MGL Young Ambassadors Captivate NYC Audiences

Music Generation Laois Young Ambassadors with Mentor Zoë Conway captivate NYC Audiences at The American Ireland Fund 41st Annual New York City Gala where they were joined by U2’s Adam Clayton in celebrating the achievements of Ireland’s National Music Education Programme

Three extraordinary young musicians from Music Generation Laois last night captivated guests at The American Ireland Fund 41st Annual New York City Gala in Pier Sixty, Manhattan, with their superb performance of traditional Irish music and song. U2’s Adam Clayton introduced the performance by 15-year old Sarah Bennett from Portlaoise (Bodhrán, Fiddle), 14 year-old Conall Ó Cnáimhín from Borris-in-Ossory (Cajon, Button Accordion, Fiddle) and 13 year-old Fiadh Fitzpatrick from Portarlington (Uilleann Pipes, Voice), who were joined on stage by their mentor, musician Zoë Conway (Fiddle).

These exceptional Young Ambassadors from Music Generation Laois were invited to share their incredible musical skills with guests, as The American Ireland Fund celebrated the achievements of Ireland’s National Music Education Programme since its foundation in 2010. Their repertoire on the night included a traditional set and a rendition of ‘The Foggy Dew’, which was met by rapturous applause.

Speaking of this remarkable performance opportunity for the three young musicians, Music Generation Laois Coordinator Rosa Flannery said: “I am so proud to see these superb young trad players perform on an international stage alongside an accomplished musician such as Zoë Conway. Sarah, Conall and Fiadh are extraordinary young musicians and it’s been a privilege to see their expertise grow even further through their participation in Music Generation Laois. It’s very important for the development of young musicians to have an opportunity to perform at this level. It is just one of the many benefits that Music Generation Laois provides to the children and young people in our locality.”

National Director of Music Generation, Rosaleen Molloy said: “These three young musicians have done themselves and Music Generation proud at tonight’s event, demonstrating their commitment, enthusiasm and passion for their craft. We are very grateful to The Ireland Funds for inviting these wonderful Young Ambassadors to perform at the Annual New York City Gala. For Sarah, Conall and Fiadh it has been a most memorable and inspiring occasion that they will carry with them on their future musical journey.”

In addition to Laois, Music Generation is currently established in 11 other areas of Ireland, providing access to high-quality subsidised performance music education for some 35,000 children and young people annually and creating 350 employment opportunities. Initiated by Music Network, the programme is currently co-funded by U2, The Ireland Funds, the Department of Education and Skills and Local Music Education Partnerships. The programme is set to expand in up to nine new areas of the country during its next phase, from 2016 to 2021.

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