Music Generation Sligo Launches Sligo Youth Voices

Music Generation Sligo is delighted to announce the establishment of a new Choral Programme ‘Sligo Youth Voices’ in partnership with the Hawk’s Well Theatre.

The first step is the formation of a choir for young voices age 9 to 12. Audition Workshops will take place in the Hawk’s Well Theatre on Saturday 27th January 2018 from 1-3pm.

Sligo Youth Voices offers children age 9 to 12 the opportunity to develop their skills in choral singing including reading music, through exposure to a range of musical styles and experiences. Choir Director Roisin Egan will work with the choir to learn and perform a wide range of two, three and four-part songs ranging from popular music, to broadway musicals, to classical repertoire. Members will experience the thrill of singing and performing, while growing in confidence and making new friendships.

Announcing the initiative, Rhona McGrath, Co-ordinator of Music Generation Sligo and Marie O’Byrne, Director of the Hawk’s Well Theatre said ‘Singing is at the heart of each of our organisations and we are keen to further develop choral performance by children and young people. We look forward to working with Roisin and our teams to build a really strong and enjoyable choral programme under Sligo Youth Voices’.

Weekly Rehearsals will take place each Tuesday 4-5pm in the Hawk’s Well Theatre commencing Tuesday 6th February 2018.

All levels of ability and standard are welcome. Sligo Youth Voices will provide a valuable and enjoyable programme for children with an interest in choral singing, and will establish a foundation from which to later audition for a place in the senior choir which will be introduced towards the end of 2018.

Audition Workshops take place on Saturday 27th January, 1-3pm. To register, email [email protected] or make contact via the Music Generation Sligo Facebook page before Wednesday 24th January.

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Autumn Notes

In partnership with the Sligo County Council Library Service, MGS presents ‘Autumn Notes’: a music literacy class for parents, children and young people ages 9+, as part of Creative Ireland Sligo.

Over the course of 10 weeks participants will listen to a variety of music by a range of composers, gain an introduction to music technology, composition and how to read and write musical notation.

The programme, delivered by professional music tutors and available free of charge to all participants, is designed to enable children, teenagers and their parents to discover music together.

Autumn Notes will take place in two Libraries, commencing mid-September:

  • Tubbercurry Community Library: Tuesdays, 5pm – 6pm (from Tues 19 Sept)
  • Sligo Central Library: Thursdays, 4.15pm – 5.15pm (from Thurs 21 Sept)

Places are limited and advance booking is essential before 11 September 2017.

To register, email: [email protected] or enquire at the library branch.

A Creative Ireland/Sligo Programme

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Saturday Band Programme

Joining a band is one of the best ways to advance your skills as a musician.   To further develop our performance music education programmes, we created a band initiative in Sligo town, in association with Rumble Rehearsal Studios.   A two day camp took place over Easter in Rumble Rehearsal Studios, and continued with weekly sessions until June 2017.

This programme is starting on 30 September 2017 and is open to teenagers.  It takes place between 12-2pm, runs for 10 weeks up to December and costs €50.  It’s ideal for musicians who are comfortable with the basics of their instrument (guitar/bass/drums/keyboard/vocals) and want to take their musical skills to the next level.   Music Generation Sligo instructors, who have a wealth of experience in both music education and as professional performing musicians, are there to guide and mentor young people in all aspects of performing in a band.

It’s a great opportunity for teenagers to meet other musicians, and most of all enjoy hearing music come to life in a band setting.



[email protected] with the following details:


Date of Birth

Parent Name & Contact Number

What Instrument you play




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Musical Horizon’s Summer School 2017

Bookings will soon be open for this year’s Musical Horizon’s Summer School taking place 17th – 21st July in Summerhill College.  We will also be running a competition for a free place so keep an eye on our Facebook Page

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Music Generation Celebrates Traditional Music

A delegation of superb young traditional Irish musicians from Music Generation Sligo were among 117 players who took part in the annual ‘Music @ Mount Leinster’ festival,
 hosted by Music Generation Carlow in the village of Borris over the mid-term break, 21 – 23 February. The group, Sáile, was mentored over the three days by renowned concertina player Ernestine Healy, who guided them through rehearsals, learning new skills, collaborating with young musicians from other counties and performing for a packed-out audience at a Grand Finale Concert at The Step House Hotel, Borris. The group was supported to attend by Music Generation Sligo. The festival was supported with funding from the Music Generation National Partnership Project. Images: Barbara Flynn.

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50/50 Instrument Bank Funding Scheme 2016

FRIDAY 23rd September 2016

newpicwebMusic Generation Sligo 50/50 Instrument Bank Funding Scheme

Music Generation Sligo has announced its annual funding scheme, this year worth €20,000 for schools and youth/music organisations to expand or create new musical instrument banks. The scheme is set to benefit hundreds of young people under the age of 18 in Sligo.

The 4th annual Music Generation Sligo Instrument Bank 50/50 Scheme, supported by Music Generation national and local partners, is now seeking applications from schools, youth, community and music organisations in Sligo.

The scheme will grant-aid 50% of the cost of each successful local instrument bank and purchase high quality instruments such as digital pianos, guitars, drums, trumpets, violins, harps, uilleann pipes, musical equipment, percussion packs and much more.

“Music Generation Sligo wishes to support the development of Instrument Banks in partnership with local schools, youth, community and music organisations in Sligo… helping to generate more music and a new generation of musicians” explained Rhona McGrath, Co-ordinator.

Music Generation Sligo delivers a range of long-term music education projects for children and young people as part of a national Music Generation programme initiated by Music Network, co-funded by U2, The Ireland Funds, The Department of Education & Skills and Sligo Music Education Partnership. Music Generation Sligo is managed and funded locally by Mayo Sligo Leitrim ETB, Sligo County Council, Sligo Education Centre, Sligo County Childcare Committee, Cranmore Regeneration and the local music sector.

The Music Generation Sligo Instrument Bank 50/50 Scheme is now open for applications. The closing date is Thursday 6th October 2016. Download instrument-bank-application-form:

Email [email protected] Telephone 071 91 38306.

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Young Musicians from Sligo & Donegal representing Music Generation at ISME in Glasgow

Tuesday 19 July, Sligo – Five young musicians from Sligo and nine from Donegal

Back row L-R: Michelle Gallagher, Síofra Hanley, Ella Doherty, Amy Meehan, Elliot Murphy, Lughan Devenny, Cale O'Donnell. Front row L-R: Evan McGinty, Catherine Gallagher, Jennifer Kilcoyne, Grainne Mulligan, Alice Purcell. Image: Christina Irwin.

Back row L-R: Michelle Gallagher, Síofra Hanley, Ella Doherty, Amy Meehan, Elliot Murphy, Lughan Devenny, Cale O’Donnell. Front row L-R: Evan McGinty, Catherine Gallagher, Jennifer Kilcoyne, Grainne Mulligan, Alice Purcell. Image: Christina Irwin.

will travel to Glasgow later this month to represent Music Generation at the 32nd Annual International Society of Music Education (ISME) Conference. The ensemble will treat ISME delegates – a global audience of musicians and educators – to a 30-minute set on Tuesday 26 July, including the world premiere of a brand new composition created by them especially for the event.

The set list for the performance, which takes place at the National Piping Centre, Glasgow, will feature ‘The Three Wishes’, composed by the young Sligo musicians during Fleadh Cheoil na hÉireann 2014. The Sligo group will then join Young Ambassadors from Donegal Music Education Partnership for a joint, improvised performance and the world premiere of their own collaborative composition, ‘Generation Music’.

Rhona McGrath, Coordinator at Music Generation Sligo, said that this opportunity in Glasgow offers a world platform for the young musicians: “It’s an honour for these young musicians and for the county to represent Music Generation, which has been a phenomenally successful programme in Ireland and here in Sligo. The ISME Annual Conference is an international event, hosted by the Royal Conservatoire of Scotland. It features musicians and music groups from many parts of the world. It’s great for Music Generation Sligo and for our young musicians to be part of that.”

Rosaleen Molloy, National Director of Music Generation, said: “This is a wonderful opportunity for these young people from Donegal and Sligo. We want this group of Young Ambassadors to illustrate the great work that is going on at Music Generation and to showcase to a worldwide audience the incredible youth music making taking place throughout Ireland, in all genres and styles. I have no doubt that they will deliver a world-class gig!”

Síofra Hanley, Young Ambassador from Music Generation Sligo, said: “I’m really excited to represent Music Generation in Glasgow. We know that the Conference is a massive event and lots of other musicians and music groups from around the world will be performing. It’s great that we can be part of that and to have had the chance to perform our own composition The Three Wishes and to collaborate with the group from Donegal to create brand new music together. We’ve been working really hard on a dynamic, energetic set and we can’t wait to perform it for the audience.”

The Sligo musicians set to perform in Glasgow, together with their peers in Donegal, are: Tom Gavin (flute), Síofra Hanley (harp), Gráinne Mulligan (violin), Liam Needham (concertina), Alice Purcell (concertina).

Throughout July the combined Donegal / Sligo ensemble have come together to collaborate, compose and rehearse the set that will be performed at ISME 2016. This exciting, cross-county music making process is directed by Sarah Murphy and assisted by Seamus Devenny, with sound by Feargus Murphy (all of Wall2Wall Music, Derry

All of these fantastic young musicians have previously participated in various local and national Music Generation programmes and events including Music @ Mount Leinster (a cross-county music camp for young traditional Irish musicians), Fleadh Fusions, a trad/classical composition and performance project during Sligo’s Fleadh Cheoil na hÉireann 2014, funded through the Music Generation/Arts Council Partnership Programme.

Music Generation is Ireland’s national music education programme, initiated by Music Network and co-funded by U2, The Ireland Funds, the Department of Education and Skills and local Music Education Partnerships.


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Musical Horizons Summer School

Date: 4th – 8th July 2016, 10am – 4pm             

Venue: Summerhill College, Sligo

Musical Director: Niamh Crowley

Suitable for ages: 7-18

Musical Ability/Level: Beginners to Advanced

Cost €75  (€70 for additional family members)

Bookings Online: Hawk’s Well Box Office 

Bookings By Phone: 071 9161518

Music Generation Sligo’s summer school Musical Horizons has a wide variety of classes suited to all levels and abilities, from the musical novices to musical maestros.   Delivered by a team of exceptional musicians and tutors, students will benefit enormously from the creatively packed programme culminating with a celebratory show for family & friends.

Young musicians can improve and build on their technique and musicianship in masterclasses, discover the secrets of songwriting & composition, experience ensemble performance & band settings.   Budding performers can delve into the world of stage school, learn to sing like a superstar and be rhythmically transported around the world with samba drumming.   With further options available for the technically and creatively curious, the week is guaranteed to be an enriching experience for all participants.

Students can choose five options from an extensive list of classes.   Their five electives will be taken daily from Monday – Friday in hourly sessions between 10am and 4pm.  The list of options available are:

Piano (classical/jazz) – Preliminary – Senior Cert or minimum of 1 years tuition

Woodwind – Minimum of  two years tuition and able to read music

Strings – Minimum of  two years tuition and able to read music

Voice – No minimum requirement

Guitar – Minimum 1 years tuition

Drums – Minimum 1 years tuition

Ukulele/Harp/Uilleann Pipes/Bass Guitar – No minimum requirement

Senior Orchestra – Minimum standard Violin Grade 4.  All other instruments Grade 3

Junior Orchestra – Minimum standard Preliminary Grade or 1 years experience

Jazz Orchestra – Brass, Woodwind & Percussion – Minimum standard Grade 3 or 4 years experience

Rock Band – Guitar/Bass/Drums/Singers/Keyboard – Minimum 1 years experience

Composition (13-16 years) – Try your hand at writing and performing your own music.  Introduction to Sibelius.  Limited places.  Grade 5 or 5 years experience.  Able to read music.

Samba – Explore Brazilian sounds with Samba drumming.  No minimum requirement

Orchestral Percussion – Try out a range of exciting instruments.  No minimum requirement

Piano Ensemble – A fun activity for pianists – Preliminary – Senior Cert or minimum 1 years experience

Film (age 13+) Create your own music video.  No minimum requirement

Art & Animation 7-12 years.  No minimum requirement

Anything Goes Stageschool – Perform with a group and get your show-stopper ready for stage.  No minimum requirement.

Song Writing – No minimum requirement

Music Technology – No minimum requirement.  Explore music apps & more. Bring your own device – iPad / tablet/ smart phone/ iPod

Choir – No minimum requirement

DOWNLOAD Musical Horizons Application Form

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Sligo International Chamber Music Festival


Introducing Sligo International Chamber Music Festival!

Sligo International Chamber Music festival takes place this May bank holiday weekend, Friday 29th April – Monday 2nd May 2016, at Drumcliffe Church and The Model Sligo. Tickets are now on sale and can be purchased online or by calling Hawk’s Well Theatre Box Office on +353 71 916 1518.

Sligo County Council Arts Office and Music Generation Sligo partner to present a re-imagined Chamber Music festival for all ages in Sligo this May Bank Holiday weekend.

We are delighted to present the inaugural Sligo International Chamber Music Festival – a festival for all generations! Sligo International Chamber Music Festival, formerly Music in Drumcliffe, has become one of Ireland’s leading international chamber music festivals and is now a highlight in the annual calendar of music events.

Under Artistic Director Tim Vogler, the festival offers its loyal audience and new visitors alike the opportunity to experience high standards of programming through a fresh choice of artists including vocal ensemble amarcord, Aoife Ní Bhrian ,Crash Quartet, Mesefe Quartet and Caimin Gilmore performing alongside the internationally acclaimed ensemble-in-residence, the Vogler Quartet.

We continue our collaboration with the Royal Irish Academy of Music and we are delighted to announce a new venture with RTÉ Contempo Quartet who perform athis year and prepare for the premiere of a new String Octet by Gerald Barry with the Vogler Quartet at the 2017 Festival.

This year Music Generation Sligo has come on board as a key partner with Sligo County Council Arts Office to develop an innovative youth programme –Tuned In! This impressive Festival Youth Programme is a new short intensive chamber music experience curated by Aoife Ní Briain for student string quartets and their tutors combining masterclasses and performances. Participants will deepen their understanding of music and improve their playing within the nurturing environment of the festival. Students and tutors have the opportunity to work with the Vogler Quartet on selected repertoire and to learn, network and attend Tuned In! Festival concerts with fellow students and tutors.

We are also delighted to announce a new venue partner for the festival. This year, for the first time, a number of concerts and events will take place in The Model in Sligo town, in addition to Drumcliffe Church.

A full programme of events, masterclasses and performances is available on our website

Sligo International Chamber Music Festival is produced by Sligo County Council Arts Office and Music Generation Sligo. Funded by Sligo County Council, the Arts Council of Ireland and Music Generation Sligo and managed by Artscope.



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Punkit 2016

Kitchens raided for Punkit!

Pots, pans, boxes, bamboo sticks, bodhráns, boom whackers, chime bars all combined to create a fun filled musical lunchtime in the Hawks Well Theatre on Tuesday 19th April when Punkit came to town thanks to Music Generation Sligo.

Funded under the Music Generation/Arts Council Partnership, together with Cranmore Regeneration, PUNKIT aimed to broaden musical horizons, inspire musical curiosity and provide a model of adventurous music making.
According to Rhona McGrath, Music Generation Sligo Co:ordinator “it achieved that and more in Sligo, as sixty young faces of pure concentration followed the every  move of composer and conductor Stephen Deazley to create an amazing show from percussion instruments of all shapes, sizes and colours.” The children performed  with internationally renowned percussionist Joby Burgess and a 5 piece professional band made up of saxophone, trumpet, trombone, bass guitar and digital piano (our own Kieran Quinn)


Stephen and Joby (of Love Music Productions Ltd, Scotland), together with national  and local percussionists Maeve O’Hara and Stephanie Pawula, worked with the  children from 4th to 6th classes at St John’s Primary School and Our Lady of Mercy  Primary School since January this year.

On Tuesday 19th, the children rose to the occasion and arrived for their morning  rehearsal with punk spirit, pink and blue hair, ripped jeans and leather jackets and 100% confident of their Punkit grooves.  They took their bows on stage later with  smiling faces to standing ovations and cheers from a proud and impressed audience in the Hawks Well Theatre.  Stephen Deazley commented ‘What a brilliant job Sligo, you were pretty blinking awesome today!’


Music Generation Sligo will present unspecified (Tues 19th April @1.30 in Hawk’s Well) a large, fun, explosive performance by 60 Sligo school children with internationally renowned percussionist Joby Burgess and the Punkit band.

The performance is the culmination of a 10-week learning and participation music project for school children age 10-13. Composer Stephen Deazley & percussionist Joby Burgess (of Love Music Productions Ltd, Scotland) together with percussionists Maeve O Hara & Stephanie Pawula are working with 4th/5th/6th classes at St John’s NS & Our Lady of Mercy NS in Sligo town and teachers Ms McCafferty, Mr Bree & Ms Sherry.

Warning – audience participation needed!

Funded under the Music Generation/Arts Council Partnership.Delivered on behalf of Music Generation Sligo and Music Generation Mayo by Music Network together with Love Music Productions Ltd (Scotland). Part of the Cranmore Regeneration through Music Programme delivered by Music Generation Sligo.

To Book Tickets – Click Here


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