On Monday 21 January, the Music Generation Laois Stampede Drummers travelled to the Department of Education and Skills in Dublin, where the young group of musicians met with and performed for The Edge of legendary Irish rock band, U2.
Under the Direction of well-known Drummer Eddie O’Neill, the 6 young Stampede Drummers performed for an audience that included Minster for Education and Skills, Ruairí Quinn TD and Paul McGuinness, U2’s well-known Manager. Siofra and Tiernan Marum (Portlaoise), Adam McEvoy (Portlaoise), Chris Farrell (Stradbally) Aisling Page (Mountrath) and Kgomotso Ngwenya (Mountrath) were the lucky young performers who gained an audience with The Edge. The group enjoyed significant national publicity on the RTE News, RTE Radio and in the national press including
The Irish Times, The Irish Independent, and The Irish Examiner.The performance took place at the inaugural Seminar for Music Education Partnerships, presented by the Department of Education and Skills in partnership with Music Generation.
Laois is among 12 Counties/Cities who have set up a Music Education Partnership and Laois Music Education Partnership is led by Laois County Council and supported by Laois VEC and Laois Partnership Company. Laois Music Education Partnership manages Music Generation Laois, a new music education service for children and young people in Co Laois, and the service that is responsible for developing the Stampede Drumming Group of young musicians. Nationally, Music Generation is supported by U2 and the Ireland Funds.
At Monday’s Seminar, the Department of Education and Skills, gave announced their commitment to fund the Music Generation imitative on a phased basis from July 2014.In response to the announcement by Ruairi Quinn TD, The Edge stated, “We are absolutely delighted that the Department of Education and Skills has committed to the long-term funding of this brilliant Music Generation scheme. The response has been incredible with over 5,000 children and young people getting music lessons. It is a source of great pride for U2 that along with The Ireland Funds we were able to step in and keep it going after government cut backs put it in jeopardy in 2009”.
Music Generation Laois continues to expand across Laois, and places are available for both schools and independent students to join the Stampede Drumming programme, a fantastic music tuition programme using a variety of world percussion, drum sticks and handheld percussion.