Martina Doherty, mother of well-known International Composer Amie Doherty, recently won the Bands of Ireland Award 2020 for her work with Ballinasloe Town Band.
Nominated for the award by Band Chairperson Damien O’Neachtain, Brackernagh based Martina has undertaken a huge role in the organisation, being the child welfare officer but also spearheading most fundraiser projects.
She has also put countless hours into the refurbishing the old patriarchal hall. Organising all the works on the hall and without Martina, the Town Band would not be what it is today.
Chair Damien O'Neachtain was one of many to nominate Martina stating: "we wish to recognise the huge contribution that she makes to the Ballinasloe Town Band. The band was revived after a long break 4-5 years ago and Martina was one of the driving forces to get the band back together again."
As one of only 3 Brass and Reed bands in the County they were invited to play at the Tuam Mothers & Babies site, during a memorial Christmas tree & prayer service to commemorate the little ones that were buried there. It was a poignant occasion that proved very emotional for both family members and musicians alike.
The musicians also had the pleasure of participating in a recital under the shadow of the new Town Christmas tree, to spread some seasonal cheer to passing shoppers. Undeterred by the wet and windy weather conditions, weekend visits to the exterior grounds of the nursing homes in the town saw the Band safely delivering an early Christmas musical treat to the residents and staff.
As a special tribute to the heroic and selfless dedication and service frontline workers during the Covid-19 Pandemic, the band conducted a special night-time recital in the front car park of Portiuncula Hospital. The Band, each one sporting colourful fairy lights to lighten the mood and brighten the occasion and were thrilled by the reception they received.
The Band concluded its Christmas programme of public engagements playing a selection of festive Carols in St Michaels Square before the draw for prizes for the Christmas Lights fundraiser. The performance was broadcast through the Life Magazine Fbook page and was viewed by almost 9000 people – at home and abroad.
The planned New Year’s Eve recital was ditched thanks to COVID and the band has recommenced zoom rehearsals for both the junior and senior bands until further notice.
The scaffolding at the Town Band Hall (Parochial Hall) on Dunlo Hill, has been removed indicating that the roof has been repaired.
Chair Damien O Neachtain has extended their thanks to the hundreds of supporters who purchased slate costing €50 each thus enabling the band to complete this phase of its restoration. The “Raise the Roof” campaign will now conclude with only a small number of slates remaining to be sold Anyone that wishes to purchase a slate for €50 please contact Martina on 087 9710496.
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