Music Generation, together with Galway and Roscommon Education and Training Board (GRETB), is delighted to announce the appointment of musician and producer Karen Dervan to the role of Music Generation Development Officer for Galway City.
In her new post, Karen will have responsibility for developing and managing an accessible, affordable programme of performance music education for children and young people ages 0 to 18 in the City. This will include coordination with music tuition services in the area, building partnerships with music and arts services, schools, youth and community groups to form ensembles, choirs and initiatives across diverse musical genres and styles.
Music Generation Galway City is part of Ireland’s national music education programme, initiated by Music Network and co-funded by U2, The Ireland Funds, the Department of Education and Skills and Local Music Education Partnerships. Under the leadership of GRETB, Galway City Music Education Partnership was selected for participation in Music Generation as part of a competitive application process in September 2017.
Karen’s appointment is an important milestone in the development of Music Generation Galway City. It marks the beginning of a focussed phase of planning, which will ultimately lead to the implementation of a full and comprehensive programme of vocal and instrumental tuition later in the year.
On her appointment to the post, Karen explained her vision for Music Generation in Galway City: ‘Since the age of 4, music has had a central place in my life. As a performer, it has always fascinated me to see what music essentially means to different people and how a live music experience translates into a unique perspective for everyone involved. As a curator and producer, I’ve had a chance to hone my own philosophy on how to really reach people with music. In this new role I’m particularly looking forward to reaching many children and young people in Galway City with the beautiful message of music, so that our next generation can gain their own musical perspectives, reach their fullest creative potential, and simply enjoy music in their lives.’
A native of Galway, Karen is a professional viola player, arranger and producer who has performed with the RTÉ National Symphony Orchestra, RTÉ Concert Orchestra, Ulster Orchestra, Wexford Festival Opera, Lyric Opera Orchestra among many other festival and event ensembles. Since graduating from University College Cork (BA Hons in English and Music) and the University of Limerick (MA Hons in Classical Strings Performance) she has produced content for a large number of arts festivals and venues, including Clifden Arts Festival, Drogheda Arts Festival, Boyle Arts Festival, Limerick Literary Festival and the National Gallery of Ireland. Since 2014 has also co-curated the successful, critically-acclaimed salon music series, ‘Kaleidoscope Night’.
Commenting on the announcement, Chief Executive of GRETB, David Leahy said: ‘We’re delighted to welcome Karen into her new post at this exciting moment for the development of performance music education in Galway. With Music Generation becoming established in the County and now in the City, we have a great opportunity to work in partnership with the many organisations and individuals supporting our vision to extend access to new musical experiences for all our children and young people. Karen’s extensive professional music career and her expertise in production and programming will be a great asset on that journey. We wish her every success in her role.’
Galway City Council Arts Officer, James Harrold welcomed the appointment, saying: 'This is a marvelous development in the provision of participatory music experiences for young people in Galway city. The significant resources and education skills of Music Generation will transform the creative lives of our children and young people. Galway City Council is delighted to work in partnership with GRETB in this exciting initiative and we wish Karen joy and delight in the work.'
Also successful in their bid for participation in Music Generation’s second phase during 2017 were Galway County Music Education Partnership – which commenced programming in 2018 – and Roscommon Music Education Partnership, where plans are currently underway for roll-out over the course of 2019. Each of the three partnership areas will be awarded up to €600,000 in philanthropic funding over the next three years to establish sustainable performance music education programmes for children and young people, delivered by skilled professional music educators. The philanthropic funds will be matched on a 50/50 basis by locally-generated funding. Following the three-year set-up phase, the Department of Education and Skills will sustainably co-fund the programmes into the future, together with the Local Music Education Partnerships.