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Music Generation Laois announces a very special line-up for ‘Music at the Malt House’ 2018


From 13 to 15 April, Music Generation Laois will host a very special event in the magnificent surrounds of the restored Malt House in Stradbally. Following the success of last year’s inaugural concert, ‘Music at the Malt House’ 2018 will expand to include three days of music and special guest performances, as well as the launch of the much anticipated ‘New Works Series’ album.

The event kicks off on Friday 13 April at 8pm when Music Generation Laois will present Téada, a traditional Irish band with a truly worldwide reach. Téada has appeared as a frequent headliner at major music festivals across the globe, from the US and Canada to the Middle East and Australia. The band features accomplished musicians Oisín Mac Diarmada (fiddle), Paul Finn (button accordion), Damien Stenson (flutes and various whistles), Seán Mc Elwain (bouzouki and guitar), Seamus Begley (button accordion and singer) and Tristan Rosenstock (bodhrán player).

On Saturday 14 April at 7pm, a line-up of young and professional musicians will take to the stage. The world premiere of Ryan Molloy’s ‘Loinnir Laoise’ will be performed by the Music Generation Laois Trad Orchestra. This will be followed by the second-ever performance of Michael Rooney’s ‘Spirit of Laois,’ performed by harpists from the Music Generation Laois Harp Programme, commissioned by Music Generation Laois and funded by the Creative Ireland Laois Programme. The renowned Scottish trad duo Chris Stout (fiddle) and Catriona McKay (harp) will also perform and special guests on the night will include the All Ireland Scor na nÓg Champions from Borris in Ossory/Kilcotton GAA.

Sunday 15 April at 4pm will see the launch of the ‘New Works Series’ album, which has been funded through the Music Generation/Arts Council Partnership. The Music Generation Laois ‘New Works Series’ was commissioned in 2016 to bring young musicians together with three acclaimed professionals to collaborate, write and perform a series of new works for ensembles in the county. The Music Generation Laois National Schools’ Choir, Laois School of Music Youth Orchestra, Music Generation Laois Senior Harp Ensemble and Music Generation Laois Trad Orchestra, who each recorded their suites as part of the album, will perform to the audience at the launch.

About the ‘New Works Series’
The first CD on the album features the Laois School of Music Youth Orchestra and Music Generation Laois National Schools’ Choir performing ‘In My Back Garden’, written by renowned composer Elaine Agnew. Elaine worked with poet Ann Egan, Laois School of Music Youth Orchestra and the Music Generation Laois National Schools’ Choir to create a magical exploration of a back garden, inspired by the imagination of children in their singing programmes. Since its premiere in May 2016, ‘In My Back Garden’ has since been performed on numerous occasions, including the IAYO Festival of Youth Orchestras 2018 in the National Concert Hall, Dublin.

The second CD features the Music Generation Laois Senior Harp Ensemble performing their piece ‘Rising of the Harps’ with Scottish virtuoso harpist Catriona McKay. Catriona worked in intense spurts with the Music Generation Laois Senior Harp Ensemble to create ‘Rising of the Harps,’ a suite of music that draws upon the centenary of the 1916 Rising but also celebrates the recent revival of harping in County Laois. This suite of music has been performed in several manifestations since its premiere, and on every occasion it has changed and grown through experimentation and the addition of new segments.

The third CD features the Music Generation Laois Trad Orchestra performing ‘Visions and Voices’ by composer and accordionist Martin Tourish of Altan. Martin developed this suite of music with and for the Music Generation Laois Trad Orchestra, reflecting on the events of the Easter Rising, 1916. This suite of music takes the listener on an emotive journey, from the gentle longing of the opening track ‘Pearse’s Oration’ through to the optimism of the final track ‘Into the Future’. This suite has been performed at many concerts and events, for audiences that have included An Taoiseach Leo Varadkar, Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau, Prince Albert of Monaco and Michael Flatley.

Event Information

‘Music at the Malt House’ will take place in the restored Malt House, Stradbally, County Laois on Friday 13, Saturday 14 and Sunday 15 April. Admission for each night is €5. Booking can be made via Dunamaise Arts Centre on 0578663355 or

Please be advised that the venue may be cold.

For more information about this and other Music Generation Laois programmes and events contact:

Rosa Flannery, Coordinator
Music Generation Laois, Laois County Council, Áras an Chontae, Portlaoise, Co Laois

T: +353 57 866 4176