On Monday, 08 October 2018, 13 young musicians from Music Generation Laois travelled to Dublin to perform at an event hosted by the Department of Education and Skills in the beautiful surrounds of Farmleigh House, the official Irish State guest house. The event was attended by members of the Department of Education and Skills, along with representatives from the National Excellence in School Leadership Initiative (NESLI), an international education group.
Performing on the night was the 13-member Trad Group, a representation from the Music Generation Laois Trad Orchestra, which was established just over two years ago under the direction of musicians Siobhán Buckley and Paul Finn. These exceptional Young Ambassadors were invited to share their musical talent with guests as part of the event. The group performed a spectacular set that they worked on with Guest Musician Ernestine Healy during the Music Generation Laois Trad Summer School earlier this year. The first tune was composed by Ernestine, and the second is a traditional song: ‘The Pleasure Will Be Mine,’ which was originally introduced to the group by Laois-based traditional singer Áine McGeeney.
To date, members of the ensemble have also performed at national and international events including The Ireland Funds Worldwide Conference 2017 (Powerscourt Estate), for An Taoiseach Leo Varadkar and Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau in Dublin Castle, and for President Michael D. Higgins and Sabina Higgins at Áras an Uachtaráin. The young musicians have also collaborated with esteemed traditional Irish musicians to compose new works, including with Martin Tourish (Altan) and Ryan Molloy. They are among some 3,500 children and young people who are given the opportunity each year to receive regular music tuition through Music Generation Laois, across a broad range of musical genres and styles.
The young musicians included: Molly Donnery (harp/vocals), Izzy Donnery (bodhran), Aedin Lowry (bodhran), Naoise Kettle (fiddle), Eimear Murphy (fiddle/vocals), Aoibhe Kettle (harp), Tara Fahey (flute/vocals), Caragh LaCumber, Maeve Scott (concertina), Ellen Scott (fiddle), Siobhan Cunningham(concertina), Conal Nevin (accordion) and Aoibhinn O Connor.
The NESLI group facilitates the dissemination and use of better comparative education data that contributes to policies resulting in more effective education systems. The data collected includes areas such as instruction time, teachers’ working and teaching time, teachers’ and principals’ salaries, school evaluation and accountability arrangements. The group meets twice each year. Membership of the group includes experts with knowledge of domestic and international large scale data collection that involves compilation and adjudication of system-level descriptive information on educational structures, policies and practices. The work of NESLI informs the OECD publication, Education at a Glance: OECD Indicators which provides comparative data that usefully informs countries work in education policy review and development.
For more information about other initiatives at Music Generation Laois, contact:
Rosa Flannery, Coordinator
Music Generation Laois, Arts Office, Laois County Council, Áras an Chontae, Portlaoise, Co. Laois
T: 057 8664176