For the last five years, Music Generation has enjoyed a dedicated slot on the Gig Rig stage, a national showcase platform, as part of Fleadh Cheoil na hÉireann. This annual celebration of Irish music, dance and culture draws thousands of attendees from all corners of Ireland and the world for its week-long festivities. Since 2015, hundreds of young musicians from Music Generation partnerships across the country have gathered to meet and collaborate with like-minded peers, to be part of a large national and global music community and to enjoy a celebratory experience of performing on a national stage.
Back in 2015, Music Generation Sligo was the first partnership to host Music Generation on the Fleadh Gig Rig. What started as a showcase to develop the performance skills of young trad musicians has since grown to become a much-anticipated event for Music Generation bands and groups country-wide, providing a high profile, motivational performance opportunity for a large number of young players. As the Fleadh returns to Drogheda, Music Generation Louth will host the Gig Rig slot for a second year, following a successful run of performances, TV appearances and activities in 2018. Co-funded by the Music Generation/Arts Council Partnership, Music Generation groups from Carlow, Donegal, Laois, Louth and Wicklow will take their place on the stage this Thursday, 15 August 2019, entertaining Fleadh-goers while deepening their understanding and learning with young musicians they might not otherwise meet.
Performing on the Gig Rig stage is a positive performance experience that makes a significant transformative impact on the young musicians’ lives and musical development, all the while building their confidence and enjoyment of performing. The preparations and performances also provide an opportunity for the professional musicians and tutors who work with the young people to network and collaborate with one another across the Music Generation partnerships.
For a taste of what to expect, check out the Donegal Highlanders at last year’s Fleadh, the biggest Donegal group to perform in the Music Generation Gig Rig line-up so far:
For more information on the Gig Rig, concert details and tickets visit the Fleadh website here.
Music Generation on the Fleadh Gig Rig:
Thursday 15 August 2019, 2pm – 6pm, featuring groups from Carlow, Donegal, Laois, Louth and Wicklow
Kicking off at 2pm, Louth’s 60-strong Schools Trad Orchestra Collective will open the afternoon’s showcase, playing a traditional suite of tunes arranged by Zoe Conway who will also accompany them on stage. The following hours will see trad groups from counties Carlow, Donegal, Laois, Louth and Wicklow perform a 15 minute set each on stage, following months of preparations and rehearsals. Louth’s new Youth Voices choir will conclude the event, with a little help from a crowd sing-along!
Music Generation Louth Harp Ensemble:
Concert, St Peters Church of Ireland, Thursday 15 August 2019, 6pm
The Music Generation Louth Harp Ensemble is set to support four-piece Garadice in the beautiful surrounds of St Peter’s Church. Formed in 2012, the ensemble has flourished under director Deirdre Ní Bhuachalla, bringing young harpers of various musical backgrounds together in a relaxed environment to play a repertoire of traditional and popular music. Current membership comprises harpers aged 8 to 17 divided into the Junior and Senior Harp Ensemble who collaborate regularly for performances. The combined ensemble have spent the early months of this year working closely with world renowned harper Máire Ní Chathasaigh on an arrangement commissioned especially for them by Music Generation Louth, which was recently premiered at the International Harp Festival in Termonfeckin.
Nós Nua Louth Youth Folk Orchestra:
Gig Rig, Thursday 15 August, 9pm; ‘Farewell to Drogheda’ concert, The Barbican, Monday 19 August, 7.30pm; Fleadh TV, details TBC
The Nós Nua Louth Youth Folk Orchestra, a joint initiative of Music Generation Louth and The Oriel Centre Dundalk Gaol who made their debut at last year’s Fleadh, are a group of young traditional and classical musicians who continue to develop their unique voice in the traditional orchestra scene. The group is gearing up to perform on the Gig Rig, Fleadh TV and ‘Farewell to Drogheda’ concert, and you might have spotted them in the promotional video for FleadhTV!