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Young Laois young musicians perform for government leaders

Music Generation Laois Harp Ensemble led by Catriona McKay and Siobhan Buckley at the Music Generation Laois, New Works Series in the Portlaoise Heritage Hotel. Picture: Alf Harvey/HRPhoto.ie

Members of Music Generation Laois have been given the honour to perform for leaders in education at major conference in Farmleigh House.

On Monday, October 8 2018, 13 young musicians from Music Generation Laois travelled to Dublin to perform at a major conference hosted by the Department of Education and Skills in the official Irish State guest house.

The conference was attended by members of the Department of Education and Skills, along with representatives from the National Excellence in School Leadership Initiative (NESLI), an international education group.

Performing on the night was the 11-member Trad Group, a representation from the Music Generation Laois Trad Orchestra, which was established just over two years ago under the direction of musicians Siobhán Buckley and Paul Finn.

These exceptional young ambassadors were invited to share their musical talent with guests as part of the conference. The group performed a spectacular set that they worked on with Guest Musician Ernestine Healy during the Music Generation Laois Trad Summer School earlier this year.

The first tune was composed by Ernestine, and the second was a traditional song: ‘The Pleasure Will Be Mine,’ which was originally introduced to the group by Laois-based traditional singer Aine McGeeney.

Performing for the Taoiseach

To date, members of the ensemble have also performed at national and international events including The Ireland Funds Worldwide Conference 2017 (Powerscourt Estate), for An Taoiseach Leo Varadkar and Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau in Dublin Castle, and for President Michael D. Higgins and Sabina Higgins at Áras an Uachtaráin.

The young musicians have also collaborated with esteemed traditional Irish musicians to compose new works, including with Martin Tourish (Altan) and Ryan Molloy. They are among some 3,500 children and young people who are given the opportunity each year to receive regular music tuition through Music Generation Laois, across a broad range of musical genres and styles.

The young musicians included: Molly Donnery (harp/vocals), Izzy Donnery (bodhran), Aedin Lowry (bodhran), Naoise Kettle (fiddle), Eimear Murphy (fiddle/vocals), Aoibhe Kettle (harp), Tara Fahey (flute/vocals), Caragh LaCumber, Maeve Scott (concertina), Ellen Scott (fiddle), Siobhan (concertina), Conal Nevin (accordion) and Aoibhinn O Connor.

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Siún Lennon joined LaoisToday in a full-time capacity after studying Journalism and New Media in the University of Limerick. She hails from Rosenallis and her interests vary from news, sports and politics.