On Sunday the 8 of December, the first-ever Music Generation Laois Christmas Concert took place in the Dunamaise Arts Centre. The concert showcased the 7 different music programmes now being delivered in the County through Music Generation Laois, with 82 performers taking to the stage over the course of the afternoon on a range of instruments, from Singers to Drummers.
Singing groups included the Mountrath Glee Club and the St Colmcille’s National School Errill Choir. In what may be a world record, 13 uilleann pipers performed together on stage with their tutor Gay McKeon. Alice Carew, Portlaoise and Andrew Breslin from Mountmellick performed a duet on trumpet of Christmas favourite ‘Little Donkey’ and Jack Holmes performed both Beethoven’s ‘Moonlight Sonata’ and Glen Hansard’s ‘Falling Slowly’ on piano.
50 children are currently taking weekly harp lessons with Music Generation Laois, and 8 young harpists also performed at the concert. There were lots of Christmas favorites performed throughout the concert, however, the Music Generation Laois Stampede Drumming Group brought some world music to the event, using djembes and other African percussion, and their lively performance included a piece composed by the group of drummers themselves. Musicians and singers from the School of Rock and Pop performed 2 songs, ending the concert with the John Lennon song, ‘Happy Christmas: War is Over.’
In addition to our large-scale Christmas concert, we participated in over 20 concerts and performances throughout the County, in schools, centres and in the Portlaoise Youth Café. Well done to all the young musicians and singers who participated, and to all the Tutors, School Teachers, and all those we work with in centres and in the Portlaoise Youth Café for making this happen. Also to the families and friends of young musicians and singers for their support throughout. There were so many memorable and wonderful performances, and moments of huge pride and a sense of achievement as the Music Generation Laois programme grows throughout the County.
On Tuesday the 10 of December, the Board of Music Generation made a site-visit to Laois, and it was fantastic to share our experiences and achievements to-date with them.
We wish all those of our students, their families, and those we work with a very happy and musical Christmas, and heres to a great year of music-making in 2014!