KCETB Kilkenny and Carlow Education and Training Board
Rialtas na hEireann Government of Ireland
Rialtas na hEireann Government of Ireland
Co-Funded by the European Union

Music Generation Carlow musicians perform for US President at State banquet dinner

(Thurs. 20 April, 2023) – Three young musicians from Music Generation Carlow performed for US President Joe Biden at the State banquet dinner in Dublin Castle during his official visit to Ireland last week.


Hugh Kavanagh, Aislinn Joyce and Sonny Cahill, along with musician educator Áine Donohoe, had the honour of being the first musicians to perform for and welcome Joe Biden as he arrived at Dublin Castle after his address to the Oireachtas. Gavin Barr, the music development officer for Music Generation Carlow, was also in attendance with the young musicians and met President Biden.


He commented, “We were honoured to receive this invitation and to showcase such a high level of amazing talent that is evident across all the Music Generation programmes nationally. For us, this once-in-a-lifetime opportunity really is a true testament to all the amazing work that is taking place across all our programmes in Music Generation Carlow. As Music Development Officer, I’m very proud and thankful to the full team of musician educators who so generously give their time and energy to create positive learning environments that allow children and young people to come, make music, have fun and create lifelong memories”.


All three musicians started their musical education with Music Generation Carlow and have been with the programme for several years, having progressed through Music Generation Carlow’s primary school Encore programme, HUB programme and ensemble programme.


The young musicians were thrilled to travel to Dublin to perform for the US President at such an historic occasion.


“It was a once-in-a-lifetime experience, and we are grateful to Music Generation for affording us this fantastic opportunity”, said Aislinn Joyce.  Sonny Cahill added,Meeting the US President and all of the Irish TDs and ministers, and getting to perform music for them, is an experience that I’m extremely grateful for and will not forgetting anytime soon.’


Music Generation Carlow is part of Music Generation, Ireland’s national music education programme which gives children and young people access to high-quality performance music education. Music Generation Carlow is managed by Carlow Music Education Partnership, led by Kilkenny and Carlow Education and Training Board in partnership with Carlow Local Authorities.


Caption: Music Generation Carlow musicians Hugh Kavanagh, Aislinn Joyce, Sonny Cahill with musician educator Áine Donohoe and music development officer for Music Generation Carlow, Gavin Barr

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