Dublin, June 25, 2016: Young musicians from Music Generation Laois and Music Generation Carlow took centre stage yesterday evening, 24 June, at Trinity College Dublin with a spectacular performance for delegates attending the Gala Celebration of the 2016 Worldwide Ireland Funds Conference, including An Taoiseach Enda Kenny and US Vice-President Joe Biden. Performing to a global audience of the Irish diaspora, these young ambassadors performed an exciting set of traditional Irish music, including an arrangement of three tunes together with world-renowned flautist Sir James Galway.
The audience also included former President Mary Robinson; US Ambassador to Ireland, Kevin O’Malley; Australian Ambassador to Ireland, Ruth Adler; Ambassador Elizabeth Frawley; Chairman of the American Ireland Fund, John Fitzpatrick and The American Ireland Fund Chairman Emeritus Loretta Brennan Glucksman.
The 25-member traditional Irish music ensemble featured musicians from Music Generation Carlow’s Reelig under the direction of musician Ciarán Somers, and members of the Music Generation Laois Trad Orchestra under the direction of Siobhán Buckley.
An accomplished collective of young musicians, Reelig have been performing together for two years. Recently they have performed at national events including a combined trad orchestra performance with Music Generation Cork City in UCC, and earlier this year they opened the Pan Celtic Festival in Carlow.
In May this year the Music Generation Laois Trad Orchestra composed and premiered a brand new work created in collaboration with musician Martin Tourish, which was met with enormous acclaim. The group also includes three young musicians who made their international debut earlier this year at the Annual American Ireland Fund New York Gala Dinner, and who just last week performed for the Kennedy Center International Committee on the Arts at Iveagh House.
Working with leading professional musicians in their respective counties, the young musicians have come together over the past number of months to rehearse and prepare for this significant performance opportunity. They are excited and honoured to perform for the international delegation, and particularly enthused by the opportunity to perform alongside one of the world’s most revered flautists, Sir James Galway.
Speaking at rehearsals yesterday, Music Generation Carlow young musician Conor McDermott (Reelig) said “I'm very proud to be involved with the group and to have the chance to play with Sir James. This will be my first time on a stage like this in Dublin at Trinity College. We’ve been working hard on a great, energetic set and I can’t wait to perform it for the audience.”
Kate MacDonald, member of Music Generation Laois Trad Orchestra, added that “Music means so much to me. I feel really lucky to be able to perform here today. It’s been brilliant to work with the group from Carlow too so that we can share our stories and skills and make new friends from another County.”
Following the event, Rosaleen Molloy, National Director, Music Generation said: “I would like to congratulate this ensemble of terrific young musicians from Laois and Carlow on their dynamic performance this evening. It is a privilege for Music Generation to have the opportunity to perform at this prestigious event and it will be a particular joy for the young people to have played alongside Sir James Galway. We are very grateful to our co-funders, The Ireland Funds, for providing a platform to bring the music of this combined trad ensemble to an international stage.”
Music Generation’s Young Ambassadors programme provides opportunities for young musicians throughout Ireland to perform at national and international events.
See more about The 40th Anniversary Worldwide Ireland Funds Conference on their video news release -
For more information about Music Generation Laois programmes and events contact:
Rosa Flannery, Coordinator
Music Generation Laois, Laois County Council, Áras an Chontae, Portlaoise, Co Laois
For further information Music Generation Carlow programmes and events contact:
Paula Phelan, Co-ordinator, Music Generation Carlow
Kilkenny and Carlow Education and Training Board, Athy Road, Carlow