Photo: Denis Byrne
Laois County Council has purchased the old Scoil Mhuire primary school building in Portlaoise which is set to become a new home to Music Generation Laois and Laois School of Music.
The school, which has been vacant for a year, was built on the site of the town’s 16th century garrison inside a stone fort whose walls are still largely intact. The Fort Protector was the first English fort in Ireland, built to quell Laois rebellions. Laois County Council plans to use the site as a base to provide music and performing arts education to over 600 young people involved with Music Generation Laois and Laois School of Music.
Reacting to the news, Music Generation Laois Co-ordinator Rosa Flannery said: “We are absolutely thrilled to have secured a premises for ourselves and Laois School of Music. Thank you to Laois County Council, Laois Arts Office, Laois and Offaly Education and Training Board and the brilliant Nuala Kelly, Co-ordinator of Laois School of Music. The new home for Music Generation Laois and Laois School of Music will continue to build upon the strong partnership between Laois County Council and Laois Offaly Education and Training Board. It is onwards and upwards for the future of music in Laois!”
Preparations are underway for the move, and in the interim both Music Generation Laois and Laois School of Music continue to operate from Portlaoise Further Education and Training Centre, Tower Hill.
We are delighted to announce the recommencement of our Music Generation Laois Harp Orchestra. Siobhan Buckley is composing music for the orchestra, to be premiered as part of National Harp Day 2018.
Outline rehearsal schedule:
PLEASE NOTE, NO STUDENT WILL BE REQUIRED FOR THE ENTIRE DURATION OF REHEARSALS, ONCE WE KNOW WHO IS JOINING, WE WILL BREAK REHERSALS INTO SECTIONS!
Thursday 23 August, 1pm-5:30pm
Friday 24 August, 1pm-5:30pm
Sunday 9 September, 1pm-5:30pm
Sunday 23 September, 1pm-5:30pm
Sunday 7 October, 1pm-5:30pm
Friday 19 October, 5pm-7pm
Premiere on Saturday 20 October, Venue and times tbc, to mark National Harp Day 2018
Location: Rehearsals take place in Portlaoise Further Education and Training Centre, Tower Hill, Portlaoise
Fee: Membership Fee for the orchestra is €25
Harps: If you own your own harp, you must bring it to rehearsals, MGL harps will be available to our harp students who do not yet own their own harp
Please note, the orchestra is only open to harp students from Music Generation Laois, ie. those in our schools programmes and those who attend classes in our centre.
Spaces are limited on a first-come-first-serve basis, please email email@example.com or call 057 8664176 to sign up for the orchestra.
Summer School of Rock and Pop | 2nd to 6th July
Dunamaise Arts Centre Portlaoise.
Develop confidence and stage presence in a weeklong programme culminating with a concert on the Dunamaise Stage. A team of tutors will work with musicians and singers – all instruments welcome!
Ages 10-18 | Fee: €70
Times:11am-3:30pm (Mon to Thurs),12 noon-3pm &
Mezzanine Gig in the Dunamaise Arts Centre, Tuesday 3rd July @ 8pm featuring tutors Dale Hennessy, Terry Byrne, Ros O’Meara and James O Connor. (Admission €10/€5).
Trad Summer School | 20th to 22nd July
Trad Summer School | 20th to 22nd July
Portlaoise Further Education and Training Centre, Tower Hill, Portlaoise.
Age: 8 years upwards | Fee: €60
Times: 11am-3pm (Fri & Sat), 11am-4:30pm (Sun)
Tutors include: Mohsen Amini (concertina),Ernestine Healy (concertina),Deirdre Granville (harp), Lauren O Neill (harp), Mikie Smith (uilleann pipes), Padraig Mc Govern (uilleann pipes), Paul Finn (button accordion),Derek Hickey (button accordion), Siobhan Peoples (fiddle), Denise Boyle (fiddle), Tommy Fitzharris (flute),John Kelly (flute), Colm Phelan (bodhrán), Tommy Hayes (bodhrán), Laoise Kelly (harp), Joseph Byrne (uillean pipes) and Aine McQuaid (mixed juniors).
Trad Summer School Concerts
Opening Gala Concert, Fri 20th July, Dunamaise Arts Centre, Portlaoise, 8pm
Featuring Tutors from the Summer School, the Music Generation Laois Trad Orchestra, and the Music Generation Laois Junior Trad Group
Concert featuring top-notch traditional musicians teaching at the Summer School, the Music Generation Laois Trad Orchestra and the Music Generation Laois Junior Trad Group.
€5 – Book directly through Dunamaise Arts Centre 057 8663355 / Dunamaise.ie
Talisk, Sat 21st July, The Courtyard @ Kavanaghs, Main St, Portlaoise 7pm (family-friendly gig)
Epic Scottish Trad Band, recent winners of BBC 2 Folk Band of the Year 2017
Mohsen Amini (concertina), Hayley Keenan (fiddle) and Graeme Armstrong (guitar) create a captivating, energetic and dynamic sound that, in just a couple of years, has earned them multiple award wins, unwavering nationwide media praise, and standing ovations far and wide.
€15/€10, book tickets online at kavanaghsportlaoise.com or at Kavanagh’s Live Music Venue
Trad Summer School Closing Student Concert, Sun 22nd July, Portlaoise Further Education and Training Centre, Tower Hill, Portlaoise, 3pm
Finale concert showcasing students from the Summer School
Free Admission, donations welcome.
Booking for Music Generation Laois Programmes:firstname.lastname@example.org or 057 866 4176
Application can be downloaded here-Application Form Summer Camps 2018
For further information download brochure-Summer Camp 2018
The Music Generation Laois ‘New Works Series’ was commissioned in 2016 to bring young musicians together with three acclaimed professionals to collaborate, write and perform a series of new works for ensembles in the county.
This high quality CD pack contains 3 separate CDs featuring:
CD 1: In My Back Garden by Elaine Agnew, with text by Ann Egan, performed by the Laois School of Music Youth Orchestra and Music Generation Laois National Schools’ Choir
CD 2: Rising of the Harps by Catriona McKay in collaboration with the Music Generation Laois Harp Ensemble, performed by Catriona McKay and the Music Generation Laois Senior Harp Ensemble
CD 3: Visions and Voices by Martin Tourish in collaboration with the Music Generation Laois Trad Orchestra, performed by Martin Tourish and the Music Generation Laois Trad Orchestra
This recording project was supported by the Music Generation/ Arts Council Partnership.
Order New Work Series CD Below
From 13 to 15 April, we will host a very special event in the magnificent surrounds of the restored Malt House in Stradbally. Following the success of last year’s inaugural concert, ‘Music at the Malt House’ 2018 will expand to include three days of music and special guest performances, as well as the launch of the much-anticipated Music Generation Laois ‘New Works Series’ album.
The event kicks off on Friday 13 April at 8pm with renowned trad band Téada, a traditional Irish band with a truly worldwide reach. Téada has appeared as a frequent headliner at major music festivals across the globe, from the US and Canada to the Middle East and Australia. The band features accomplished musicians Oisín Mac Diarmada (fiddle), Paul Finn (button accordion), Damien Stenson (flutes and various whistles), Seán Mc Elwain (bouzouki and guitar), Seamus Begley (button accordion and singer) and Tristan Rosenstock (bodhrán player).
On Saturday 14 April at 7pm, a line-up of young and professional musicians will take to the stage. The world premiere of Ryan Molloy’s ‘Loinnir Laoise’ will be performed by the Music Generation Laois Trad Orchestra. This will be followed by the second-ever performance of Michael Rooney’s ‘Spirit of Laois,’ performed by harpists from the Music Generation Laois Harp Programme, commissioned by Music Generation Laois and funded by the Creative Ireland Laois Programme. The renowned Scottish trad duo Chris Stout (fiddle) and Catriona McKay (harp) will also perform and special guests on the night will include the All Ireland Scor na nÓg Champions from Borris in Ossory/Kilcotton GAA.
Sunday 15 April at 4pm will see the launch of the ‘New Works Series’ album, which has been funded through the Music Generation/Arts Council Partnership. The Music Generation Laois ‘New Works Series’ was commissioned in 2016 to bring young musicians together with three acclaimed professionals to collaborate, write and perform a series of new works for ensembles in the county. The Music Generation Laois National Schools’ Choir, Laois School of Music Youth Orchestra, Music Generation Laois Senior Harp Ensemble and Music Generation Laois Trad Orchestra, who each recorded their suites as part of the album, will perform to the audience at the launch.
All concerts take place in the restored Malt House building in Stradbally, County Laois.
For tickets and more information about ‘Music at the Malt House’, visit www.dunamaise.ie or phone Dunamaise Arts Centre on 0578663355.