Look back on… Music Generation Offaly/Westmeath’s ‘Singfest 2016’
‘Singfest’ was launched in 2016 as an exciting choral development initiative led by Music Generation Offaly/Westmeath, in partnership with the Association of Irish Choirs and with the support of Athlone Institute of Technology (AIT).
Funded under the Music Generation/Arts Council Partnership, this ambitious new programme gave young singers access to exceptional musical training and singing opportunities. The project culminated in a three-day festival of music-making and a hugely successful Gala Concert to mark the third birthday of Music Generation Offaly/Westmeath.
Over the course of six months – from January to June 2016 – more than 1,000 children and young people participated in the programme. Three choirs were created, monthly rehearsals were hosted, dozens of schools were visited throughout the Offaly and Westmeath regions and a virtual choir was beamed onto the stage at AIT in front of an audience of hundreds of families, friends and Singfest supporters for the closing concert finale.
Take a look at the virtual choir performing ‘People Get Ready’ by Curtis Mayfield -
The participants, ages 8 to 19, worked under the direction of renowned international choral conductor Greg Beardsell and together with the Singfest team of experienced performers, vocal coaches, conductors and educators from the Irish Youth Choir and Music Generation Offaly/Westmeath. The programme offered the young singers a chance to develop their skills in music and experience singing in a high-quality, demanding choral context. They experienced vocal warm-ups and exercises, training in musicianship and ensemble singing. Some participants had never previously participated in a choir, and others used this chance to extend their musical experience and achievements.
You can listen back to some of the music that the choirs perfect throughout the project on SoundCloud:
Arising from the phenomenal success of its first year, a new edition of Singfest was announced for 2017. Rehearsals have commenced, with many young singers returning for a second year, in addition to welcoming dozens more children and young people eager and enthusiastic to learn more about being in a choir. The final performance will be held on 10 June, 2017. Meanwhile, we wish all members of the choirs and musician teams the very best of luck with their ongoing work as they tune up for what’s sure to be another fantastic musical experience.
Curious to know more? Hear more about Singfest from the musicians and organising team in this great mini documentary video:
For further information about Music Generation Offaly/Westmeath initiatives and programmes, contact:
Margaret Broome, Development Officer
Offaly County Council, Charleville Road, Tullamore, Co. Offaly
t: 057 9357400