Phoenix High School Band to play in Ennis

Saint Mary’s Catholic High School Band 
from Phoenix, Arizona has accepted an invitation to play in the St. Patrick’s Day Parade in Ennis this year.  The visit will form part of the Phoenix Week Gathering festival and the celebrations to mark the 25th anniversary of the twinning between the town of Ennis and the US city of Phoenix.

St. Mary's High School Band from Phoenix, Arizona who will march in Ennis for the 2013 St Patrick's Day Parade

According to T J Waters, Chairperson of the Ennis Phoenix Twinning Board, “We are delighted that St. Mary’s High School Band will march in Ennis on St. Patrick’s Day. It will be great to welcome the high school students and their teachers to Ennis. The twinning relationship between Ennis and Phoenix has been very beneficial in terms of enterprise, culture, education and community.”

The band is made up of thirty students in 9th to 12th grade from St Mary’s High School and six alumni students who are past pupils from St. Mary’s  - they expressed a wish to travel with the band and to play in Ennis. The band marches every year in the Phoenix St. Patrick’s Day Parade. They were named as the “Best School/Parish” entry in 2012 and received a Superior with Distinction rating at the 2012 Concert Festival.

Since the formation of the twinning relationship between Ennis and Phoenix in 1988, civic and community leaders from both sides of the Atlantic have visited each other and developed strong ties and personal friendships. Over the years political and business leaders, arts and cultural representatives, technical experts, teachers and students have participated in regular exchanges. The focus has been on commercial, cultural and civic activities. Opportunities for trade and education links have been promoted and developed and tourism and enterprise potential has been highlighted.

St Mary’s High School Band follows in the footsteps of other Phoenix groups such as the internationally acclaimed Phoenix Boys Choir and The Phoenix Children Chorus who have performed in Ennis in recent years. The proposed visit is very timely as the theme for this year’s St. Patrick’s Day Parade is Ennis – a Musical Town”.

While in Ennis the band will also play at the Baby Nicholas Memorial Run at the Cliffs of Moher, at Mass in St Peter and St Paul Cathedral in Ennis and at  Cloughleigh National School and the Colaiste Mhuire Secondary School.

According to Cllr. Peter Considine, Mayor of Ennis, “It is very important that we celebrate the strong connection between Ennis and Phoenix. This is a real and enduring association that deserves support and encouragement. Congratulations to all of those who have been involved over the past twenty five years. The commitment by St. Mary’s High School Band to play in Ennis is yet another illustration of the value of this twinning relationship.”