Premio Frederick Fennell



Professor Fergus O'Carroll was born in the South of Ireland into a musical family. He was initially trained by his father as a violin player before moving to brass at the age of 12. He started playing French Horn at the age of 15 and was immediately awarded a scholarship by the Irish Youth Orchestra to Study with Victor Malirsh at the Royal Irish Academy of Music (RIAM). 
On leaving school at the age of 19, Fergus was appointed to the position of 4th Horn in the RTE National Symphony Orchestra but quickly became a 1st Horn with the organisation. In 1987 he was appointed musical Director of St James's Band, the oldest community musical group in the country and remained with them until 1998 after which he moved to become musical director of the Dublin Concert Band, a group that he conducted until 2018 and who have been awarded the title of National Band Champions continually for the past 7 years. About this time Fergus became involved with the Dublin Symphony Orchestra and maintained a 17-year long relationship with them which ended recently. In 1999, he joined the teaching staff at the RIAM. 
Fergus has guest conducted the RTE National Symphony Orchestra, RTE CO, St Cecilia's Orchestra, Hibernian Orchestra, Irish Film Orchestra, Irish Symphonic Wind Orchestra and Irish Sinfonia as well as Tallaght Choral Society and Dublin County Choir. 
Throughout the years, Fergus has arranged and composed music for all the groups that he works with which led to the formation of OCMP, a small publishing company dealing mostly with arrangements of Irish music. In 2007, Fergus was the Chair of the Local Organising Committee that hosted the 2007 conference in Killarney for the World Association for Symphonic Bands and Ensembles (WASBE) and in 2009 was appointed as a member of the Board of that Organisation, a position he held for a period of six years. He holds a Masters in Music (Perf) degree from CIT Cork School of Music. In 2016, Fergus retired as a professional horn player, Section Leader French Horn, with the RTE Symphony Orchestra after 42 years of service, having worked with some of the best conductors and solo artists in the world such as Charles Dutoit, Loren Mazel, Mathias Bamert, Pavoroti, Kiri Te Kanawa, Domingo, Vengarov, Barry Tuckwell, James Galway, Ann-Sophie Mutter, Joshua Bell, Julian Lloyd-Weber to name but a few. Upon his retirement, he immediately took up the position of Head of Faculty, Woodwind, Brass and Percussion at the RIAM, a position he had previously held from 2003 to 2009. He was also appointed to the Board of the National Youth Orchestra of Ireland. He was awarded the title of Professor in 2021 
Fergus is sought after as a band clinician for young players and in 2019 appeared as a conductor clinician at the Festival of Bands at the University of Northern Iowa, USA (conducting the state-wide honor band), with St Ambrose University Band (Iowa) and Thomas Hart Middle School (California) among others. 

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