New York, NY – On March 17th, 2023, the Cross Border Orchestra of Ireland (CBOI) took to the iconic stage at Carnegie Hall in New York City to celebrate their work and achievements in promoting peace, unity and tolerance in Ireland since their foundation in 1995. Significantly, the concert also marked the 25th anniversary of the Good Friday Agreement.
Having just completed their annual ‘Peace Proms’ concert tour across Ireland and Northern Ireland where they played 17 sell-out arena concerts in Dublin, Belfast, Waterford and Limerick, the CBOI headed to New York for their historic concert on the world’s most prestigious stage at Carnegie Hall.
The 130-strong orchestra made up of talented young musicians from all over Ireland and Northern Ireland, delivered an epic performance at the iconic New York venue, earning thunderous applause and standing ovations.
The sold-out concert featured a line-up of outstanding talent including Conductor Greg Beardsell, CBOI Leader and solo violinist Richie Dunne, award-winning vocalist and songwriter Lauren Murphy, all-Ireland champion Uilleann Piper Conal Duffy, world champion Highland Piper Grahame Harris, and the Pipe Corp from Xavarian High School in Brooklyn. Additionally, Ulster Scots dancers from the Michelle Johnston School of Highland Dance in Belfast, dancers from the DeNogla Academy of Irish dance in Rockland County, New York, and a multi-award winning 100-strong Fairfield County Children’s Choir from Connecticut joined the orchestra on stage.
“It was an absolute honor to perform at Carnegie Hall on St. Patrick’s Day,” said Beardsell. “The energy and enthusiasm of the audience was palpable, and it was truly inspiring to see how music can bring people together in such a powerful way.”
“Ireland has a rich tradition of music that has been passed down through the generations, and it’s a privilege to share that heritage with audiences around the world,” said Sharon Treacy-Dunne, the orchestra’s Executive Director. “We believe that music has the power to transcend boundaries and bring people together, and we are grateful for the opportunity to share our passion with the Carnegie Hall community.”
The concert was a reflection of the deep cultural ties between the island of Ireland and the United States, and the orchestra’s performance was a testament to the importance of fostering international understanding and cooperation through the arts. Among the attendees were An Tánaiste Micheál Martin who introduced the concert; British Consul General Emma Wade-Smith; Irish Consul General Helena Nolan; Deputy Director of the Northern Ireland Bureau Eamonn McConville; Loretta Brennan-Glucksman; as well as headline sponsors Larry and Kate Goodman, the Goodman Foundation and Executive Vice President, Head of Americas for Invest Northern Ireland Andrea Haughian.
The Cross Border Orchestra of Ireland’s performance at Carnegie Hall was truly a once-in-a-lifetime experience, and a testament to the transformative power of music. Their unique blend of Irish and Ulster Scots music interwoven with the full symphony orchestra was both uplifting and moving, and reminded us all of the power of culture to bring people together and inspire hope for a brighter future.
But this was just the beginning of their adventure. The 130 talented musicians were given special VIP access and permission to perform Taylor Swift’s hit song “Welcome to New York” at dawn from the Top of the Rock, at the Rockefeller Centre. It was a exhilarating experience! The CBOI also surprised commuters at Grand Central Station with a thrilling flash mob performance, showcasing their incredible talent to the delight of passersby. In addition, the CBOI had the opportunity to do a spontaneous performance for An Tánaiste Micheál Martin on Park Avenue, where he joined in the fun by conducting the group. The CBOI were also delighted to do a special performance at Xaverian High School in Brooklyn where they were also treated to a performance by the multi-award winning Xavarian Jazz Ensemble. As if this wasn’t enough 100 of our CBOI family members did us proud by marching in the New York City’s St. Patrick’s Parade.
During their trip, the CBOI also took in the sights and sounds of the city, including a walking tour of Manhattan that included a visit to the 9/11 memorial pools and Little Island. Along with taking in a show on Broadway, they also indulged in some famous New York cuisine, dining at the iconic Hard Rock Cafe and Ellen’s Stardust Diner.
CBOI returned home exhausted but walking on air, proud of the impression they made on one of the world’s most vibrant and culturally rich cities. What an honour it was to represent our country, our culture, music and peace in the iconic Carnegie Hall. The trip was a once-in-a-lifetime experience, and the CBOI is grateful for the opportunity to have shared their talent with the people of New York.
For further information please contact the CBOI New York Executive Directors:
Orla Maguire: TEL: +1 917.822.6332 EMAIL: email@example.com
Dr. Ciaran O. Grant: TEL: +1 914.714.0336 EMAIL: firstname.lastname@example.org
CBOI Ireland Executive Director:
Sharon Treacy-Dunne: TEL: +353 86.828.3268 EMAIL: email@example.com