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‘Irish Songs We Learned at School’ with John Spillane.

Music Generation Laois, through the Laois 2016 Centenary fund, have initiated an ‘Irish Songs We Learned at School’ project with the legendary Irish Singer-Songwriter John Spillane.

National Schools across Laois, who participate in the Music Generation Laois Singing Programme, will receive monthly visits from the well-known musician from Cork, learning many of the Irish Songs We Learned at School that John Spillane recorded on the album of the same name in 2008. In addition some of the songs associated with the 1916 Rising, including ‘Grace’ and the ‘Foggy Dew’ will be included in the songs covered in this schools project.

The project will run from September to November 2016 and culminate with a large scale concert on the 24 of November in Portlaoise, where John Spillane, Music Generation Laois Singing Tutor Lorna McLaughlin, and all the participating schools will perform, along with a live band.

Trad Summer School 2016

Top notch trad musicians descended on Co Laois at the weekend, as part of the 3rd annual Music Generation Laois Trad Summer School. Well-known musicians, Cormac de Barra, Maire Ní Chathasaigh, Brendan Begley, Noel Hill, NoMember of the MGL Trad Orchestra with Cormac De Barrallaig McCarthy, Eamon Murray, Harry Bradley, Aidan O Donnell, Denise Boyle, Siobhan Buckley, Aine McQuaid, Sean Hill and Barry Leonard were among the musicians who came to tutor young musicians from Laois and surrounding counties.

The Trad Summer School, which took place from the 15-17 of July, attracts lots of young trad musicians, who avail of the wide range of classes on offer, including uilleann pipes, harp, concertina, button accordion, bodhrán, fiddle, tin whistle and trad flute.

Concertina Students with Tutor Noel Hill

Speaking at the tutor concert, which took place on Saturday evening in Portlaoise Youth Education Centre on Railway Street in Portlaoise, Rosa Flannery Co-ordinator of Music Generation Laois said, ‘there is huge interest in traditional music among young people in Laois, and we want to do everything we can to support, sustain and develop this interest. Young people should be able to access music tuition in their own area, without having to travel or without the barrier of high tuition fees. We are thrilled at how successful the Summer School has become, and we look forward to doing it all over again in 2017.’


Summer Camps 2016

Pop, Rock, Traditional or African Drumming? Music Generation Laois are delighted to announce that bookings are now open for our Summer Camps for 2016. This year will see a variety of camp choices and a range of musical genres. Our experienced and renowned tutors will work with students to unleash their creative side through classes, workshops, performances and masterclasses.

Bookings are now being taken for
– School of Rock & Pop (4 – 8 July)
– Music Generation Laois Traditional Summer School (15 – 17 July)
– Stampede Drumming Junior and Senior Camps (11 – 13 July)

See below for more information on each camp.

To make a booking or for information contact Music Generation Laois on 057-8664176 or email musicgenerationlaois@laoiscoco.ie

New Works Series – Tickets on Sale Now!

The Music Generation Laois New Works Series brings young musicians and composers together, to collaborate, compose and perform a series of new works for ensembles in the County. Three composers have been appointed to compose music in collaboration with young musicians.

Martin Tourish, composer and accordionist with the Donegal-based band Altan, will work with the Music Generation Laois Trad Orchestra and Choir to create a new twenty minute piece of music ‘1916: Visions and Voices’ to mark the centenary of the 1916 Rising.

Elaine Agnew, a renowned composer from Northern Ireland, will work with the Laois School of Music Youth Orchestra to create a new twenty minute piece of music for Youth Orchestra and Choir.

Scottish Virtuoso Harpist Catriona McKay will work with the Music Generation Laois Harp Ensemble to create a ten minute piece of music for harp ensemble. The New Works series will be premiered as part of a gala concert on Sunday 22 of May in the Heritage Hotel, Portlaoise.

Tickets are €5 and on sale from the Dunamaise Arts Centre Box Office at dunamaise.ie or 057-8663355.

‘1916: Visions and Voices’ is inspired by the actions and events of the 1916 Rising, and is part of the ‘Ireland 2016’ programme of events in County Laois, and funded by the Laois 2016 Community Grants Scheme. All 3 new works are also funded by Per Cent for Art through the Laois Arts Office, and the Music Generation/Arts Council Partnership.


Grúpa Ceoil at Music @ Mount Leinster Trad Camp

M@ML Photoboard

The Music Generation Laois Grúpa Ceoil travelled to Borris, Co Carlow to attend Music Generation Carlow’s 2nd annual Music @ Mount Leinster Trad Camp during the midterm from 16th – 18th February 2015.

The group had the opportunity to work with some of the top traditional musicians in the country, including fiddle player Zoe Conway, concertina player Jack Talty and flautist Conor Crimmins.

The young musicians worked with Beoga’s Niamh Dunne as their tutor to learn about performance, harmony and arrangement and the camp culminated in an incredible performance by all the groups involved.

Check out the video below to listen to their amazing performance.