Masamba is now in it’s 23rd year of continuous operation.
Over that time, a lot of people have come and gone from the band, as is the nature of community music and life in general.
Some people disappear for ever, s0me people stay in touch, and some people mean to stay in touch, but drift away – again it’s the nature of the beast.
Recently though, we’ve been blessed to reconnect with several ex-members and colleagues, and it’s created a lot of interesting opportunities and a chance to remember the old days.
Last year, Hana Hall, came back into our orbit, as she wanted her children to experience some drumming for themselves. Initially, she was bringing them all the way from Greystones to rehearsals in Dublin each week, but that was untenable, so we started talking about getting something going in Wicklow. With the support of Music Generation Wicklow and the irrepressible Ann Catherine Nolan, we set up a project in Charlesland, just outside Greystones, and we are now into the 2nd year of it. Along with Hana’s kids, Martha and Noah, we have a great group of teenagers who are very musical, up for it, and great craic!
Also last year, Simeon travelled to the Isle of Skye to work with ex-Masamba member and workshop tutor Sarah Walker, on her now drumming project Mac-Loud! We’ve lost count of the number of bands we have helped to set up over the years, and even though Sarah is no longer part of Masamba, we feel we can claim a little bit of the credit for the great work she is doing in the wilds of Scotland!
Then, towards the end of last year, another ex-member Marion O’Toole got in touch about trying to get something off the ground with the local group in Carnew, also in County Wicklow. Again, Music Generation Wicklow provided some support, and Foróige invested in a set of instruments, and off we went, down to the very far end of Wicklow in the dark of the winter nights to teach a group there. Again, we found a lovely group of young people and a lot of talent. This group recently performed for their local St. Patrick’s Day parade and the feedback was very positive. We’re sure they will be able to build from this and set up a local resource for their community.
While we were moving building recently, ex-band member and current Board member, Ray Corcoran, weighed in on a couple of occasions to help pack and move gear. It’s great to see people re=appearing when their is some serious work to be done!
In recent weeks, Aoife Kavanagh, a band member from about 10 years ago suddenly got back in touch and asked about coming to rehearsals. Maybe it helps that we are now rehearsing on the Northside of Dublin, but in any case, it’s great to see her back in the fold, and playing away.
Even tonight, at rehearsals, Jenni Egan appeared, all eager to get some playing done. Jenni is a music teacher who had to move the the UK to find a decent job, but in all fairness, every time she comes home, she gets involved in whatever band activities are happening – a kind of a remote member!
So, as the band gets older, and more members go through it, the network grows all the time. All we need now, is to find that an ex-member of the band is now a multi-millionaire property owner with a new building for us;-)