Monday 7th January, 2013: Music Generation, in partnership with The American Ireland Funds, today announced it is the beneficiary of a $1m grant from Bank of America Merrill Lynch through the Bank of America Charitable Foundation. Music Generation is Ireland’s national music education programme initiated by Music Network and enabled by a €7m philanthropic donation from U2 (€5m) and The American Ireland Funds (€2m) that provides access to subsidised high-quality music education for children and young people. The Bank of America Charitable Foundation Grant forms part of The American Ireland Fund’s €2m fundraising target for the programme.
Peter Keegan, Country Executive for Ireland at Bank of America Merrill Lynch explained the decision behind the grant, “We are delighted to support this important initiative which will have a real impact on the lives of young people in Ireland by providing high quality tuition. Irish musical achievements have long been celebrated the world over and we are proud to reinforce Bank of America Merrill Lynch’s commitment to the arts and education in Ireland, by nurturing the talents of a new generation. We look forward to working with Music Generation as the programme develops further throughout Ireland in 2013.”
The $1m grant comes as Music Generation announces its expansion into a further four areas of the country: Offaly, Westmeath, Carlow and Limerick city. These areas now join forces with the other local Music Education Partnerships currently established in Cork City, Laois, Louth, Mayo, Sligo and Wicklow. The Partnerships work with Music Generation and co-fund a range of subsidised music tuition for children and young people. To date over 5,000 children have received tuition through the programme that provides employment opportunities for some 120 music tutors across the six counties.
Kieran McLoughlin, President & CEO, The Worldwide Ireland Funds said, “Bank of America Merrill Lynch has shown tremendous commitment to the development of the arts in Ireland. This magnificent gift will benefit young people and communities across Ireland at a time when philanthropy counts most. We are delighted to be in partnership with U2 and Bank of America Merrill Lynch in unlocking the musical talents of the next generation.”
As Music Generation prepares to expand into a further four areas, providing thousands more children with access to music education, Music Generation Chairman Tony Ó Dálaigh said, “The Board of Music Generation and our local partners throughout the country are particularly grateful to U2, The American Ireland Funds and Bank of America Merrill Lynch for the extremely generous donations that have allowed Music Generation become the organisation it is. Quite simply, without their investments Music Generation would not be happening and we view this grant as a further endorsement of this unique music programme.”
Media Contact: Síle Murphy, Q4PR, 88 St Stephens Green, Dublin 2. 086 0288 132 / 01 475 1 444
Note to editors
Music Generation is Ireland’s National Music Education Programme, initiated by Music Network and funded by U2 and The Ireland Funds, together with a range of local partners. Music Generation helps children and young people access high quality subsidised music education in their local area.
Music Network established Music Generation on receipt of a €7 million donation in 2009 from U2 and The Ireland Funds, following a ten year campaign for the development of a national system of music education in Ireland. Music Generation earlier this year put out a call for applications from local Music Education Partnerships across the country seeking to apply for funding. Carlow, Limerick City and Offaly/Westmeath were recently selected for participation and join Cork City, Laois, Louth, Mayo, Sligo and Wicklow where the programme is now operational.
Music Generation works closely with the Department of Education and Skills who have committed to continuing to develop and sustain the Music Education Partnerships with Exchequer funding in future years when the donations cease. Visit www.musicgeneration.ie for further information.
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Music Generation Carlow aims to inspire and enable children and young people from all backgrounds and regions of County Carlow to lean to play musical instruments, sing and make music with others and have opportunities to progress to the next level of excellence. Among the ambitious plans which will be rolled out to more than 4,000 children and young people over the next three years are a range of access programmes involving performance activity by groups and ensembles across a range of music genres at various geographic locations within County Carlow.
Music Generation Limerick City will develop and co-ordinate a range of affordable, accessible high quality programmes within the city targeted at tackling disadvantage and ensuring access for more than 10,000 children and young people. Programmes to be developed will include live music performances and showcase events, initiation of new choirs and youth ensembles, musician in residence programmes, pre-school programmes for children and adults, access programmes in primary and post-primary schools and community based youth band initiatives.
Music Generation Offaly/Westmeath This midlands regional partnership aims to primarily focus on singing as a route into music for children and young people. In addition to this ambitious singing programme which aims to reach over 7,500 children and young people a new instrumental programme currently established in Westmeath will be developed in Offaly and a variety of musical composition projects, music workshops and performance projects will also be developed.