Development Officer Appointed to Galway City Music Education Partnership

Musician and producer Karen Dervan has been appointed Development Officer for Music Generation in Galway City. Karen is a native of Galway and holds a BA Hons (English & Music) from UCC and a MA Hons (Classical Strings Performance) from UL. As a professional viola player, arranger and producer she has performed with top Irish orchestras and produced content for major art festivals around the country. Since 2014 Karen has also co-curated the critically acclaimed salon music series ‘Kaleidoscope Night’.

Her new role has responsibility for developing and managing an accessible and affordable programme of performance music education for children and young people under 18 years of age. This includes coordination with music tuition services in the city, building partnerships with music and arts services, schools and youth and community groups to form ensembles, choirs and initiatives across diverse musical genres and styles. This appointment marks the beginning of focussed planning which will ultimately lead to a comprehensive programme of vocal and instrumental tuition later in the year.

GRETB and Galway City Council welcomed Karen’s appointment as extending access to new musical and participatory experiences for all our children and young people.

Fundraising Gala for Galway 2020’s “CELLISSIMO”

Music for Galway’s “CELLISSIMO”, a nine-day Cello Festival, will be a highlight of the Galway 2020 programme and will take place from April 25th to May 3rd 2020. To support this important initiative, Music for Galway held a Fundraising Gala Dinner this evening at the Hotel Meyrick. The evening included performances by Cello Ireland and presentation of the inaugural Laochra Ceoil Cellissimo Award to East Galway native and LA based award winning composer and conductor Eimear Noone. Eimear has led many international orchestras and composed music for Warcraft and Warlords video games.

“CELLISSIMO” will showcase the versatility of the Cello and offer musicians and audiences opportunities to experience the instrument acoustically, electronically, in classical, jazz, traditional and contemporary music. “CELLISSIMO” will also be the first of a new international triennial music festival for Galway and as such represents an important legacy for music in Galway City and County.

City Council Vote to Acquire Lenaboy Castle

Lenaboy Castle, a former orphanage owned by the Sisters of Mercy at Taylors Hill, has lain vacant for over seven years. Following reports into traffic impact, access and a geophysical survey, Galway City Council has now voted to proceed with this acquisition and plans to convert the property into a creative hub for local youth. The building is in need of substantial refurbishment and the Sisters of Mercy are making a donation towards same of €750,000. Time limited funding of €1.75m under the European Regional Development Fund had previously been available for the project. Total costs are estimated at approximately €5m.    

Nun’s Island Regeneration

The government’s Urban Regeneration and Development Fund has committed to support a major planning exercise for the regeneration of 15 acres of land at Nun’s Island. A public consultation process with local residents, community, business and other interest groups has now opened to inform the preparation of a strategy for a structured approach to the overall development. Internationally renowned planners BDP, business strategy advisers Colliers International and quantity surveyors AECOM have been engaged as advisers to NUI Galway and Galway City Council which are collaborating on the development of the masterplan. Community, educational, cultural, economic start up, environmental, residential and social uses will be considered.

Irish-US Award for Mary McPartlan

The IUSA Distinguished Alumni Award has been presented in Dublin to Mary McPartlan in recognition of her professional excellence, her commitment to Irish-US relationships and her outstanding contribution to culture education and music.  Mary is a Galway based professional singer and artistic director of NUI Galway’s hugely successful Arts in Action programme. She is well known for her outstanding contribution to traditional Irish music, her critically acclaimed albums and her production of significant national cultural events and TV series. While a Fulbright Scholar in USA in 2013, Mary collaborated with American folk singer and song collector Jean Ritchie resulting in the establishment of an annual MA Scholarship and student exchange programme.

GUMS Stage Musical Pippin

Galway University Musical Society will stage this 1972 musical by Stephen Schwartz as its 19th annual show at the Black Box Theatre at 8pm from Tuesday 5th to Saturday 9th February.  GUMS productions have been nominated for numerous AIMS awards. Pippin tells the story of a young prince searching for meaning and significance. Schwartz’ other works include the musical WIZARD, lyrics for films Pocahontas and Enchanted and music for The Prince of Egypt. GUMS Auditor Cian Elwood says “be prepared to be blown away”.

US and Galway Choirs sing for Enable Ireland

Michigan’s Oxford High School Chorale and Claregalway’s Coláiste Bhaile Chláir School Choir will give a concert next week to raise funds for Enable Ireland.  The concert takes place on Monday 11th February at 5pm in St Nicholas’ Collegiate Church and will include classical and contemporary music, folk, American spirituals and popular hits. Enable Ireland provides free services for children with physical and sensory disabilities and their families. Admission to the concert is free and there will be a collection for Enable Ireland.  

GMR Apprentice Ensemble Winter Recital

The Galway Music Residency’s Apprentice Ensemble Programme is now in its 13th year. The programme offers frequent mentoring sessions and performing opportunities to talented and emerging performance groups. This year’s Apprentice Ensemble Winter Recital at the university’s Emily Anderson Concert Hall featured Voldemort String Quartet from Coole Music School, Euterpe Wind Quintet from Royal Irish Academy of Music, Incantato String Quartet from DIT’s Conservatory of Music & Dance and Clarinet & Piano Duo (Dina Ryan and Aoife Moran) also from DIT. Voldemort are GMR’s first ever junior ensemble and its members, aged between 10 and 12 years, possess talent and determination well beyond their years. 

New Chair for Galway 2020

Film and theatre producer Arthur Lappin, who had been involved in the bid process, has been appointed chair of Galway 2020. He replaces Aideen McGinley who announced her intention to resign at the end of last year.  Lappin has been a major figure in the arts and culture industry for many years. His award winning films include My Left Foot, The Field, In The Name of the Father and In America. His 20 stage productions have toured Ireland, UK and Australia. He is excited by public enthusiasm for and business engagement with Galway 2020.

Galway 2020 Funding Targets

Josepha Madigan, Minister for Culture, Heritage and Gaeltacht, has responded to queries from Galway TD Catherine Connolly regarding achievement of 2020 funding targets. The Minister confirmed that her department would be providing €15m to the project, that funding is also being provided by Galway City and County Councils and that the sponsorship partnership programme, with a target of over €3m, will be rolled out this month.