Artane Band hits high note for Jack & Jill appeal

by Gazette Reporter

The sight and sounds of the Artane Band performing and marching at Croke Park is an integral part of the annual GAA championship deciders. 

And due to Covid-19 this is the first time since 1886 that Dublin’s iconic band hasn’t displayed its talents on the green pitch of Ireland’s GAA headquarters.

But that doesn’t mean they haven’t been productive. In support of the vital services provided to 91 Dublin families by the Jack & Jill Foundation, the band recorded an online video of ‘You’ve Got a Friend in Me’from Toy Story.

Owing to Covid-19, Jack & Jill has had to cancel its main fundraising events and close its charity shops, with a shortfall of €500,000 badly needed to supply round the clock nursing supports to families with a very sick child.

Ronan O’Reilly from Lucan, director of the Artane Band, told Dublin Gazette: “We made the video to support their SOS emergency appeal.

“There are some members of the Artane Senior Band in the video who were in the original boy’s band; some are in their 60s and 70s now and would have played at Croke Park as far back as the 1970s. I’m still a ‘newbie’ after 22 years.”

It was Ronan’s concept to make a virtual recording with up to 40 band members, male and female, playing a combination of wind, brass and percussion instruments.

“Everyone had to submit their piece as recorded at home, on iPads or iPhones and sent to me,” he said. “It was arduous to synchronise every piece and it entailed two processes, the first in audio, and then merging the videos and editing, before I could combine the two. It took me about 50 hours, at least.”

One Dub, former Dublin goalie and All Star, John O’Leary, was only too delighted to reconnect with the Artane Band for this special partnership. John’s son Tom, now aged nine, was supported by Jack & Jill nursing supports until he was five years old.

“Never has Jack and Jill’s work been more vital and never was the generosity of the public more needed,” said John. Please donate what you can at www.jackandjill.ie

To date, the recording has raised over €10,000. To donate see www.idonate.ie and go to Artane School of Music fundraiser.

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