(Thurs. 20 Dec 2022) – The sports hall at Coláiste Aindriú was filled with the sound of music and singing last Friday night for Music Generation Carlow’s (MGC) first in-person concert in three years.
And it was well attended with hundreds of guests at the concert, which also marked Music Generation Carlow’s debut in Bagenalstown following its recent relocation to the grounds of Coláiste Aindriú.
The concert proved to be worth the wait with guests enjoying a showcase of the full breadth of programming offered by Music Generation Carlow across the county.
Among the Encore Primary Programme performers were vocalists from St. Brigid’s NS, Bagenalstown who performed their own Christmas blues composition under musician educator Elspeth Hayes. Traditional Irish musicians from Newtown Dunleckney NS performed three sets on fiddles, tin whistles and banjo under the direction of musician educator Brian Murphy.
In the Bravo Secondary School Programme, guitar programme students from Coláiste Aindriú played songs by Taylor Swift and The Cranberries. They were directed by musician educator Paul Horahan.
The ensembles section included sets from Reelig and ReelÓg, under Aine Dohohoe. Reelig alumni played a mixture of songs and tunes. These musicians have all been with MGC since it started in 2013 and perform regularly as professional musicians. They travelled to Sitges in October 2022 to represent MGC at Creative Connextions Traditional Irish and Catalan Music Festival. Rachel Kavanagh and Diarmuid O Neill, members of the ensemble, have now come full circle and are musician educators on the MGC programme.
Members of MGC’s Community HUBs performed solos and small group performances. They included: soloist Anna Harding (vocal student); Liam Gutkin, Tara Conroy and Oliver Harding, who performed Ob-la-dee, Ob-la-da by The Beatles as an ensemble; and Tommy Condemi, a senior vocal student, who performed a beautiful rendition of The Parting Glass.
Under musician educator Gavin Barr, a brass group from St Leo’s College – Katie Doyle, Elle Doyle, and Brooke Rea Naughton – performed Away in a Manger and We Wish You a Merry Christmas with musician educator Erinn Lennon.
Erinn then performed a beautiful rendition of O Holy Night for solo trumpet. Erinn started her musical journey through MGC’s brass programme in Tyndall College. She is now a third-year music student at Technological University Dublin and doing excellent work as a musician educator on MGC’s brass and wind, and early childhood programmes.
All performers were accompanied by a live band featuring MGC musician educators Áine Donohoe and Paul Brett, and MG Kilkenny musician educator Jeremy Hickey.
Speaking after the convert, Music Development Officer for Music Generation Carlow Gavin Barr said, “Tonight’s concert was a reflection of the wonderful talent we have in Music Generation Carlow. It is a testament to our young musicians and the talent and encouragement of our musician educators too. I would like to extend my thanks to Principal Sharon Coffey of Coláiste Aindriú for her help and co-operation, not least for hosting tonight’s concert.”.
The concert was attended by KCETB Chairperson, Cllr. Fergal Browne, Chief Executive Eileen Curtis, both of whom remarked on the wide reach of the Music Generation programme in Carlow and the important role which it plays in bringing music performance to so many children and young people.
Music Generation Carlow (MGC) is a performance music education programme for county Carlow. It is part of Music Generation Ireland, a national partnership programme whose mission is to create inspiring experiences for children and young people through music. Collectively, Music Generation strives to transform children and young people’s lives by providing them with the opportunity to create, play and perform music in their own communities and on their own terms. A national music education programme, Music Generation was established as a result of a ground-breaking partnership between philanthropy, the Irish Government and Local Music Education Partnerships (LMEPs). Music Generation Carlow is operated locally by Kilkenny and Carlow Education and Training Board (KCETB) and supported by Carlow County Council.
For further information on Music Generation Carlow, email firstname.lastname@example.org
Main image caption: Music Generation Carlow (MGC) musicians from Newtown Dunleckney NS perform at the MGC Christmas concert at Coláiste Aindriú