On Sunday December 8, the first-ever Music Generation Laois Christmas Concert took place in the Dunamaise Arts Centre.
The concert showcased the seven different music programmes now being delivered in the County through Music Generation Laois, with 82 performers taking to the stage over the course of the afternoon on a range of instruments, from Singers to Drummers.
Singing groups included the Mountrath Glee Club and the St Colmcille’s National School Errill Choir. In what may be a world record, 13 uilleann pipers performed together on stage with their tutor Gay McKeon. Alice Carew, Portlaoise and Andrew Breslin from Mountmellick performed a duet on trumpet of Christmas favourite ‘Little Donkey’ and Jack Holmes performed both Beethoven’s ‘Moonlight Sonata’ and Glen Hansard’s ‘Falling Slowly’ on piano.
50 children are currently taking weekly harp lessons with Music Generation Laois, and 8 young harpists also performed at the concert. There were lots of Christmas favorites performed throughout the concert, however, the Music Generation Laois Stampede Drumming Group brought some world music to the event, using djembes and other African percussion, and their lively performance included a piece composed by the group of drummers themselves. Musicians and singers from the School of Rock and Pop performed 2 songs, ending the concert with the John Lennon song, ‘Happy Christmas: War is Over.’
Music Generation Laois is funded nationally by Music Generation and Laois County Council, Laois-Offaly ETB and Laois Partnership. The seven programmes are Brass, Harp, Uilleann Pipes, The Music Box – for children and young people with special needs, Stampede Drumming, Choirs/Glee Clubs and a School of Rock and Pop.