Clíona Marshal is 12 years old and is a 6th Class student of Scoil Maria Assumpta. She plays oboe with Cork Barrack Street Band’s Junior Band, as part of the Music Generation Cork City programme.
I have been playing oboe for two years. As part of the Music Generation programme in my school, we were given a choice of instruments to learn, like saxophone, clarinet, oboe and flute. When I heard the oboe, it was so beautiful, I decided that was the instrument I definitely wanted to learn. Since I’ve started to play it, I’ve become a really big fan of classical music – I listen to it all the time. My favourite piece is Clair de Lune – I can play that now myself, the oboe version. It helps that I have an excellent tutor – Emily Long. She gives excellent tips and tricks and is such a good musician.
Being a part of Barrack Street Band’s Junior Band is so cool – I love being part of such a big band! Before joining, I’d never heard that kind of music. Usually, we play stuff from movies or mainstream music. My favourite is probably the Queen medley, which we prepared recently for GaelForce.
At Easter this year I took part in GaelForce, which was an amazing experience, because it was the biggest band I’d ever taken part in – 130 musicians! I noticed my stamina really improved over the 3 days – oboe is a wind instrument and can be tiring, but being part of the camp really helped with my tone & my breathing. Also, it was a great way to meet other people who play music – I made a lot of friends through it. Bandcamp, which is the Summer version of GaelForce, will be happening again this July, so I’m definitely taking part again.
My plans for the future are to play with the Cork Youth Orchestra when I’m older and then someday, with the Army Band. I’ve heard they are looking for oboes a lot, because it’s not a very common instrument. That’s what’s great about playing oboe – you get more opportunities.
To younger kids starting out, my advice is to please practice! Try to listen to as much music as you can and choose an instrument that you really love and pieces of music that you really like.