Concert helps Fairfield drum students get to Ireland

Five Fairfield high school students from the Jim Royle Drum Studio’s 10-student ensemble are headed to Ireland on spring vacation to perform at the Royal Irish Academy of Music. A Benefit Concert featuring the award winning Jim Royle Drum Studio’s “A” Ensemble will be held Friday, March 20, at 7:30 p.m., at the First Presbyterian Church of Fairfield to help pay for this opportunity for the students.

This group of musicians, who make up the top percussive ensemble at the Jim Royle Drum Studio on Wood Avenue in Bridgeport, also includes students from Bridgeport, Westport, Trumbull, Easton, and Darien. To be part of the “A” ensemble, the students had to audition, commit to spending many hours a week after school practicing together, and participate in performances nationally and internationally. One of the ensemble students started out in the Jim Royle Drum Studio’s Student Scholarship Program that provides the opportunity for many low-income, urban youth from the Bridgeport/Fairfield area to learn to read music, play the full range of percussive instruments, study all styles of music, be mentored by top performing students, and perform in many public recitals at no cost. After years of perseverance and hard work, this student is the first from the program to make Jim Royle’s “A” ensemble. This trip will be a once in a lifetime opportunity for this Bridgeport student who plans to continue his musical studies at college next year.

Jim Royle and his staff at the Jim Royle Drum Studio are well known for turning out many remarkable performers and collegiate music majors in percussion for 29 years. The studio is a collective of teachers, performers, and composers. High school and middle school students come from many surrounding towns to participate in the studio’s five percussion ensembles that perform regularly in venues such as the Percussive Arts Society International Convention and the PAS CT Chapter events, Steel Pan Festivals from Florida to Maine, as well as many local venues. The studio’s top “A” ensemble is a by audition only group that also travels, performs, and competes in such venues as the Teatro Sociale di Soresina in Soncino Italy, the Sforzata and Laventille Pan Yards in Trinidad and Tobago, the International School in Beijing, 9 Beats Music Academy in Tianjin China, and the Royal Academy of Music in London England.

Tickets for the March 20 Ireland Tour Benefit Concert at the First Presbyterian Church of Fairfield, 2475 Easton Turnpike in Fairfield are $10 for adults, free for children under 12 and are sold at the door. Visit the Jim Royle Drum Studio on Facebook, at jim-royle-ireland-tour.whindo.com or call 203-336-4875 for more information.

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