(Wed. 21 June, 2023) – Two talented young Music Generation Carlow musicians have been given a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to represent Ireland at the renowned International Music Camp in the US.
Kate O’Brien (17yrs), from Carlow town, and Eamonn O’Connor (15yrs), from Tullow, will travel to North Dakota on 25 June to participate in the elite two-week camp on full scholarships as the only Irish musicians on the programme.
The duo are talented clarinet players who attend Carlow College of Music and are members of BoomBrasstic, Music Generation Carlow’s brass, wind and percussion ensemble.
Gavin Barr, Music Development Officer for Music Generation Carlow submitted the scholarship applications forms on behalf of Kate and Eamonn and also applied for a grant from the Arts Office of Carlow County Council to facilitate their participation in the camp.
He was thrilled to receive the news that Kate and Eamonn were both selected for the programme – and will be the only Irish musicians at the International Music Camp.
“ Everyone in Music Generation Carlow is very excited for Kate and Eamonn. This is an opportunity they will savour and never forget, where they will get to make music and form friendships with other talented young musicians from all over the world. Kate and Eamonn are excellent advocates for county Carlow and for Ireland and I hope they both have a wonderful and life-changing experience in North Dakota represented their country”, commented Gavin Barr.
Ana Lopes of Music Generation Carlow said: “Kate and Eamonn are going to have an opportunity to perform in large ensembles, in chamber groups and in smaller combinations while availing of one-to-one lessons with professional musicians. It is a wonderful opportunity for them.”
Eileen Curtis, the chief executive of Kilkenny and Carlow Education and Training Board (KCETB) which operates Music Generation Carlow said, “We are delighted that Kate and Eamonn have received this opportunity to further develop their musical talents at the International Music Camp in North Dakota and where they will make lifelong friends with like-minded musicians. We are grateful to Gavin Barr for applying for these scholarships on behalf of Kate and Eamonn and to Carlow County Council for their support. It is an experience our young musicians will never forget”.
Music Generation Carlow is part of Music Generation, Ireland’s national music education programme, initiated by Music Network and co-funded by U2, The Ireland Funds, the Department of Education and Local Music Education Partnerships. Locally, Music Generation Carlow is led by KCETB in partnership with Carlow County Council. The programme aims to transform the lives of children and young people up to 18 years by creating access to high-quality, affordable music tuition in their localities.
Caption: Ahead of their music scholarship to the US, Kate O’Brien (17yrs), from Carlow town (fourth from left), and Eamonn O’Connor (15yrs), from Tullow (third from left) are pictured with (l-r): Sinead Dowling, Carlow Arts Officer; Monica O’Connor, mother of Eamonn; Aoife O’Brien, mother of Kate; Gavin Barr, Music Development Officer, Music Generation Carlow; Majella Swan, Director, Carlow College of Music and Eileen Curtis, Chief Executive, Kilkenny and Carlow Education and Training Board.