Expression of Interest for Musician / Singer or Musical Facilitator

The Local Arts in Education Partnership invites expressions of interest from Musicians / Singers / Musical Facilitators to work with young people in the North Cavan area in order to produce a song or piece of music reflecting the responses of the young people to the potential of music to address pertinent social inclusion issues for the young people.

See www.activelink.ie/content/vacancies/tenders/33341

Contemporary Dance at the Backstage Theatre

This autumn, Backstage Theatre, Longford is embarking on an exciting project with their artist in residence, choreographer and dancer Catherine Young, redeveloping her highly acclaimed work ‘Welcoming the Stranger’.

‘Welcoming the Stranger’ is a moving and compelling dance piece inspired by the stories of migrants and refugees from Gaza, Iraq, Syria, Africa. The piece was first commissioned as part of the 1916 Casement Project celebrations to premiere on Banna Strand.

In light of the location – a beach and the on-going migrant crisis, with refugees being washed up on shores daily – Catherine wanted to create a work that looked at how Ireland could be if there was real understanding and inclusion between communities. That if Roger Casement were to wash up on Irish shores 100 years later, what kind of Ireland would he want to see?

Since its premiere, this critically acclaimed piece has performed at the Ramallah Contemporary Dance Festival in Palestine as well as Culture Night Dublin and The Big Bang Festival, to name but a few.

In this redevelopment of the piece, Catherine will be working with people throughout Longford – locals to the area and those from overseas who have come to call Longford their home. She will bring both communities together through a series of workshops and rehearsals throughout October and November, culminating in a performance in Backstage on Fri 15 December alongside a group of world-class professional dancers and musicians.

Through these workshops and rehearsals, the Irish and migrant communities in Longford will come together to move and be moved, sharing their stories, their culture, their music, their food, their language as Catherine gently guides the group towards the creation of a work for performance.

Kids dancing alongside adults; a multi-generational, multi-ethnic work where rhythm the common language not English; this true coming together of people and cultures, through their music, dance and song is set to inspire audiences locally to embrace cultural difference and which will provide an opportunity for new migrants to engage with people from the local community, encouraging them to become involved with arts activities and arts organisations on a long- term basis.

‘Welcoming The Stranger’ has been overwhelming for both the participants and the audiences alike.  It has moved people profoundly and is a real testament to social inclusion and the value and richness of cultural diversity, showing that we are more similar than different and we have a lot we can share and learn from each other.

Projects like this break down barriers, bring people together in a very close and real way and through the creation of art, allow participants to form strong bonds of friendship and solidarity with each other, getting rid of preconceived notions and biases.

The piece invitation to perform in the Ramallah Contemporary Dance Festival in Palestine in 2017 was a statement of intent by the people of Ireland to play our part in welcoming the stranger in the future.

The Arts, and dance in particular transcends politics, religion and language and can work to bring people together and towards integration. In present times, we need more art and projects like these to forage a way forward through the negativity and shine some light on how things could be.

Backstage Theatre have joined forces with Shawbrook Dance in Legan, Co Longford, who are providing accommodation and technical supports and expertise in support of the project. The project is also supported by Co Longford Arts Office, Longford County Council and the Dept of Justice Integration Fund.’

Tickets and further information on Welcoming the Stranger are available on 043 33 47888 or www.backstage.ie

Longford Music Education due for Radical Development

Music Generation the organisation charged with non- schools music education in Ireland is offering two million Euro for the expansion of the Music Education Partnership Scheme first launched five years ago.

Longford County Council through the Arts Office has submitted an application to be included in the scheme. Under this new scheme five new Music Education Partnerships will be established throughout the country. The beauty of this scheme is that if an applicant is accepted as a Partnership, the funding they raise to support music education will be matched on a pro rata basis by Music Generation up to a maxim of €200,000.00 per year. The second advantage of the scheme is that once a Music Education Partnership has been successfully run for three years the Department of Education replaces Music Generation as the financial supporter thus guaranteeing long-term sustainability.

The funding is not meant to support curriculum based school music education rather it is to support vocal and instrumental development of music in a non-academic way though obviously, any student studying music for the Junior and Leaving Certificates who are also participating in a Music Education Partnership programme will benefit greatly.

As part of the application process Longford Music Education Partnership established a Working or Steering Group under the Chairmanship of Cllr Mae Sexton MCC whose job it is to supervise the carrying out of research and the preparation of a music education programme based on that research. To further augment the research and programme development process the County Arts Office has engaged the services of a music development consultant Mary McAuliffe who, along with County Arts Officer Fergus Kennedy will be carrying out an extensive research programme throughout the County both on a one-to-one basis with interested members of the public and will also be organising focus group meetings with music representative groups. A schedule of meetings and locations can be accessed on www.longfordmusic.ie and we would be delighted to hear the views of interested parties

If you have strong views or constructive proposals relating to music development in Longford and you would like to have them considered by the Music Education Working Group you can arrange to meet Mary McAuliffe by sending an e-mail to fkennedy@longfordcoco.ie marking it for the attention of Mary McAuliffe and Mary will be in contact with you to arrange a mutually convenient appointment.

Representative groups will be contacted individually by the County Arts Office in order to arrange mutually convenient Focus Groups meeting.

 

Longford Live + Local – Bands Night

Longford Live + Local promises to bring all the top talent of Longford to the stage in Backstage Theatre on Friday 10th February. The brainchild of Paul Gurney from Real World Studios, himself a talented musician, it’s an evening guaranteed to deliver an exceptional evening of live music. Admission is just 15 euro.

Brave Giant

brave giantA 5-piece from North Longford, Brave Giant have garnered a solid reputation nationwide in the last 12 months. With extensive music experience between them, they joined forces in 2015 forming Brave Giant. Releasing their debut EP Lordy Lordy in early 2016, the band’s fame spread to becoming one of Ireland’s hottest young bands. With a number of singles, viral video releases and sell out shows, it’s certain this band is destined for big things. Brave Giant is Podge Gill, Emmett Collum, David Kilbride, Mark Prunty and Ross McNerney.

Reprisal

reprisalA trio from Longford, who play hard-hitting, energetic rock. With Aidan Gray on bass and vocals, Jonathan Reilly on guitar and vocals and Matthew Pyper on drums, Reprisal are cementing their sound in the Irish alternative scene. They’ve gigged alongside The Blizzards and The Academic in Mullingar, in Dublin’s infamous Fibber Magee’s and as part of a Phil Lynott tribute concert in The Grand Social, Dublin. Their set at Electric Picnic received rave reviews as they continue to generate attention for their great energy and solid live performance.

Dissension Rising

dissension risingA 5-piece hard rock band with members hailing from Longford and Kildare. Longford Drummer Kian Johnston joined the band alongside singer Danni Carroll, guitarist Keith Garrett, rhythm guitarist Rob Higgins and bassist Val Entas. With 2 American tours under their belt and their music popular in Ireland, Europe, Australia, Canada, UK and USA, they have secured a global fan- base. With awards for their live performance and sound, their set promises to be energetic. They are currently preparing material for their album, following their acclaimed EP Retribution.

Keep up to date with Longford Live and Local on Facebook.

Longford’s School of Rock

Following on from a successful session in Autumn, Longford’s very own School of Rock is back in session.

Developed in partnership with the Longford Schools Completion Programme, School of Rock takes place on Saturday afternoons in Templemichael College, and provides a relaxed, informal environment for young musicians and bands. The course involves tuition in instruments and vocal training from experienced musicians, learning band management skills, and capacity-building and networking. It concludes with the creation of a live music event and music programme.

“It’s for young people who are passionate about music and it allows them to engage with like-minded kids instead of just playing in the bedroom,” says School of Rock’s co-ordinator, Shane Crossan. “With formal music lessons they don’t get any exposure or the chance to play with other musicians. School of Rock also allows them to do this, while enhancing their social and networking skills, as well as improving their confidence.

“All the young people taking part get the chance to perform together, and we have an outlet for their talents through our link to the Little Blue Room – a local music venue which holds daytime gigs on Saturdays for young bands.”

The first term of School of Rock took place between November 28th and December 15th of last year, and from small beginnings it quickly became a success.

“In our first week, we had seven young people but by the third week we had 27, and at present we have six tutors, who teach guitar, drums, piano, and voice. It’s worked well. One of the biggest surprise fo me was the enthusiasm the tutors have for it; it’s something they would have liked to have had themselves when they were growing up.”

The second term of School of Rock began on January 14th with an expanded format which will last 10 weeks. It costs €45 per person, and is open to all secondary school students in Co Longford.

“The money will go towards financing a one-week summer school we intend to run,” Shane adds, before thanking the Principal of Templemichael College, Sorcha Nic Dhonnacha, and Co Longford Arts Officer, Fergus Kennedy, for their support.

For more information on School of Rock, contact Shane Crossan on 087 4144082 or shane@lscplongford.com. School of Rock also has a Facebook page at www.facebook.com/longfordschoolofrock.

Shawbrook Youth Company Open Day

shawbrook longford

ARE YOU INTERESTED IN THE CREATIVE ARTS?

DO YOU PLAY MUSIC, DANCE, MAKE ART, SING, ACT?

2017 SHAWBROOK YOUTH COMPANY
OPEN DAY Saturday 18th February

What makes a house? Where is home?
What does it mean to be with and without a home?

Shawbrook Youth Company invites young people age 10-18 years old to perform in a joint collaboration called HOME. A fun and highly creative, 8-week performance project that aims to challenge the mind and body creatively, and introduce young people to the joy and passion of physical theatre. HOME will be led by Shawbrook Artistic Director Anica Louw.

HOME requires a full commitment every Saturday for eight weeks. Junior workshops are from 09.30-11.30am, Senior workshops from 11.30-1.30pm. Cost: €80 / €10 per week. The performance date is Saturday 15th April at Shawbrook, Legan, Co. Longford.

For more information, or to register, please email catharinalouw@gmail.com or visit
www.shawbrook.org/syc

SYC is part of the Shawbrook annual programme, funded by The Arts Council of Ireland.

Junior Eurovision Song Content 2017

junior eurosong

Adare Productions and TG4 are seeking applications for the Junior Eurovision Song Content 2017. Could the winner come from your school?

The key criteria for applications is as follows:

  • Singers must be aged 9-14 years (by the 19th of November 2017)
  • Singers can apply individually, as a duet, trio or group.

The successful final 32 applicants will take part in Junior Eurovision on TG4 where a winner will be selected. The winner will go on to represent Ireland in The Junior Eurovision Song Contest Final in Europe in November 2017.

Applications are via the TG4 website and we would encourage students to apply as soon as possible. Auditions will be in February and so students need to apply as soon as possible. We will notify successful applicants of the audition details.

Young Musicians Combine the Best of Country, Folk and Trad

4 degrees west

A band hailing from counties Longford and Cavan are taking the music world by storm with their addictive mix of country, folk and trad music.

4 Degrees West is made up of Cavan native and lead singer Bart Nannery, who joins the line-up alongside Edgeworthstown siblings and Fleadh Cheoil regulars Colm (guitar/mandolin/bouzouki), Aishling (fiddle and backing vocals) and Emma O’Reilly (whistles and percussion). Both Colm and Aishling have won titles at the Fleadh in their respective instruments.

“Myself and Colm, we went to school together, we did the Leaving Cert together,” 22-year-old Bart told Midlands Arts and Culture. “On the last day of school we played a song together, ‘High Hopes’ by Kodaline.”

From that performance, which marked the first time Bart had ever sang in front of an audience, the duo continued to play and sing together for a number of years, before being joined in 2015 for a busking competition by Colm’s younger sisters Aishling and Emma. The rest, as they say, is history, and the four-piece have been performing together ever since.

“We went and bought a set of gear – we had to stick at it then,” Bart laughed.

Summer-time is always busy for the group, who have played at festivals and venues throughout Longford, Cavan, Westmeath and Roscommon and alongside artists such as Lisa McHugh, The Hot House Flowers, Cliona Hagan, Patrick Feeney, Aine Cahill, Marty Mone and country superstar Nathan Carter.

Things have quietened down for the moment as Bart and 21-year-old Colm return to college in Limerick and Castlebar respectively, while 18-year-old Emma tackles the Leaving Cert and 16-year-old Aishling settles into Transition Year, but the group continue to gig around the midlands, with their setlist of firm fan favourites and original songs.

When asked if 4 Degrees West were considering a stint in-studio to record their work, Bart concluded; “Definitely. Hopefully in the near future!”

For more information on 4 Degrees West, to find out where they’re playing next or to get in touch, call 085 1602587 or visit their Facebook page.

St Mel’s Musical Society in the Spotlight

By Aoife Carberry

st mels musical society

“There’s no people like show people” – or so goes the song.

It rings true, however, in the case of the members of Longford’s St Mel’s Musical Society, who have sang and danced their way through almost four decades of shows.

According to Chairperson June Belton, while the group had existed previously, it was revived in 1978 after a meeting which was attended by just four people. Thankfully, interest – and membership – quickly grew.

Kicking off with a one-night only, revue-type show, ‘Springtime Music Hall’, the demand was so great that the group were encouraged to stage it again, thus beginning a long tradition of quality, local entertainment. From their first full-length musical, South Pacific in 1983, to their 2016 production of ‘The Addams Family’, the society have made people laugh, cry, and – maybe most importantly – fall in love with theatre.
Several years, venues, directors, shows and awards (the society have won no less than nine Association of Irish Musical Societies or AIMS awards, and have been nominated and come runner up in many more besides) later, and the love for musicals that started the revival is still strong.
That’s mostly attributed to the backbone of the society – its committees, casts and crews – who strive year after year, not to achieve awards, but to whisk locals away from reality for a few hours.

Though they have in recent years hired professional directors (this year, they have been in the quirky, capable hands of Tralee native Tim Landers), the core team remains the same. Emer O’Brien and Fintan Farrelly share their choreography and musical expertise respectively, while June’s husband Robert and Eddie Kiernan have collaborated on some truly stunning sets. June paid tribute to them, as well as to the entire casts and crews who have dedicated time to the shows, and their current casts which, among a number of stalwarts, boasts an impressive amount of new members.

“You have to have the commitment from them from the very start, for their own sakes as well, but the reward is a brilliant show,” she continued. “If you don’t put in the hours, then you don’t get it.”

June also acknowledged the owners of their past and present rehearsal spaces and venues, as well as their supportive audiences and sponsors, who, she says, ensure that a show goes ahead each year. Because while she fondly recalls the good times the society have enjoyed, she is also honest about the challenges they have faced.

Trying to keep membership up is always a struggle, June admitted, and naturally, finances can be a tricky thing to manoeuvre.

“We don’t do it to make money. In the good times, we made money for the rainy days… and by God the rainy days came.”

There are rainbows though, and June laughed; “Even though I give out about it, I enjoy it. I do enjoy it.”

Indeed as that song ‘There’s no business like show business’ ends; “Still you wouldn’t trade it for a sack of gold.

“Let’s go on with the show!”

Irish TV Want To Profile Longford Artists

irish-tv

Karina Charles – Longford Correspondent for Irish TV is interested in profiling the work of Longford artists on the Longford programme each Saturday evening.

If you have an item relating to your life as an artist or something to do with your practice please contact her at the number or e-mail address below.

Karina will be delighted to hear from you.

085 1030569
karinacharles2@gmail.com