Students from Aughadreena NS with representatives of Cavan Monaghan Music Generation and members of Cavan Monaghan Education and Training Board at the launch of the mobile music production studio at Cavan Institute last week. PHOTO: ADRIAN DONOHOE

Music Generation looks to expand further

The Director of Schools for Cavan-Monaghan ETB hopes Music Generation, the national music education programme that helps young people access vocal and instrumental tuition locally, can and will continue to expand in schools across the region.

Music Generation Cavan/Monaghan is currently working in 37 school settings - early years, primary and secondary schools including 20 in County Cavan.

Some have been attending other schools of foot of “invitation”, and the overall programme has been developed by an external consultant.

“There have been no ‘nos’,” said Paddy Flood, responding to a query about the governance of the project locally by Fianna Fáil councillor and board member Clifford Kelly.

Speaking at the ETB’s May monthly meeting at Loughan House in Blacklion, Cllr Kelly queried why Music Generation was not engaging with all second-level schools in the region.

Mr Flood stated that the key ethos of Music Generation is to provide access to music tuition to children who might otherwise not have the means, either during school hours or after, exploring innovative ways to engage and inspire young musicians.

He indicated that the project would examine its scope in the “next couple of years”.

Mr Flood later revealed that Music Generation Cavan/Monaghan, in partnership with Cavan and Monaghan county councils, has undertaken to produce a new and unique suite of music as part of the Decade of Centenaries Celebrations.

Composer Michael Rooney, a prolific composer and widely regarded as one of the foremost players of the traditional Irish harp, has been commissioned to compose new music.

This “will respond creatively to partition and the reality of life along a border,” explained a spokesperson for the ETB.

Mr Rooney, a native of Monaghan, was awarded the TG4 Composer of the Year in 2017.

In July 2022, Michael completed ‘The Ulster Suite’ for Ulster Comhaltas. This was preceded a suite called ‘Constance’, commissioned by The Hawks Well Sligo & UCD and also ‘The Famine Suite’ for Imbolc.

A performance of the new planned work by the recently formed Music Generation Cavan/Monaghan Orchestra is set for November 2023.