In 2021, Ortús musicians continued to bring their music into the community during the festival in collaboration with Cork ETB School of Music, MTU Cork School of Music and Cork County Council. Plans included workshops in primary and secondary schools across Cork City and County, outreach concerts in libraries and public spaces, masterclasses, pop-up concerts and open rehearsals. Two young ensembles, featuring students from Cork’s ETB and MTU Schools of Music, received mentoring from Ortús musicians in the weeks coming up to the festival.
The Wispa Quartet were formed in 2018. The ensemble comprises of Gráinne Crowley (Kinsale), Méabh Fitzgibbon (Macroom), Siún Ní Dhuinnín (Macroom) and Gracie Barlow (Kinsale). They come together weekly to rehearse in Ballincollig. The quartet love performing and have had fantastic performance opportunities in 2019 and 2020. In 2019 the quartet performed on The Late Late Toy Show and at the University of Limerick. In the same year, they also participated in the IAYO Residential Chamber Music Workshop in Waterford and received master classes at the Ortús festival in Glanmire, Co. Cork. Additionally, they have performed in numerous concerts throughout Cork, including the College of Commerce, Coláiste Choilm, Ballincollig and St.Mary’s Church, Glanmire. The Quartet have competed in Feis Maitiú over the past few years and were prize winners in both 2019 and 2020. Last year the quartet were awarded 1st place in the Cork ETB Junior Chamber Music Competition. The quartet are looking forward to another exciting year of playing together in the next school term.
The Siciliana Quartet, founded in 2020, is made up of four school students at MTU Cork School of Music. These talented young performers are tutored by Simon Aspell, violist in the Vanburgh Quartet and lecturer at MTU CSM. They have recently taken classes with Ed Creedon, as part of the Ortús Chamber Music Festival 2021 and Christopher Marwood. Cillian Ó Cathasaigh, 17 studies violin with Colette O’Brien and piano with Nicholas O’Halloran in the MTU Cork School of Music. He is a multiple prizewinner at Feis Maitiú, MTU CSM and the ESB Feis Ceoil. Cillian is also a gifted traditional fiddle player and over the years has been awarded prizes at Fleadh Cheoil na hÉireann. He has been a member of the National Youth Orchestra since 2019 and also a long standing member of the Cork Youth Orchestra. Isabelle Kearney, 15 is a violin student of Elizabeth Charleston at MTU Cork School of Music. She has been a prizewinner both at Feis Maitiú and at the MTU CSM. Sinéad Fleming, 15 studies viola in the Cork School of Music with Cian Ó Dúill. She also plays violin and piano, and is a prizewinner at Feis Maitiú, as well as being a member of the Cork Youth Orchestra. Harry Neal, 15 started the cello with Phil Buckley at the age of 4 and is currently a student of Christopher Marwood at MTU Cork School of Music. He is member of the Cork Youth Orchestra and has been involved in chamber music and orchestral playing at MTU CSM.