We welcome Keith Kelly of The Global Bandroom Podcast to The Band Room! We spoke about Keith’s path to where he is, all things band in Ireland, the importance of the community band, the Global Band Room Podcast, travel, Irish composers and so much more!
He has been actively working with marching and concert bands in Ireland for over 20 years. Having grown up and performed with Dublin’s famous Artane Boys Band, Keith joined the Irish Defense Forces Band in 2004 where he served as principal clarinetist of the Band of the Western Command for over 10 years and featured as a clarinet and saxophone soloist on many occasions. During this time, Keith was actively involved within Irish community banding. As a conductor and administrator, Keith assisted in the founding of successful Irish concert bands such as the Clara Town Band and Midlands Wind Ensemble, the former of which would go on to win national awards at the IABCB (Irish Association of Brass and Concert Band) and South of Ireland Band Championships.
Keith served as the General Manager of the Artane Band and School of Music from 2015 - 2017, where he oversaw the implementation of a major three-year strategic plan, the 1.4 million redevelopment and extension of the school, the formation of a new 100-strong choral society, and the development of ongoing partnerships with Drum Corps International and Notre Dame University. He also oversaw the development of the ArtaneSound marching band program which would go on to perform at the Belfast and Glasgow International Tattoos.
In 2014, Keith spearheaded a team of passionate performers and music educators to found the Irish Symphonic Wind Orchestra, an ensemble of almost 100 performers from throughout Ireland. This ensemble was formed to promote the highest quality of wind band performance and repertoire, and has worked with international icons such as Johan de Meij, Philip Sparke, and Mark Heron as well as being invited to perform at the WASBE International convention in the Netherlands in 2017. Keith currently serves as Chairperson of this national ensemble.
Keith now works as a consultant and advisor to many arts organizations through Bands of Ireland, his own company Upbeat Marketing and Celtic Horizon Tours assisting individuals, organizations, and ensembles from around the world to plan tours and events, advocate for support and funding, as well as planning for their future. He’s also the Director of the Celtic Band Festival which welcomes marching and concert bands from around the world each year to Ireland. In 2020 in response to the Corona Virus outbreak, Keith started the Global Bandroom Community and podcast to develop International virtual performance and education opportunities for bands and musicians.
Keith is a regular guest conductor in the USA where he promotes the work of Irish wind band composers. In September 2018, Keith was asked to establish a new youth band program for the Ballinasloe Town Band in Galway. His children Ryan and Faye were his first new band recruits!!
EKR Hammell | Skyline (BRP Theme Music)
University of Toronto Wind Ensemble
Dr. Gillian MacKay - Conductor
The Global Bandroom
Irish Defense Force Band
The Irish Symphonic Wind Orchestra