Mike Russell


Michael Russell has been playing the trumpet for nine years. He first began his tuition in Scoil na Buachailli, Clonakilty in fifth class under the guidance of Mr. Gerard Condon. He had a half an hour lesson, one day a week with him covering all the basics behind the music. Ger Condon saw potential in him and the following year brought him up to the senior brass band. This was a major step for Mike Russell and his confidence. It was challenging at the start. Not only was the music difficult, but he also introduced to a new circle of friends. He was soon a part of the whole gang and was enjoying the experience. That same year Clonakilty Brass Band entered the South of Ireland Band Championships in the junior section and won first place. This really had a great impact on his view on music. Two years passed and Ger Condon promoted him to first trumpet. He was ecstatic. He was now playing the harder melodies and had had chance to prove that he could play at this higher level. Following his third grade exam he was asked to join the Co. Cork Youth Orchestra. This was his first taste of playing with a full orchestra. This was a very exciting time for him. He has now been playing with Clonakilty Brass Band for eight years, the County Cork Youth Orchestra for 5 years and also has been a member of the Blarney Brass and Reed Band for the past 3 years.  He has come a long way in his musical development.

In 2011 he successfully auditioned with the Irish Youth Wind Ensemble and was again successful in 2012. This has giving him the chance to play in the National Concert Hall. In 2011 Clonakilty Brass Band came first in the South of Ireland Band Championships in the intermediate section which is a huge achievement for such a young band and in 2012 they got our chance to play in the senior section. In only seven years he has progressed from playing in the junior band to senior level at national competitions. He is currently at grade seven standard on the trumpet and he is hoping to go to the Cork School of Music next year to further his career in music.  In the future, he would hope to be able to conduct an orchestra or even play for a well-known orchestra. He would love to go travelling for a bit, to see and hear other forms of music and maybe improve on his own techniques by watching others. His ultimate dream is to play for conductors who write film scores. 

 His main inspiring for following music and joining the band came from when he was young when he first saw the band playing in his local primary school. Gerard Condon came into the class room and played some recognisable themes from cartoons and films and he immediately wished he could do that. Nine years later he is able to play those themes with no hitches, but he’s still learning. He is grateful to have had the facilities and great tuition From Gerard Condon so that he could express himself through music. He will begin a BMus degree course in the Cork School of Music in September 2012.