07 Jul 2022

Laois school in musical rhapsody

Rath National School awarded grant for new harps as part of Music Network’s Capital Instrument Fund Scheme

Rath National School in Ballybrittas is thrilled to have received three new harps, under the Music Network Music Capital Scheme. 

Rath National School established a harp programme in partnership with Music Generation Laois in 2012. Since then the programme has gone from strength to strength, with young harpers performing at many notable events including, Music Generation Laois’ annual Schools’ Out for Summer Concert in The Heritage Hotel Killenard, and in the Dunamaise Arts Centre, Portlaoise. 

Young harpers from Rath NS have also taken part in Nobber Harp Festival in Meath on numerous occasions and also have travelled to Edinburgh International Harp Festival.

Siobhan Buckley, Harp Tutor from Music Generation Laois, works with 29 young harpers from Rath National School each week. 

Siobhan spoke about the special delivery the school received this week.

“The young people I work with each week in Rath are a super bunch of young harpers. They work so hard, and have made the absolute best of the challenges we have all faced since March 2020.

“I’m thrilled for Rath NS that they now own their own harps. In addition, the school now has a dedicated space for music classes where the harps will be situated,’ she said.

Young people from Laois and neighbouring counties can sign up to the Music Generation Laois harp programme, and attend classes in Laois Music Centre, Portlaoise – harps are provided and fees are heavily subsidised to make taking part really accessible. 

A range of instruments and opportunities are available, from rock bands, trad programmes, drumming, and The Music Box, a programme for children and young people with special needs. 

Laois schools can sign up to take part in programmes with Music Generation Laois. 

See or email or call 057 8681782

Music Generation Laois is a performance music education programme for children in the county. Music Generation Laois is part of Laois Offaly Education and Training Board, and supported locally by Laois County Council. Nationally Music Generation Laois is part of Music Generation, Ireland’s National Music Education Programme, initiated by Music Network and co-funded by U2, The Ireland Funds and the Department of Education and Skills.

Since Music Generation Laois started in 2012, they have invested in over €120,000 in an instrument bank for the county. 

Established in 2008, the Music Capital Scheme is supported by the Department of Culture, Heritage and the Gaeltacht and managed by Music Network. The scheme is open to groups and musicians performing a wide range of musical styles, and to date more than €2 million has been awarded across two distinct awards. 

The instruments purchased through the scheme continue to make a significant impact on the quality of, and access to, music making and live music performance.

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