History

The University of Limerick Orchestra was founded in 1992 by Anne Ross. Dr, Edward Walsh, the then President of the University, approached Anne and asked her to start an orchestra on campus. Anne took it on as a full time project, a position she held for 15 years. They had their first rehearsal in the basement of Plassey House. There were 10 players at the first rehearsal and the cellist, Iosef Calef was the first conductor, a position he held until 1996. The numbers grew and they had 25 when giving their first concert in the Schoenberg Building on campus, on 23rd June 1992 (poster available in Gallery page of website).


The Orchestra was then called a Chamber Orchestra. Over the years it has grown, and today it stands at full symphony orchestral size. It was the first orchestra to play in the then new University Concert hall, and the orchestra continues to play there, giving two concerts every year, one at Christmas and one in May.


They rehearsed first in Plassey house but then moved rehearsal venue as they grew in size. They went to the Schoenberg building, then to the Kilmurry Village Hall and now they rehearse in the Irish Chamber Orchestra building, again on campus.

The orchestra has had many managers including Ann Ross, Deirdre Hanley, Deirdre Byrne, Helen kelly and Heather Gardner. The current manager is Peter Hanley. The orchestra also has a very active committee. There have been many very talented musicians play in the orchestra but our leaders have been second to none. Our first leader was Ruth Hill, then there has been Liz Hickey, Karen Franklin, Delphine O’Brien, and currently we are very fortunate to have Wiltrud McElligott.


Over the years we have had many conductors, our very first was Iosef Calef, and following Iosef was Ronan O Reilly, Michael Lynch, John Davis, Michael John Ryan and presently Liam Daly.

The orchestra is a community based orchestra and has a community ethos. The players come from the many schools of music in the surrounding areas, Limerick School of Music, Clare Music Makers, The Boherbuoy Band, The Redemptorist Centre of Music to name but a few. There is a substantial number of students from the University of Limerick playing with the orchestra, especially from the String Master Course run in the Irish World Academy of Music and Dance. We are always looking for new players, so if you are interested please fill out the form or send an email in the Contact section of our site. 

 

We give three concerts a year: First in early December in the UCH, second on a Saturday in early May for the Prom concert again the UCH and lastly on the Sunday directly after second concert. Our third concert is a held to raise money for a  charity. We are available to any charity, we will travel to venue, usually a church, outside Limerick and are delighted to play our prom concert for a second time. All money made from this concert go to the charity. Over the years we have played for Alzheimer, Cancer Units, St, Vincent de Paul, Community Centres and many more.