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Staff team

Posted by scott on the Sunday, 21 July 2013

Conductor - Paul McBride

CBYO Conductor Paul McBride

Paul McBride has been associated with music and music making in and around Belfast and throughout Ireland for all his adult life. First he studied at St. Malachy’s College and then Queen’s University, Belfast, gaining his BMus and MA in Twentieth Century Music before entering the teaching profession.

Paul’s association with St. Malachy’s College was renewed in 1995 when he was appointed Head of Music. As its director he continue to build upon the fine tradition of music making which he inherited and endeavoured to increase the popularity, level of participation and quality of performance throughout the College Music Department. The five years back at his old stomping ground saw the Department grow in new found confidence, in which students were given greater responsibility for their own achievement, and an image which has ensured that the Department is spoken about not only in Belfast, but North and South of the border and throughout these islands. Performances at the Waterfront Hall, Ulster Hall and the Royal Albert Hall, countless successes at local festivals and membership of local and national youth orchestras testify to his singular achievements there

In 2000, having completed another master’s degree in Educational Management and while studying for the Professional Qualification for Headship, Paul was appointed Vice Principal of Assumption Grammar School, Ballynahinch. Paul was subsequently appointed as Principal in April 2008. In September 2014, Paul's career will come full circle when he returns back home to St. Malachy's College, Belfast as Principal. Although most of his responsibilities will be in curricular administration, Paul enjoys the opportunity of sharing his musical experiences with the students in one of Northern Ireland’s leading grammar schools. With wide experience in many genres of music, Paul has nonetheless channelled his energies primarily into encouraging and nurturing and enthusiastic appreciation of the performance and the interpretation of classical music with young musicians in Belfast and beyond.

An experienced teacher of violin and chamber music, he has worked for the City of Belfast School of Music on a part time basis for nearly thirty years and has conducted the String and Training Orchestras. In 1999 he was appointed as an executive member of the Irish Association of Youth Orchestras. It was during this time that he took the Training Orchestra on its first ever venture outside the Greater Belfast area to perform at the National Concert Hall in Dublin. This particular Orchestra reached new heights again in 2001 when it performed to a capacity audience at the Schools Proms in the Royal Albert Hall. Having taken a year away from the School of Music in 2004-05, Paul returned as conductor of the City of Belfast Youth Orchestra in September 2005 joining forces again with Robert Briscoe who was appointed as orchestra manager at the same time. Since his appointment he has worked to further develop the Cbyo building upon its previous success at home and abroad. In his first season as conductor Paul conducted the Orchestra’s fiftieth anniversary concert with former member Sir James Galway. He has also returned to the Royal Albert Hall a further 5 times conducting the CBYO to great acclaim on the last night of the Schools Proms in 2006, 2009, 2012,2015 and most recently in November 2018. Further afield, has conducted the orchestra on concert tours of Spain, Slovenia, France and Italy,Portugal,Belgium, Holland and the USA.

Manager - Robert Briscoe

Robert Briscoe was appointed along with Paul McBride back in September 2005 to look after the weekly running of the orchestra including Concerts and Tours. A busy job, Robert combines this with his other work as a peripatetic Brass Tutor in Schools across Belfast. Robert is also the Director of Music at Helen's Bay Presbyterian Church and works as a freelance travel consultant on Music Tours for Schools and Colleges cross the U.K.

The CBYO is very lucky to have a great team of professional musicians, many of whom are from the Ulster Orchestra working with the orchestra each Saturday supporting the conductor as sectional tutors.

1st Violin - Thomas Jackson

2nd Violin - Jonathan Griffin

Viola - Fergal O'Dorhnan

Cello - Andrew Nesbitt

Double Bass - Helen Glynn / Thomas Alford

Woodwind - Colin Stark

French Horn - Derek Parkins

Brass - Mark Murray

Percussion - Michael Smyth