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Laois School of Music Christmas Concert featuring Music Generation Laois Brass, Oboe and Orchestral Percussion Students

The Laois School of Music Annual Christmas Concert, featuring all Ensemble Groups and including our new Oboe students and Chamber groups, will take place on Tuesday 15 December at 6pm in the Portlaoise Youth Education Centre, Railway Street.

The Orchestra will feature young musicians from the Music Generation Laois Brass and Orchestral Percussion Programmes and will have the groups playing a mix of classical, modern and christmas pieces to get everyone into the festive mood!

All are welcome to attend the concert. Free admission on the night but donations welcome.

School of Rock & Pop EP Launch with Duke Special


In July 2015, Irish Singer-Songwriter Duke Special visited Portlaoise and spent 2 inspirational days with young musicians from the Music Generation Laois Summer School of Rock and Pop, developing songwriting skills. Young musicians spent 8 intensive days, writing and recording 3 new songs, enhanced by the input of 4 Music Generation Laois Tutors, Adela Meally, Ros O Meara, Dale Hennessy and Andreas Balke. This project was funded by the Arts Council/Music Generation Partnership.

Duke Special will return to Music Generation Laois on 6 December to Kavanaghs Live Music Venue, Main Street, Portlaoise to launch our School of Rock & Pop EP! Young musicians will perform 3 original songs that were written during the School of Rock & Pop Summer Camp and recorded in Golden Egg Studios, Portlaoise. On the night, Duke Special will also perform some of his original music.

Admission is by invitation only but the EP will be available to purchase through the Music Generation Laois Office on 057-8664176 or

MGL School of Rock and Pop John Lennon Educational Tour Bus Reveal Day at the Irish Film Institute

The Music Generation Laois School of Rock and Pop had a brilliant day out in Dublin on Wednesday 11 November in the Irish Film Institute where they got to see the official videos for the songs that they created on the John Lennon Educational Tour Bus when it rolled in to The Plaza at Laois County Council in August.

The Reveal Day celebrated the hard work and talent of all the young musicians who wrote and recorded original songs and filmed accompanying music videos. All the videos from the Irish Bus Tour were shown to the collection of students from nearly every Music Generation branch around the country. It was a great opportunity for the young participants from Music Generation Laois to meet and speak with their counterparts from across Ireland.


Irish composer and producer, Bill Whelan, was the special guest on the day and gave a very inspirational talk to the young, aspiring musicians in the room on his journey to success and offered wise words of advice. It was also announced that Bill Whelan was the philanthropic support that made the John Lennon Bus tour possible.

Minister for Education and Skills, Jan O’Sullivan was present on the day and praised the wonderful work created by the students.

John Lennon Educational Tour Bus engineer Hans Tanner flew over from the US for the occasion and was on hand to answer any questions the students had on life on the bus, music and production.

The Music Generation Laois group were delighted with the response to their two songs and with the chance to see their videos on the big screen of the Irish Film Institute.

The John Lennon Educational Tour Bus is a non-profit, state-of-the-art mobile audio, HD video recording and production facility and educational resource. During its second tour of Ireland, in July and August 2015, the Bus traveled to the north, south, east and west of Ireland, visiting 12 different areas of the country: South Dublin, Wicklow, Louth, Laois, Limerick City, Carlow, Cork City, Clare, Westmeath, Mayo, Sligo and Donegal.


MGL Harp Ensemble Perform at the SMEI Annual Conference

5L8A5663Members of Music Generation Laois’ Harp Ensemble were among those in attendance at the annual Society of Music Education Ireland conference which took place on 6 – 8 November 2015 at Dublin Institute of Technology.

15 members of the Ensemble, ranging in age from 10 to 16, were met with rapturous applause when they treated delegates to a performance between conference sessions and panels. The Ensemble was accompanied on the day by their Tutor Siobhán Buckley.

In addition to this special performance by the Ensemble on Saturday morning, Music Generation was well represented across the three days, with contributions to its jam-packed programme of events from across the country.

Music Generation Carlow’s Paula Phelan discussed “the musical life of a two year old” and considered how to build professional development programmes for Early Years Practitioners.
National Director of Music Generation Rosaleen Molloy chaired a symposium entitled Reactions, Reflections and Responses with input from panellists Niall Doyle (Head of Music and Opera, The Arts Council), Finghin Collins (Pianist), and Paula Phelan (Programme Director, Music Generation Carlow). Dr. Patricia Flynn and Dr. Thomas Johnston presented their findings from the Music Generation and St. Patrick’s College’s research partnership. A joint presentation was also given by Music Generation Sligo Coordinator Rhona McGrath and the Centre for SEN, Inclusion and Diversity, focussing on the delivery of music programmes to children and young people with Autistic Spectrum Disorders.

The 2015 SMEI conference was hosted by the Conservatory of Music and Drama, Dublin Institute of Technology.

Scoil Bhríde Harpur’s Lane, Knockmay Invest in Music for the Future

From January 2015 to June 2015, Scoil Bhríde Harpur’s Lane, Knockmay in Portlaoise participated in a Music Generation Laois pilot whole class string programme whereby groups from 3rd and 4th classes were given the chance to learn violin.

This string programme is a joint initiative between Music Generation Laois and Laois School of Music and was pioneered by Dorothy Conaghan (National Concert Hall) and John Davidson (Laois School of Music).

Since September 2015, over 200 students in Scoil Bhríde now participate in weekly string tuition and the school has invested in their own instrument bank of violins.

The growth of the programme has seen more local tutors becoming involved in teaching, and learning from this unique experience.

Music Generation Laois are delighted the school has invested in their instruments, and we look forward to many pupils in the school getting the opportunity to learn violin in the years ahead.