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Call out for New Members: Music Generation Laois Trad Orchestra (online)

Martin Tourish and Michael Rooney with the Music Generation Laois Trad Orchestra onstage at the Dunamaise Theatre (Nov 2019) Photo Denis Byrne

Applications are now open for high-standard, dedicated trad musicians to join the Music Generation Laois Trad Orchestra (online).

The Music Generation Laois Trad Orchestra is embarking on an ambitious collaborative composition project with Accordionist Martin Tourish, and Orchestra Director Siobhan Buckley. Using online platforms, the orchestra will collaborate with Martin Tourish in the composition of a new suite of music.

New members are invited to join the orchestra for this exciting project, which will culminate with the premiere of new music in October/November 2020. New members can sign-up to be part of this project until the premiere of this new music in the Autumn and pay a membership fee of €50.

We would love to see old members re-join for this special project too!

Members from all over Ireland are welcome, however we remain hopeful that a live performance in Laois might be possible in the Autumn (only if safe to do so), so do take into account that if restrictions are lifted there may be some travel involved for final rehearsals and performance if coming from outside of Co. Laois. If a live performance of this music is not possible, we will create an online premiere.

The positions open for audition are:

  • Button accordion
  • Guitar
  • Concertina
  • Whistle
  • Trad Flute
  • Mandolin
  • Banjo
  • Fiddle
  • Piano
  • Harp
  • Uilleann Pipes
  • Double bass
  • Bodhrán/Percussion

Standard: This opportunity is for intermediate/advanced traditional musicians with 4 years experience and upwards

Age: Open to all ages

Weekly rehearsal: Successful applicants must be available for weekly rehearsal on Tuesdays from 12noon to 1:30pm (from Tuesday 2 June onwards – full schedule tbc, we may break at some point for holidays), Attendance is strictly monitored, if members miss more than 3 rehearsals, their membership will be relinquished.

As rehearsals will be online, a good internet connection is required.

Fee: Orchestra membership fee until November 2020, €50

How to apply: Spaces are allocated on an audition basis, in the current climate, a pre-recorded video is acceptable – send an email to mgl@loetb.ie attach a video of you playing a reel. In the email include your name, date of birth, instrument(s), standard (how many years you have been playing, any significant performances or achievements in this time), Parent/Guardian contact telephone number (for those under 18) and home address. Please Note, as this is an advanced ensemble, expression of interest emails are to come from applicants, applications made by parents/guardians on behalf of musicians will not be accepted.

For large video files, use wetransfer.

Deadline for receipt of applications is 5pm, Thursday 28 May, 2020.

The Music Generation Laois Trad Orchestra was established in January 2016 under the directorship of Paul Finn and Siobhan Buckley. In May 2016, the orchestra collaborated with Donegal Accordionist Martin Tourish to create a new 30 minute suite of music ‘1916 Visions and Voices’ funded by the Laois 2016 Community Fund, Per Cent for Art through Laois County Council and the Music Generation Arts Council Partnership.  The music was premiered on the 22 of May 2016, as part of the Music Generation Laois New Works Series, to unprecedented public response! The work has since been performed in Fleadh Cheoil na hEireann in Ennis 2016, for Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau and Taoiseach Leo Varadkar in Dublin Castle and in Powerscourt for the Ireland Funds Worldwide Conference attended by Taoiseach Leo Varadkar and Prince Albert of Monaco and has also been recorded an launched as a CD. In 2018, the Trad Orchestra premiered a new work ‘Loinnir Laoise,’ commissioned by Music Generation Laois and composed by Ryan Molloy as part of Music at the Malt House 2018. This suite of music was performed for a second time on the gig rig at Fleadh Cheoil na hEireann 2018 in Drogheda.

Throughout the past academic year (2018/2019) the Trad Orchestra have collaborated with many well-known musicians including Christ Stout (fiddle), Catriona McKay (harp), Zoe Conway (fiddle) and John McIntyre (guitar).

Please note: This is a highly professional ensemble, repeated absenteeism is not acceptable nor is poor timekeeping.  Frequently additional rehearsals and performances are added and these are mandatory.  Musicians must come prepared to rehearsals. Poor conduct and irresponsible behaviour is not permitted.

Current members do not need to re-audition.

This project is supported by Creative Ireland Laois.