9 March 2016, Dublin – Music Generation has announced two new appointments to its Board, including the appointment of Dr Don Thornhill as Chairperson.
Dr Thornhill is a former top civil servant, and a current and former board member and adviser to several organisations. Arts practitioner, policy-maker and former Arts Council Director of Strategic Development, Martin Drury also joins the Board.
Welcoming the new appointments to the Board of Music Generation, National Director Rosaleen Molloy said:
“I am delighted that Dr Don Thornhill and Martin Drury have joined the Board of Music Generation. They each bring a wealth of experience and expertise to the organisation, particularly in the areas of policy-making, strategic development and in the arts and education sectors. The Board and staff of Music Generation very much look forward to working with Don and Martin over the coming years as we enter an exciting new phase of development.”
On his appointment as the new Chairperson of Music Generation, Dr Don Thornhill said:
“I am delighted to take up the role of Chairperson of this terrific organisation. Music Generation’s achievements in its first five years have been remarkable, working closely with both philanthropic donors and with government departments in developing a ground-breaking approach to public private partnership. Music Generation’s core principle is that music education transforms lives and that it is every child and young person’s right to have the choice to participate as a musical citizen. I look forward to working with fellow Board members and the Executive of Music Generation, in addition to the programme’s partners – U2, The Ireland Funds, the Department of Education and Skills and Local Music Education Partnerships – to advance the important mission of this organisation.”
Speaking of his appointment, Martin Drury said:
“Having worked closely on Music Network’s 2003 Feasibility Study ‘A National System of Local Music Education Services’, which was seedbed and catalyst for Music Generation, I am gratified to join the Board and to now have the opportunity to experience first-hand the tangible outcomes of this pioneering programme. Music Generation is mobilising a movement of unprecedented change in Irish music education and I look forward to working with my fellow Board Members and Music Generation’s donors, funders and staff during its next phase.”
Music Generation is 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. Currently established in 12 regions of Ireland (Louth, Mayo, Sligo, Cork City, Laois, Wicklow, Carlow, Limerick City, Offaly, Westmeath, Clare and South Dublin), the programme provides high quality, subsidised performance music education to more than 26,000 children and young people annually who would not otherwise have the choice of access or the chance to participate. Since its formation Music Generation has created more than 330 employment opportunities, mainly for musicians who deliver over 80 different programmes in 400 tuition centres nationally. Music Generation focuses on performance music education – that is vocal and instrumental tuition, encompassing all music genres and all types of instruments and vocal styles, from ukulele groups to rock bands, choirs, orchestras, composers’ clubs, rock schools, hip hop squads, traditional Irish music ensembles, rap groups, song-writing sessions and more.
Aoife Lucey (Communications Manager, Music Generation)
+353 1 475 8454 / +353 85 741 5171
NOTES TO EDITORS
BIOGRAPHY: Dr Don Thornhill
Dr Don Thornhill is a former top civil servant, consultant and adviser on strategy and policy with a number of leading Irish organisations. His current and previous Board Chairmanships include the Chartered Accountants Regulatory Board, the Joint Standing Committee of the Dublin Maternity Hospitals, the Fit for Work Coalition, the National Competitiveness Council of Ireland, Hibernia College, the US/Ireland Fulbright Commission, the Irish Payments Services Organisation, the INSPIRE interuniversity nanoscience consortium and the Ageing Well Network.
Don’s other Board memberships have included Forfás (the Irish statutory national policy advisory body for enterprise and science), the Irish Management Institute, the Irish Taxation Institute, Science Foundation Ireland, the Irish Hospice Foundation, the Foundation Board of the Royal Dublin Society and the Digital Hub Agency.
During his career in the public service Don was centrally involved in many of the transformational policy developments in Ireland in education and research and, earlier in his career, in tax policy and administration. He played the key role in the development and roll out of the €600m Programme for Research in Third Level Institutions (PRTLI), which was the first major strategic investment made by the Irish Government in research at university level.
In January 2005 Don completed a seven year term as Executive Chairman of the Higher Education Authority (HEA). Prior to his appointment to the HEA he was Secretary General of the Department of Education and Science from 1993 to 1998. Don also worked in the Irish Revenue Commissioners, the Departments of Foreign Affairs and Finance and in the Unilever group of companies.
Don is a graduate of University College Dublin (B.Sc. and Ph.D. (Chemistry)) and Trinity College Dublin (M.Sc. (Econ)). He was awarded an honorary doctorate by the National University of Ireland in 2007. During 1987 he was a Fulbright Scholar at the Brookings Institution in Washington DC.
Dr Thornhill is an elected member of the Royal Irish Academy and of the Irish Academy of Engineering. He was conferred with honorary life membership of the Royal Dublin Society for his services to Ireland.
BIOGRAPHY: Martin Drury
Martin Drury has worked in the arts for nearly forty years as practitioner and policy-maker.
At the end of 2015 he left the Arts Council after a period of eight years, the last three as Director of Strategic Development. That role included being the executive lead and author for the 2014 Strategic Review of the Arts Council (‘Inspiring Prospects’) and for the subsequent development of a 10-year strategy published in late 2015 as ‘Making Great Art Work’.
Martin spent the 1990s developing and then running The Ark, Europe’s first custom-built arts centre for children, emblematic of a life-long commitment to and conviction about the arts for young people. These were manifest also in other key roles during the 1980s: Arts Education Organiser for Sligo and Leitrim; Artistic Director, TEAM Educational Theatre; and Education Officer at the Arts Council.
Martin has worked extensively as a theatre director and script editor, directing more than twenty productions for Druid; Opera Theatre Company; Second Age; TEAM; The Ark; and the Abbey Theatre where he was an Associate Director for a number of years.
He has also spent periods of time as a freelance arts consultant and adviser, has written and taught widely at home and abroad, has served on numerous boards including EU Net Art and The Ireland Funds, and has been Honorary Fellow in Psychology at University College Dublin.
He chaired the advisory group for the 2003 study and report published as A National System for Local Music Education Services prepared by Music Network, which was seedbed and catalyst for Music Generation.
ABOUT MUSIC GENERATION
Music Generation is Ireland’s National Music Education Programme which transforms the lives of children and young people through access to high quality, subsidised performance music education. Initiated by Music Network, Music Generation is co-funded by U2, The Ireland Funds, The Department of Education and Skills and Local Music Education Partnerships.
Music Generation believes in every child and young person’s musical potential and their innate artistry, that it is every child and young person’s right to have the choice of access and the chance to participate as a musical citizen and that music doesn’t just change lives, it transforms lives. The programme focuses on performance music education – that is vocal and instrumental tuition, encompassing all music genres and all types of instruments and vocal styles, delivered by skilled professional musicians interacting in an inspirational way with children and young people.
Music Generation was made possible by a €7m philanthropic donation from U2 (€5m) and The Ireland Funds (€2m) which was gifted to progress the implementation of Music Network’s Feasibility Study for a National System of Local Music Education Services. This philanthropic donation was the largest ever philanthropic donation to music education in Ireland in the history of the State.
Currently Music Generation Local Music Education Partnerships (MEPs) are established in 12 areas of the country: Carlow, Clare, Cork City, Laois, Limerick City, Louth, Mayo, Offaly / Westmeath, Sligo, South Dublin and Wicklow. These programmes, formed during Phase 1 of Music Generation, are co-funded by Government through the Department of Education and Skills (DES) and matched on a 50/50 basis by funding generated by MEPs, ensuring a long-term and lasting outcome from U2 and The Ireland Funds’ philanthropic giving.
Phase 2 of Music Generation has been initiated through a further €3m donation from U2 (€2m) and The Ireland Funds (€1m) in 2015. This gift will enable the expansion of the programme into up to nine new areas of the country between 2016 and 2020. The Department of Education and Skills has pledged its commitment to sustaining funding for Phase 2 into the future, from 2020.