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Music Generation’s Annual Report 2021 – Creating Connection through Music

Music Generation Wexford2021 Padraig Grant Photographer

Music Generation is delighted to publish its Annual Report 2021 and share the memorable moments, achievements and connections that were created throughout yet another remarkable year.

Over the course of 2021, Music Generation continued to deliver performance music education to children and young people while steering through the evolving challenges faced during the second year of a global pandemic. Close to 80,000 programme participants were reached in 2021 and this is thanks to the resilience, creativity and innovation demonstrated by all partners involved in Music Generation.

Tremendous efforts were led by Music Generation teams across Ireland and of course by the children and young people who continued to make musical experiences throughout 2021. The delivery of performance music education continued through navigating between both virtual activities and, where possible, safely delivered in-person performances. This music-making created opportunities to nurture a continued sense of community and connection that was essential for children and young people across Ireland affected by the limitations of the pandemic.

"It’s brilliant. It was something that kept us going during lockdown. The teachers are really friendly. Guitar is definitely the right instrument for me, I love it. I love the music we are learning as well. I look forward to playing with other musicians in Music Generation when lockdown is really over." Shane, Young Musician Music Generation Roscommon

2021 was also a year when Music Generation took stock of its ten-year legacy and what has been achieved after a decade of growth. A significant amount of time in 2021 was taken to reflect, forward plan and prepare Music Generation’s new 2022–2026 strategic plan: Transforming Young Lives Through Music.

Throughout 2021 Music Generation

  • Reached 79,943 programme participants
  • Delivered 81,584 hours of performance music education
  • Created 550 musical works with children and young people
  • Support 1,679 musical performances by children and young people

Further information on our activity in 2021 is available in the Music Generation DAC Annual Report.

The children and young people of Music Generation continued to achieve, create, compose, perform and showcase their outstanding musicianship and dedication. We’ve looked at just some of the memorable moments, performances and connections which took place across Ireland in 2021.

Paying Tribute to Resilience

Music Generation Carlow’s Reelig Ensemble joined forces with Music Generation Laois and the Strabane Brass Band for a live and virtual performance of Three Rivers. This cross-border collaboration was funded by the Department of Tourism, Culture, Arts, Gaeltacht, Sport and Media’s ‘Co-operation with Northern Ireland’ fund. The project aimed to celebrate the return to live performance and pay tribute to the resilience of the young musicians who continued to showcase their art and talent during challenging times. Three Rivers was performed by the three ensembles in venues across counties Tyrone, Laois and Carlow. Watch the performance here.

Distant Vibrations

As part of Music Generation Kildare’s Digital Hub programme, seven young musicians composed, recorded and produced a seven-track album of original music titled Distant Vibrations. The album was written as a commentary on their individual Covid-19 experiences expressed through a mixture of rock, pop, electronic, acoustic and cross genre. The young musicians led the entire process from conception to completion including the composition, editing, co-ordination of album release, artwork, launch and promotion. An hour-long podcast was also created and delivered by the programme participants in which they explored the challenges they faced while navigating creative processes throughout a pandemic. The podcast was aired on Dublin Digital Radio and on The Hive Youth Radio and both the album and podcast were relaunched to celebrate Culture Night 2021. Listen now on Spotify.

Sir James and Lady Galway inspire Young Ambassadors — July 2021

Sir James and Lady Galway inspire Young Ambassadors — July 2021 Young flautists from Music Generation areas from across Ireland joined Sir James Galway and Lady Jeanne Galway for a special virtual performance of the famous Brian Boru March. This performance, presented and delivered by the Galway Flute Academy in collaboration with Music Generation, was part of a wider collaboration which saw children and young people from Cork City, Carlow, Laois, Louth, Offaly/Westmeath, Waterford, Wexford, and Wicklow come together for two special online workshops. Watch the performance online!

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