Music Generation Waterford Traditional Ensembles were established in 2019 under the directorship of Nóra Byrne Kavanagh to provide an opportunity for young Irish Traditional musicians to experience ensemble performance of the highest quality. The ensemble is made up of 27 young traditional musicians from across the South East of Ireland.
In 2019 Music Generation Waterford Traditional Ensemble members collaborated with Music Generation Carlow to work with Donegal Accordionist Dr. Martin Tourish where a new 30min suite was created called 'The Colour of Warmth' funded through Music Generation/Arts Council partnership. This work was premiered at Creative Connexions Festival Sitges, Catalonia in October 2019.
Throughout 2020/21, despite the pandemic, Music Generation Waterford Traditional Ensembles continued part online and when possible in person, creating many new virtual performances, including representing Music Generation Ireland on a worldwide virtual platform at The Ireland Funds Conference in late 2020. In 2021 the ensemble members collaborated with Winston Salem Youth Symphony Orchestras in Salem, North Carolina USA to celebrate Irish/American relationships for St. Patrick's Day 2021 with a reflective orchestral arrangement of ‘Mo Ghille Mear’. The ensembles also launched a new traditional solo series celebrating the young musicians and ensemble members with the opportunity to create a professional performance recording as part of an on-going performance series.
In 2021, the Music Generation Waterford Traditional Ensemble collaborated with fiddle player Fergal Scahill to create three new pieces, a reel, jig and a waltz. The majority of this collaboration took place virtually until November 2021 when the ensemble met in person with Fergal, joined by composer and musician Ryan Molloy to perform the new music to a live audience in the historical Theatre Royal Waterford. After an almost two year hiatus, the performance was electrifying and met with a standing ovation!
Since the ensemble began in 2019, the young musicians have collaborated with many well-known professional musicians including Benny McCarthy (button accordion), Caoimhín Ó Fearghail (flute, uilleann pipes), Conor Arkins (fiddle), Siobhan Buckley (harp), David Lombardi (fiddle), Jean Damei (guitar), Dr. Martin Tourish (piano accordion), Fergal Scahill (fiddle) and Ryan Molloy (piano).
Throughout 2021/22 the ensemble have been working on a new 40 minute suite of music, composed and arranged by Music Generation Waterford musician team Nóra Kavanagh, Danny Pullman (saxophone), Jennifer Hartery (classical guitar), Jill Devlin (harp) & Cristopher O’Sullivan (percussion) and the young musicians. The suite will celebrate a fusion of sounds mixing together a wide range of instruments from cross genres through newly composed tunes inspired by Waterford landmarks and well-known places. The suite will be premiered in August 2022.