The Ireland Funds is a global philanthropic network and one of Music Generation’s principle national funders, established in 1976 to promote and support peace, culture, education and community development throughout the island of Ireland, and Irish-related causes around the world. Last Thursday, members of the network had an opportunity to witness first-hand the extraordinary impact of their philanthropic support as they took a tour of the Limerick City Creative Centre, met with some of the young musicians involved, and enjoyed an electric showcase of original music by some of the city’s rising stars.
Delegates were welcomed to the Centre with music by sixth class students from Corpus Christi National School, Moyross, who performed their own original song. They were greeted by George O’Callaghan, Chief Executive, Limerick and Clare Education and Training Board (LCETB), and Paul Patton, Director of Further Education and Training, LCETB and Chair, Music Generation Limerick City, who commented on the pioneering approach to partnership that enabled the realisation of the MGLC vision:
‘As lead partner of Music Generation Limerick City we at LCETB are so proud of the programme which has already achieved so much for so many of our City’s children and young people. None of this great work would have been possible without the dedication of our partners, including The Ireland Funds whose philanthropic seed-funding allowed us to establish MGLC in 2013. The philanthropic support of The Ireland Funds and U2 during MGLC’s first three years has also enabled us to generate the local investment that will ensure the programme’s sustainability long-term. I’d like to acknowledge Limerick City and County Council, Limerick School of Music, Limerick Youth Service, UL, the JP McManus Charitable Foundation and schools throughout the city who, together with the Department of Education and Skills, now provide the ongoing resources to create access to this transformative programme for Limerick’s next generation.’
The Ireland Funds’ delegates then commenced their tour of the Creative Centre, exploring the work taking place in various rehearsal, production and recording spaces, and chatting to the young musicians about their experiences of creating and performing music.
Guests were also treated to live performances by MGLC musicians past and present. The line-up featured four-piece PowPig (who took to the stage just ahead of their appearance at the Body & Soul Festival), experimental art-pop collective Valley, rapper Krome from the ‘Limerick New Cipher’ and recent MGLC graduates, Island trio SameD4ence, who spoke on the day about the part that Music Generation has played in their performing and recording careers to date:
‘Music Gen to us was a stepping stone, an opening to a whole different world, because where we were from there was no ‘joining groups’, unless it was violence. There was no community centre, there was nothing like that. So when we met the lads at Music Gen and saw that people are coming together to create music, and they like it – they actually love it – and they’re asking if we want to come back and record stuff and you’re given those opportunities, that’s beautiful. That’s everything for someone who has nothing.’
These performers represented just a handful of the young musicians involved with MGLC’s diverse programmes and initiatives year-round. The Creative Centre programmes, which include sessions in song-writing, production, band skills, voice and instrumental tuition, are all run by a team comprising many of Limerick’s most exciting performers.
The previous evening, Wednesday 20 June, guests at the Conference were welcomed to their host venue with a big brass fanfare from members of The Barrack Street Youth Band and Music Generation Cork City, hot on the heels of the group’s performance for HRH Prince Charles and just before the ensemble embarked on a five-day tour to Edinburgh.
For more information about other initiatives at Music Generation Limerick City, contact:
Boris Hunka, Coordinator
Music Generation Limerick City, VTOS Building, Presentation Court, Sexton Street, Limerick City.
T: 087 210 4583