Arklow, Leinster Ireland
|1996||The Lion King - The Lion King|
|1997||The Hunchback of Notre Dame - Heaven's Light/Hellfire (from The Hunchback of Notre Dame) * The Bell Tower (from The Hunchback of Notre Dame) * To Die For (from The Lion King) * Topsy Turvy (from The Hunchback of Notre Dame) * Out There (from The Hunchback of Notre Dame)|
|1998||Batman * Edward Scissorhands * Poof * Hut of Baba-Yaga (from Pictures at an Exhibition) * Great Gate of Kiev (from Pictures at an Exhibition)|
|1999||Batman (Main Theme) * Edward Scissorhands (Main Theme) * Like A Lover * When a Man Loves a Woman|
|2004||Riverdance * You'll Never Walk Alone (from Carousel) * Consider Yourself (from Oliver) * Do-Re-Mi (from The Sound of Music)|
|2005||We're Off to See the Wizard (from Wizard of Oz) * Over the Rainbow (from The Wizard of Oz)|
|2006||Moulin Rouge - Nature Boy * Diamonds Are a Girl's Best Friend(from Gentlemen Prefer Blondes) * One Day I'll Fly Away|
|2007||Carmen in Seville - La Habanera (from Carmen) * Flower Song (from Carmen) * Toreador Song (from Carmen)|
|2009||Celtic Thunder - Riverdance * Danny Boy * Lord of the Dance * Irish Party in Third Class (from Titanic)|
In 1992, a group of people in Arklow recognized the need for another youth organistaion in the town. It was agreed by all that a marching band was a good way to educate the youth of the town while providing an exciting and beneficial activity for the youth of the community. And so, Inbhear Mór Marchers were born.
For two years the staff of the band worked hard in recruiting and training young members in brass, percussion and majorette & colourguard. After much effort and months of fundraising, the band purchased their first batch of B flat instruments along with a full line of Premier drums. The band were then ready to make their first public debut.
Under the direction of then band director John Joe Brauders and Musical Director Larry Kenny, the band made their first appearance on July 1st 1994 , when they marched down the main street in Arklow along with the Artane Boys Band. This summer evening in Arklow was indeed the beginning of an era.
Over the following 10 months, the band worked hard in preparing their very first field show.
In September 1995, IMM got a taste for competition when they performed their first ever marching field show at the IMBA Contest in Clonmel Co.Tipperary. The band performed such tunes as Eye of the Tiger and Pretty Woman. The band were then recognized by the judges as a band to look out for in the future, and indeed they were.
During the following ten months, the Inbhear Mór Marchers worked endlessly in educating themselves in marching field shows. A new repertoire of music was prepared and more instructors were taken on board.
In the summer season of 1996, under the direction of new show co ordinators Neill Christopher, Derek Duff and Sherie Brennan, the band took to the competition field with their Disney show entitled "The Lion King". This was a landmark season for the band and in the IMBA finals of 1996, the band were placed runners up. This encouraged all members and staff to build up the performance standard of the band even further for the following year.
Throughout the winter of 96/97, the band rehearsed another Disney Repetoire. Due to the expansion of the band, more instructors were brought in from the UK . With over 45 performing members and some of the best instructors in the business, the band were now well established on the band circuit throughout the country and indeed further afield. In the summer of '97, the band presented their field show entitled "The Hunchback of Notre Dame". This show incorporated powerful music, fast drill techniques and indeed some of the best field props ever seen in the history of the IMBA. The show won the hearts of the crowds and indeed the judges when the band placed second in the IMBA finals in Sept'97.
It was in 1997 that the band changed their instrumentation to G Bugles. Over thirty G Bugles were purchased and extensive training was provided for this change. The new instrumentation further enhanced the sound quality and performance level of the band.
Throughout the following year the band became increasingly popular, performing at parades, festival and major sporting events throughout the country, including the homecoming of the All Ireland Winning Wexford Team and three performances at the Tour de France in Dublin .
In 1998, the band presented their fourth field show which incorporated music by composer Danny Elfman (Batman, Edward Scissorhands) and classical composers Mussorgsky/Ravel ( Baba Yag & The Great Gates of Kiev). With their new drum corps style, the band reached their highest peak yet. Throughout the season, the band scored highly at all IMBA contests. 1998 was also the year that Inbhear Mór made their first international appearance, when they traveled to Sheffield , England as guests to the Concord D&BC. The band performed at the DCUK contest at Scunthorpe Football Stadium where they pleasantly surprised both the crowd and the judges alike. On the bands return from the UK , the All Ireland Finals were just around the corner. The mood in the camp was high and at it's best. All the hard work and enthusiasm finally paid off when the band were crowned All Ireland Championship Champions at the 1998 IMBA All Ireland Finals at Harolds Cross, Dublin in a perfect season, entering and winning all competitions.
In 1999, the Inbhear Mór Marchers joined forces with the Golden Eagles D&BC from Tallaght, Co.Dublin to form what was then Irelands only existing drum corps. The 2 bands spent the winter months rehearsing together and in the summer of '99 performed a show that moved the activity in Ireland to a new level. The show was made up of two pieces that had been performed in previous years(Batman & Edward Scissorhands) and three new compositions - Sing Sing Sing, 42nd Street and an amazinng Drum Corps rendition of When a Man Loves a Woman. Throughout this season the band took part in all IMBA Shows, several parades and festivals across Ireland and enjoyed a weekend of performances in Arklow's twin town of Chatedaun in France.
The All Ireland Finals of that year saw the last performance of the older generation of Inbhear Mór. Eventhough the band did not receive the score that they so well deserved, this cold wet day in Dublin was the setting for one of the most emotioally driven and memorable shows ever to be performed.
After the all Ireland finals in '99, the band struggled for some time and were forced to come off the road and back to basics. The activity was dying and so were the bands which left little encouragement for the new generation. But the staff of Inbhear Mór were determined that the band would one day get back on the road.
After two years of recruiting and training new members, the brass section of the band competed in the Arklow Music Festival under the direction of MD Óisin Molloy with Band Director Mary Kirwan, where they were placed highly commended by the wind judges. This provided a a real hope that the band were back on track. Further recruitment efforts and training continued for the months that follwed.
All the hard work and efforts of staff and members finally paid off on New Years Day 2003, when the all new 18 piece band made their public debut as a guest act to the Inbhear Mór Jazz Band at a charity fundraiser in Arklow.
After the New Years Day performance, the public interest started to grow again. A major recruitment program went under way which proved to be a huge success.
Today, the 39 piece Inbhear Mór Marchers are in preparation for the summer season when they will perform at several venues throughout Ireland.
This is a very exciting time for the band and we are all confident that once again, the future is bright for the Inbhear Mór Marchers.
[Submitted by Thomas Fisher - Nov 2006]