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Kevin O'Carroll Music - Orchestra



Waterford Concert Orchestra  -

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Waterford Concert Orchestra was foundeed by Kevin O'Carroll in 2010 with the intention of providing entertaining and educational concerts for primary school children in Waterford and its hinterland.  The orchestra has developed into a high standard orchestra providing a wide range of genres for the general public while still providing the educational material for the next generation.  What follows are details of the concerts mounted by the orchestra and the reviews of those concerts in local papers.  
Masters of Hollywood
Pictures of Ireland
Liam Murphy Munster Express
WATERFORD CONCERT ORCHESTRA REVIEW                       Waterford Concert Orchestra
I felt right and proper proud, to be from Waterford at the Kevin O'Carroll, Waterford Concert Orchestra performance of Pictures Of Ireland, at Christ Church Cathedral. It was wonderful to sit among a capacity audience and experience the thrill and exhilaration of hearing the premiere of two new pieces, Lineage Suite from Mitch Cuss and Legacy from Greg Scanlon.
Pictures Of Ireland was part of the Waterford 1100 celebrations, and in its way it honoured the past and shared a hope for the future. I feel that our 'undefeated' city has taken a bashing recently, and I cannot understand how a political process has stripped my city of things it held cherished and dear. I feel a sense of derision and disrespect that 'Ireland's Oldest City' has been reduced and traduced.
Kevin O'Carroll deserves great praise as do the singers, and musicians who came together to present this amazing orchestral concert.
Opening with Shaun Davey's Granuaile, a large scale melodic soundscape that bridges the traditional with orchestral flourishes and fanfares. It is about an hour long, and is filled with beauty, wonder and pride. Karen O'Donovan sang the Grace O'Malley (Granuaile) parts, which was not easy, fronting a large orchestra with a muted mic. Tobie Hickey joined her for tunes like, Ripples In The Rockpools (a song that Irish Water may come to dread). Paul O'Brien on guitar, Jimmy O'Brien Moran on uileann pipes and David Agnew on oboe added much to a rich experience. In, Hen's March, I noted the symbolism of the line: Upon the passing of the year I did command, changing of the guard. The section: Seems like thunder, looks like rain, created the power of something that is surging still in the country: I will not grieve when the devil take you underneath the grass and thorn grow upon your grave.
The trumpet work of Mitch Cuss, Niall O'Connor and Peter Taylor, struck home in the Lament: The Spanish Armada. Nick Bailey and Cormac O'Connor on timpani and percussion stirred the heart, time and again.
After the interval, I loved the familiar tunes of Leroy Anderson's, Irish Suite, and the orchestra enjoyed the conviviality of it all. This was beautiful and wonderful. Mitch Cuss has composed a much longer work  but it was a thrill to hear the premiere of Movement 1 (Annie and Forrest), Lineage Suite, inspired by grandparents and the rich tapestry of family stories. The extract had a stirring undercurrent, and a triumphant victorious conclusion.  I floated out of the concert elated and enthused, and as I passed the bust of William Vincent Wallace I thought I heard him hum - Scenes that Are Brightest, and well he should.

Waterford Concert Orchestra presents Pictures of Ireland as its contribution to Waterford 1100.   This concert will feature the suite Granuaile by Shaun Davey as the first half.  Containing the famous Ripples in the Rockpools (currently on the second level school music curriculum) this work is written for solo voice and Uileann Pipes with orchestral accompaniment.  The voice part will be sung by Karen O’Sullivan who has appeared on tour as soloist with Liam Lawton while the Uileann Pipes will be played by local piper Jimmy O’Brien Moran.

The second half of the concert will have two premiers along with the ever popular Irish Suite by Leroy Anderson.  Anderson’s piece is a collection of Irish songs and melodies including The Rakes of Mallow, The Minstrel Boy and The Last Rose of Summer amongst others.

Better known as a trumpeter, Mitch Cuss has composed a short miniature inspired by the lives of his grandparents Annie & Forrest.  This piece is the first movement in what Mitch hopes will eventually be a longer musical exploration of his family heritage. 


Waterford Concert Orchestra (WCO) presents the first orchestral concert of the year on February 8th at 8pm in Christ Church Cathedral, Waterford.  The concert will explore the impact of Latin music and Jazz on the music of Gershwin, Cole Porter and Leonard Bernstein among others. 
Starting with the increasingly popular Danzon No.2 by Artruro Marquez, the concert will continue with a habitual favourite – George Gershwin’s Rhapsody in Blue.  Piano soloist for this work will be the internationally renowned Finghin Collins.  Collins is no stranger to Waterford having been artist in residence at WIT from 2005 to 2009.  He has performed many times in Waterford both as a solo artist and also as part of various chamber music ensembles but this is his first time appearing with Waterford Concert Orchestra. 
Collins established his international reputation by winning the 1999 Clara Haskil International Piano Competition. Since then he has performed with leading orchestras such as the Chicago, City of Birmingham and Houston Symphony orchestras, the Seoul, London, Rotterdam and Royal Philharmonic orchestras, the Hong Kong Sinfonietta, Northern Sinfonia, the Orchestre de la Suisse Romande and the Gulbenkian Orchestra.   In September 2010 he made his second critically-acclaimed appearance at the BBC Proms at the Royal Albert Hall in London, performing with the BBC Philharmonic under Gianandrea Noseda.
Over the last few months there have been some remarkable coincidences with Waterford Concert Orchestra (WCO) and both the National Symphony Orchestra (NSO) and the RTE Concert Orchestra (RTECO).  No sooner does WCO announce its programme but adverts are heard on the radio for very similar or indeed identical programming.  WCO announced its Rogers and Hammerstein concert for November last and within days the RTECO announced it was doing a concert performance of South Pacific.  Before Christmas WCO announced that they were performing Danzon No.2 by Marquez and Gershwin’s Rhapsody in Blue with Finghin Collins on February 8th.  Lo and behold would you believe it?  Two weeks ago the NSO performed the Marquez and just this week they advertised their performance of Rhapsody in Blue.  Coincidence or what?


What is certain is that February 8th is sure to be an evening of music making not to be missed.  To secure your tickets (€20/€18) book online at or by phoning 051 855038.  Tickets will also be available at the door.  Please note that as seating is not reserved early attendance is recommended.


Munster Express 19/03/2013             Waterford Concert Orchestra

Kevin O'Carroll once again delivered a wonderful orchestral sound and experience in St. John's Church Parnell St., with a forty plus orchestra for, Soldiers & Pirates. I loved the mix of seldom heard Beethoven with popular movie classics and a glorious G&S Overture, with a tender violin solo from Teresa Costello and what seemed like an army of percussion and a brass section to whoop and holler for.

Waterford Concert Orchestra is such an attractive addition to Waterford entertainment, just as Kevin O'Carroll is an integral part of this cities cultural life. His musical choices were excellent, opening with a Beethoven treat, Wellington's Victory, that recreates musically a battle  with the roar and boom of cannon and the rattle of musket fire. This piece was almost forgotten as a potboiler for a victorious monarch and has achieved recent revival, using real cannons in the open air. The church is very echoey, but I loved this effect and the immediacy of sound negated for me any nicety I might have expected. When Beethoven was criticised for this piece, that has echos of Rule Britannia, Jolly Good Fellow, and God Save The King. He said it earned him good money and of those who criticised him he said " What I shit is better than anything they could think up". Yo Beethoven!

After the battle, Teresa Costello's violin solo on John Williams, Schindler's List was balm for the ears and the spirit. A Wexford Rhapsody with O'Carroll's own orchestration was a wonderful Irish inclusion and a treat for the audience before the battle returned for Malcolm Arnold's 1968 composition, Peterloo. The drums were ominous and the brass scary.

The second half opened with a delightful and tuneful, Pirates of Penzance Overture. I loved the melodies and the orchestra sparkled, especially Sinead O'Carroll on keyboard. This reminded me of vintage Opera Festival fare.

There was a  sad elegiac quality to John Williams reflective, Hymn To The Fallen and a rousing, Pirates of the Caribbean, rocked the audience who rose in ovation and applause.


Named Concert of the Year 2012 by The Munster Express!


Symphony Club of Waterford (SCOW) - November 17 - 8.00pm, The Large Room, City Hall, Waterford

What the reviewers said:

The Munster Express - ORCHESTRAL CONCERT REVIEW                Classical Movie Classics

Let's hear it for Kevin O'Carroll and Liam Daly of Symphony Club of Waterford, for a splendid symphonic concert in The Large Room. The title might be a little clunky but the content was glorious. The Waterford Concert Orchestra, a forty plus symphonic band presented - Classical Movie Classics, based on the impact and adaptation of classical music into films and added to that an excellent tribute to John Williams and his wonderful contribution to movie music. Add to this the excellent Madrigallery, singing in the gallery/balcony/shelf and this was a glorious night and such a blast of exciting music.

At first thinking, the Large Room, might not be considered ideal for a large orchestra as it might depend on where you are sitting (I remember a Wexford Sinfonia there and the sound clattered and bounced). The orchestra took up more than a third of the room, but the atmosphere was anticipatory and eager.. I had hurried from another venue and with a crowd for Richie Hayes in the Royal and the Symphony Club members, there was such a buzz in the building. Kevin O'Carroll conducted with attack and dedication and his witty and informative introductions added to the fine programme notes.

A slice of Finlandia set the the tough-guy tone from, The Hunt For Red October and Die Hard 2, and then Stephen Mackey on clarinet created the Mozart mood for the wide open vistas of, Out Of Africa. Madrigallery singing in German, lifted the spirits with, Jesu Joy Of Man's Desiring, from, Minority Report. Sinead O'Carroll on piano and Ruby Ashley(oboe) were wonderful on Satie's work from Woody Allen's almost flop, Another Woman.

Madrigalley were again excellent for Lacrymosa from Mozart's Requiem as used in Amadeus. There was fun with the Alfred Hitchcock Presents theme, Funeral March of a Marionette, and Elgar's, pomp and Circumstance March No.1 (Land Of Hope And Glory) from A Clockwork Orange, rocked the venue and I just cannot understand why this audience just sat there. I wanted to be up and waving an imaginary flag and expressing my pleasure for this musical occasion.

After the interval, a Charpentier Fanfare, used in the Eurovision settled the audience for a glorious, Arthur Sullivan, Overture from Yeoman of the Guard, with fine bassoon and trombone sounds. Sweet memories of the Opera Festival. Madrigallery delighted on the, Humming Chorus (Madam Butterfly),used in, Natural Born Killers, and Claire O'Donnell (harp) added much to the string section.

Then it was high heaven, a glorious place, a thrill of emotion, a rush of sound for the John Williams section. The poignant and powerful, Hymn to The Fallen, from Saving Private Ryan, with horns and drums and choir and then the Symphonic Dances from, Fiddler On The Roof, with Stephen Mackey (clarinet) in wonderful form as the flutes of Jenny Burns and Gerard Dower, pirouetted in sound.

Teresa Costello (violin) was quality with, I Could Have Done More, from Schindler's List and this was symphonic beauty before a medley of popular themes, like, Star Wars, Jaws and E.T, rocked the house. What a finale and for the life of me, this audience sat there, and did not rise in ovation. Yes, the applause was warm and sustained but I wanted , whoopin' and hollerin'.

Kevin O'Carroll and the Waterford Concert Orchestra will give two, The Snowman performances on Sunday, 2 December in Dooley's Hotel. He will also direct, Vocalis, a choral ensemble in a Ceremony of Carols in the beautiful De La Salle College Chapel on 13 December. In January 2013 Madrigallery and orchestra will present the wonderful, The Armed Man by Karl Jenkins. 


Sibelius Finlandia Mozart - 2nd Movement Clarinet Concerto Bach - Jesu Joy of Man's Desiring, Satie - Gymnopedie No.3, Mozart - Lacrymosa from Requiem Gounod - Funeral March of a Marionette, Elgar - Pomp and Circumstance No 1, Charpentier - Fanfare from Te Deum, Sullivan - Overture to Yeomen of the Guard, Puccini Humming Chorus from Madam Butterfly, Williams - Hymn to the Fallen, Bock - Symphonic Dances from Fiddler on the Roof, Williams - Schindler's List, Williams - A Tribute to John Williams


Autumn/Winter performances 2012

Autumn 2012 is looking like an exciting time for Waterford Concert Orchestra.  having been asked by The Symphony Club of Waterford to present a programme of accessible music, WCO will perform in The Large Room, City Hall, Waterford on November 17th,2012.  This concert wll include classical favourites that have been used in film.  Firm favourites such as Finlandia (used in The Hunt for Red October) and the slow movement of Mozart's Clarinet Concerto (used in American Gigilo) will be included.  Also taking part will be the multi award-winning choir Madrigallery.  Their voices will conjour up images from Primal Fear (Lacrymosa, Mozart Requiem) and Saving Private Ryan (Hymn to the Fallen).  


Snowman in Review - 

Munster Express 16 December 2011 - 

O'Carroll sets out to be engaging, educating and entertaining and the standing ovation at the end signalled how sussessful he was in achieving this end.  The price was family friendly, the orchestra was large and the venue was warming and welcoming.  I loved the performance ...

Waterford News and Star 6 December 2011 - 

The Snowman a visual and musical delight.  Waterford Concert Orchestra presented an excellent live performance of The Snowman as a Christmas Prom to a packed house at Dooley's Hotel.  Complete with on screen cartoon, the live performance was a delight.  Kevin O'Carroll's orchestra got the Christmas season off to a festive bang.

The Snowman comes to Waterford

Waterford Concert Orchestra has just announced details of their Christmas Proms Concert in Dooley's Hotel, Waterford on december 4th 2011.  In addition to the perennial favourites of A Christmas Festival  and Sleighride, the concert will also feature a showing of Raymond Brigg's animated classic The Snowman.  Howard Blake's wonderful score, which includes the hit song I'm Walking in the Air, will be performed live by Waterford Concert Orchestra.  A similar event is run every year in the National Concert Hall and invariably sells out.  Waterford Audiences now have an opportunity to experience this special event right on their doorstep.  Keep a look out for details of ticket prices and booking arrangements.


Could you sing I'm Walking in the Air?

WCO are searching for a special singer to join them in the performance on The Snowman in Waterford on December 4th, 2011.  Auditions will be held on October 9th in Dooley's Hotel for boys and girls interested in performing with the orchestra.  For details of the auditions, please email


Waterford Concert Orchestra set to lift the spirits

In this time of doom and gloom isn’t it great to see that there are those out there who are determined to raise our spirits with light entertainment. Waterford Concert Orchestra comes to life in April bringing light classical music to the people of Waterford and Dungarvan. This group of 35 musicians are really looking forward to having fun entertaining Waterford audiences with music by such famous names as John Williams (Star Wars, Superman, Indiana Jones etc.), Lloyd Webber (The Phantom of the Opera), Cole Porter and Louis Armstrong to name just a few. Having wowed Waterford audiences at the Waterford International Festival of Music, this group hopes to bring a series of varied concerts to audiences in the south east through the year. 



Led by local musician and conductor Kevin O’Carroll, the orchestra is looking to broaden the enjoyment of orchestral music by bringing a very light and highly entertaining form of music making to a new audience. By holding the concerts in hotel venues such as Dooley’s Hotel Waterford and the Park Hotel Dungrvan, it is hoped that people currently unacquainted with orchestral music will see it for the highly enjoyable entertainment medium that it is.  Asked about the programming, Kevin O’Carroll commented that for too long orchestras visiting Waterford performed exclusively formal/serious music and that there was a place for the lighter material also. Regular listeners to Lyric fm will know that there is as much demand for light music as there is for the more serious variety. Waterford Concert Orchestra hopes to address the current imbalance.

With a programme that is sure to appeal to young and old, a Waterford Concert Orchestra event is an ideal way into the world of orchestral music.  Tickets can be reserved by contacting or by contacting Dooleys Hotel Waterford (Concert Saturday April 9th 8pm) or The Park Hotel Dungarvan (Concert Sunday April 10th 3.00pm).


Waterford Concert Orchestra plays music
from the Movies, Musicals and Big Bands

Following the great success of the Gala Ball concert which closed Waterford International festival of Music in November, Maestro Kevin O’Carroll has decided to bring more of this easy listening music to audiences in Waterford City and County. Waterford Concert Orchestra is a 35 piece semi-professional orchestra which will specialise in playing light orchestral music from the movies, musicals and popular culture. 
Over many decades, musicians from Waterford have formed the backbone of theatre orchestras throughout the south east. Now they finally have a chance to move from the orchestra pit to centre stage and bring their unique brand of music making to the fore.   With a focus very firmly on relaxed entertainment, this orchestra is sure to be a major hit with audiences in Waterford and Dungarvan.
Waterford Concert Orchestra will perform its first concert in Dooley’s Hotel, Waterford on Saturday evening April 9th at 8pm. The concert will be repeated in The Park Hotel, Dungarvan the following afternoon April 10th at 3pm.
The music to be performed will include tributes to Cole Porter, Duke Ellington and Louis Armstrong in addition to music from films such as Mission Impossible, The Chronicles of Narnia and Apollo 13. A very special inclusion is a compilation of the music of John Williams.
Tickets are limited by the size of the venues and therefore early booking is recommended. Tickets can be reserved by emailing or at Dooley’s Hotel (Waterford) and The Park Hotel (Dungarvan).

If you are interested in having Waterford Concert Orchestra perform in your locality, please contact






Guest Conductor

Kevin O’Carroll started his musical life as a French Horn player. Having worked as a freelance artist with both the RTE Concert Orchestra and the RTE Symphony Orchestra (now the National Symphony Orchestra of Ireland), he has played at the highest orchestral performance levels in Ireland. This experience has served him well in understanding the needs of orchestral musicians. For over thirty years, Kevin has been bringing professional, semi-professional and amateur musicians together and blending the experience and enthusiasm into a vibrant mix of performance potential.  

Kevin has been guest conductor with various music ensembles including orchestras, brass bands and choirs in addition to founding Waterford Summer Orchestra and the currently active Waterford Concert Orchestra.
Having previously been guest conductor with Dublin Symphony Orchestra, 2012 provided an opportunity to conduct the RTE Concert Orchestra for the first time.
With a reputation for challenging and achieveable programming, Kevin is available for Guest Conductor work throughout Ireland.  If you are interested in having in having Kevin as guest conductor, please contact


Although the concept of workshop weekends tends to be more a choral tradition, amateur orchestras can now also avail of the same selection of services already established to assist choirs. 

A weekend trip by an orchestra where they have two full days of rehearsal with a guest conductor can pay huge dividends in term of a team spirit within the orchestra and a new adaptability created by working with a new conductor. Why restrict your orchestra to a single performance option when with a modest amount of additional input you can have a tour? Every performer bemoans the fact that you rehearse for weeks on end to provide a single concert. Instead of giving out about it, do something about it!

A weekend away is not as difficult a prospect as it might sound. Talk to us about how to make this exciting prospect become a reality.

Here are some of the fine performance venues available in Waterford.


The Large Room, City Hall, Waterford



 Christ Church Cathedral, Waterford



 Cathedral of the Most Holy Trinity, Waterford    






April 2012 brought a new challange as a consultant.  The film Loving Liss Hatto by an independant film company for BBC tells the story of Joyce Hatto - an English pianist who a few years before her death had recordings released to critical acclaim.  Subsequently, many of these recordings were found to have been recorded by other artists.  This film required an actor to play the part of a conductor.  Kevin was engaged to coach the actor to re-create the famous conductor Sir Malcolm Sargent in action.

Sometimes, amateur orchestras need a fresh voice to assist in diagnosing problems and suggesting solutions. Rarely does it happen that someone with experience as a player and conductor becomes available to provide this analysis. Kevin is one such individual and is therefore an ideal choice.

Consults are also available to amateur conductors looking to have their work analysed and improvements suggested.  Private visits can be arranged on an individual basis.

2012 saw Kevin's first foray into the world of film - working as conducting consultant on the film Loving Miss Hatto.

If you would like Kevin to visit your orchestra, please contact






Choir Voicing Review :-

‘Having seen this technique in action, it was fascinating to observe the change in vocal tone and unity that it brought about in the choirs that Kevin worked with. The result was obvious for the singers themselves but even more so for the listener. Every choir would find this technique to be beneficial.’ -                     Dermot O'Callaghan CEO of Association of Irish Choirs

For an independant review on the book Choral Conducting click here.