School of Music is financially self-sustaining and is not dependent on public subsidy. Tuition fees, concert income and local patronage are the main sources of income.
Events in the coming year include:
Release of A Kerry Christmas 2 CD featuring the top sixteen tracks recorded over the forty years.
40th Birthday Celebrity Concert will see the world premiere of works by Kerry composers including Tralee native Murrough Connolly. 16-year old Castlemaine composer Jakub Straszewski will also have a work premiered on that occasion.
World premiere of Cúirt an Mhean Oíche, a setting by Aidan O’ Carroll of Bryan Merriman’s 1780 epic comic poem for orchestra, choir and soloists.