The village of Borris, County Carlow will spring to life over five days next month as it welcomes 100+ young and professional musicians for the fourth annual ‘Music @ Mount Leinster’ Festival of Traditional Irish Music, from 12 – 16 February 2018. Presented by Music Generation Carlow, the event will bring together trad groups from seven different counties for a week of workshops, seisiúns, masterclasses and concert performances.
The week will commence with a Senior Festival where established ensembles of young musicians will have an opportunity to work under the mentorship of some of the leading names on the Irish trad scene: Tim Collins; Aimee Farrell Courtney; Ernestine Healy; James Mahon; Oisín Mac Diarmuida; Rebecca McCarthy Kent; Michael Rooney and Jack Talty. These senior groups from Music Generation Carlow, Cork City, Laois, Mayo, Sligo, Wicklow and Donegal MEP will spend three days learning challenging repertoire and developing their ensemble playing, ahead of a Finale Concert on Wednesday 14 February at 7.30pm in Borris’ Step House Hotel.
In an exciting new development this year, ‘Music @ Mount Leinster’ 2018 will also offer a festival for junior musicians and newly formed ensembles. The Junior Festival will kick off on Thurs 15 February, welcoming participants from Music Generation Carlow, Cork City, Laois and Wicklow. As part of this developmental strand of the festival, younger trad musicians will have a special chance to hone their skills and explore new pieces with Music Generation tutors from neighbouring counties, while their tutors will meet, perform and share ideas with other musicians within the Music Generation national network.
Take a look behind the scenes of the festival in this short documentary, created in 2017:
In addition to the two young musicians’ concert performances, the professional and guest musicians will take to the stage at the Step House on Tues evening, 13 February at 7.30pm to perform a selection of their own music for festival-goers and members of the public.
‘Music @ Mount Leinster’ was originally conceived by Paula Phelan (Director, Music Generation Carlow) in 2014. Directed by Ciarán Somers and Áine Donohue, the initiative was born out of a strong culture of traditional music in Borris and is now firmly established on the country’s trad music calendar. Previous guest musicians include Niamh Dunne and Liam Bradley (Beoga); Zoe Conway; Damien Mullane (De Dannan) and Michael Rooney (TG4 Composer of the Year 2017), many of whom have returned year-on-year to mentor the next generation of trad players.
Throughout the festival the young musicians will be in residence at Borris Vocational School, which will also provide space for teaching, learning and rehearsals.
Professional and Guest Musicians Concert
Tues 13 February, 7.30pm
Senior Ensemble Festival Finale Concert
Weds 14 February, 7.30pm
Junior Ensemble Festival Finale Concert
Fri 16 February, 4pm
All concerts will take place at The Step House Hotel, Borris. Admission is on a first-come, first-served basis. Donations are accepted at the door.
For more information about Music @ Mount Leinster and other programmes and initiatives at Music Generation Carlow contact: