The village of Borris, County Carlow welcomed 100+ young and professional musicians for the fifth annual ‘Music @ Mount Leinster’ Festival of traditional Irish music from 18 to 21 February 2019. Presented by Music Generation Carlow, the event brought together trad groups from five counties in Ireland for a week of workshops, seisiúns, masterclasses and concert performances.
The week commenced with a three-day Senior Festival where established ensembles each had an opportunity to work under the mentorship of one of the leading names on the trad scene. These senior groups from Music Generation Carlow, Laois, Mayo, Sligo and Wicklow were challenged with new repertoire to extend and develop their ensemble playing, ahead of a superb Finalé Concert on Wednesday 20 February in Borris’ Step House Hotel.
On Thursday junior musicians and newly formed groups joined ‘Music @ Mount Leinster’ for the developmental strand of the festival. Over two days these younger trad musicians had a chance to hone their skills and explore new pieces with Music Generation tutors from neighbouring counties.
In addition to Wednesday’s Gala Concert performance, on Tuesday the visiting musician-mentors took to the stage at the Step House to showcase their own music. Festival participants and members of the public were bowled over by the performances which included solo and collaborative music by David Lombardi, Marty Barry, Michael Rooney, Martin Tourish, James Mahon, Clara Mannion and Lucia Mac Partlin..
‘Music @ Mount Leinster’ was originally conceived in 2014. The initiative, now under the artistic direction of Carlow-based musicians Áine Donohoe and Ciarán Somers, was born out of a strong culture of traditional music in Borris and is now firmly established on the county’s trad music calendar. As a ‘residential festival’ participants are hosted for workshops as well as overnight in dormitory accommodation at Borris Vocational School – a long-time partner and supporter of the event.
‘Music @ Mount Leinster’ is funded through the Music Generation/Arts Council Partnership with support from Kilkenny and Carlow Education and Training Board and Carlow County Council.
For more information about Music @ Mount Leinster and other programmes and initiatives at Music Generation Carlow contact:
Gavin Barr, Music Development Officer
Music Generation Carlow, Kilkenny and Carlow Education and Training Board, Athy Road, Carlow
T: 059 9138583