Music Generation talent rocks in Portlaoise

TALENTED young singers and musicians from Laois, Waterford and Carlow took part in Music Generation Laois’ recent summer school of rock and pop with award winning musician and singer, and The Voice of Ireland contestant Brendan Keeley.

TALENTED young singers and musicians from Laois, Waterford and Carlow took part in Music Generation Laois’ recent summer school of rock and pop with award winning musician and singer, and The Voice of Ireland contestant Brendan Keeley.

Throughout the week long summer camp in the Dunamaise Theatre in Portlaoise, participants developed their performance and music skills, working on a varied programme of music, from Adele to Rory Gallagher, to students own compositions.

The summer school culminated with a free lunchtime concert in the Dunamaise on Friday, July 6, where the young musicians had an opportunity to showcase their work. One of the concert highlights was the finale performance of Wheatus’ ‘Teenage Dirtbag’ by the full school of rock and pop ensemble, fronted by Ian Delaney from Abbeyleix and Ciara Phelan from Portlaoise.

Summer camp participants included previously-established bands, but also new bands which had formed over the course of the week. Participants benefited from Brendan Keeley’s vast knowledge of the Irish and international music industry, as well as his skills as a performer and musician. The school of rock and pop brought students into direct contact with the professional environment and facilities of a modern theatre, including the stage and back stage areas, sound system and lighting.

Rosa Flannery, project co-ordinator of Music Generation Laois was delighted with participants’ response to the camp. “There was such creativity and talent among performers. Students who were lacking in confidence and unable to perform on stage on the first day underwent a huge transformation. These students were able to perform solo in front of a sizeable audience on Friday afternoon.

Brendan really engaged with the young musicians and singers, enabling them to overcome their fear of performing”.

The U2 backed Music Generation Laois continueSummer camps throughout July. These include The Music Box, a programme for children and young people with special needs from July 9 to July 13, and a Stampede Drumming Summer Camp with Eddie O’Neill from July 23 to July 27. Contact Music Generation Laois on 057 8674370 or email musicgenerationlaois@laoiscoco.ie for more information.