Last Monday, 15 April some 150 music educators and management teams from 21 cities and counties in Ireland met in Athlone Institute of Technology for the 2019 Music Generation ‘National Musicians’ Day’. This day-long knowledge-sharing and networking event brought together practicing and professional musicians from hugely diverse backgrounds and areas of expertise who each share a common goal – to create inspiring encounters through music for children and young people.
This second edition of the Music Generation National Musicians’ Day focussed on the theme ‘Connecting for Quality’, inviting delegates to reflect and consider how to create the conditions that will enable the most positive outcomes for the children and young people with whom they work. Among a packed agenda of provocations, debate and plenary discussions, a stand-out moment of the day involved a vibrant choral performance by Young Artists in Residence, the ‘Singfest Songsters’.
This ensemble of 13 singers from Music Generation Offaly/Westmeath’s Singfest Community Choirs, ranging in age from 8 to 16, kick started the afternoon sessions with a pop-up concert of choral works: O Re Mi, Old Abram Brown, and The Greatest Showman hit, A Million Dreams. Led expertly by musicians and mentors Catherine Finerty, Geraldine Relph, Hilary Roche, Triona Walsh and Andrew Yau, together with Development Officer for Music Generation Offaly/Westmeath, Margaret Broome, the Singfest Songsters’ performance showcased first-hand what can be achieved when young people have the chance to realise their creative potential through making music.
Members of the ensemble were drawn from among the 50+ young people in Counties Offaly and Westmeath who currently participate in one of three Singfest Community Choirs. Singfest, a flagship initiative of Music Generation Offaly/Westmeath and Sing Ireland, together with members of the Irish Youth Choir, offers young people with a love for singing the chance to develop their musical performance skills together with local and international choral conductors. The choirs meet monthly for ensemble rehearsals in Athlone IT and this year their hard work will culminate in an end-of-term Gala Concert, scheduled for Saturday 25 May at 4pm. To find out more about Singfest visit Music Generation Offaly Westmeath online or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
With such energetic and engaged participation from all attending the day, there will be no delay in getting plans underway for the next edition of the National Musicians’ Day, 2020!