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Singfest 2016 Draws to a Close with a Spectacular Gala Concert in Athlone this Saturday

Website image Blog MG Offaly Westmeath Singfest 2016 560x370 10062016
More than 1,000 singers from Counties Offaly and Westmeath will raise their voices and join international choral conductor Greg Beardsell for a very special Gala Concert on Saturday 11 June 2016 in Athlone, marking the conclusion of Singfest 2016 – a ground-breaking choral residency developed by Music Generation Offaly Westmeath in partnership with the Association of Irish Choirs.

Funded under the Arts Council / Music Generation Partnership, Singfest is a unique, year-long choral programme which aims to bring professional musicians from Ireland and overseas together with children and young people to create new opportunities and experiences through the joy of group singing.

The Singfest Gala Concert will be the debut performance of three brand new choirs formed through the Singfest initiative: The Junior Choir for ages 7 – 10; The Young Voices Choir for ages 11 – 14; and The Senior Choir, a four-part choir for young people ages 14 – 19. Members of the three choirs come from all areas of Offaly and Westmeath and from all levels of musical experience. Over the course of the past six months they have been given the opportunity to learn new skills and vocal techniques and to enjoy singing in harmony, in groups and as a large ensemble.

Monthly rehearsals, which took place in Athlone Institute of Technology since February 2016, were guided by the newly formed Singfest Team – an inspirational group of musicians from the Irish Youth Choir and Music Generation Offaly Westmeath (MGOW), including leading vocal and choral professionals. In addition to having the opportunity to work with Singfest Artistic Director, Greg Beardsell, the young singers have trained with Musical Directors Helen Hassett and Eunan McDonald of the Irish Youth Choir.

Joining the 1,000 singers for this momentous Gala Concert performance will be Fergal Caulfield (RTÉ Symphony Orchestra), the MGOW Backline Band and the MGOW Baroque Players, which brings together Music Generation Offaly Westmeath musicians and young string players from Maynooth University.

About Singfest
Singfest builds on the strong foundation of performance music education laid by Music Generation Offaly Westmeath musicians, who have worked with partner schools over the last three years to further encourage choral and group singing activities. The Singfest residency was also delivered in schools, as Music Generation Offaly Westmeath musicians expanded their weekly classes to including training in new vocal skills, new and unfamiliar music and more opportunities for pupils to experience the enjoyment of learning to sing together well. Through the project the Singfest Team, which includes musicians from Music Generation Offaly Westmeath and from the Irish Youth Choir, have challenged established perceptions of promoting singing in the classroom and provided expert guidance in developing good vocal and singing technique.

Singfest is presented by Music Generation Offaly Westmeath in partnership with the Association of Irish Choirs. Funded under the Music Generation/Arts Council Partnership. Supported by Athlone Institute of Technology.

For more information about Music Generation Offaly / Westmeath programmes and initiatives contact:

Margaret Broome, Development Officer
Offaly County Council, Charleville Road, Tullamore, Co. Offaly
t: 057 9357400

For further information on the Music Generation/Arts Council Partnership programme and initiatives please contact:

Eve O’Kelly, Programme Manager