Aoibhe Kettle, Laois winner of Music Generation Laois Online Open Mic Night on June 13
For the first time ever, Cruinniú na nÓg, a national day of creativity for young people on created an online programme of events and activities.
In response to restrictions on meeting in person and in physical venues, the Laois programme was streamed throughout the day on the Creative Laois YouTube channel and Creative Laois Facebook page on Saturday, June 13.
To create a programme online and to organise activities remotely was a tremendous effort on the part of all young people involved in this year’s programme and especially those who responded to the Music Generation Laois national call out with their original compositions selected for an Online Open Mic Night.
Siofra Lovegrove was announced as the national winner of a day's recording in Golden Egg Studios, a top of the range recording studio just outside Portlaoise Town.
Siofra is 16 years old, from Portlaoise, and her catchy song 'Romantic', her engaging performance and originality in her delivery really grabbed the judges attention, they were instantly charmed.
Aoibhe Kettle, who is 15, and from Wolfhill gave a spine-tingling, energetic performance of her composition 'A Stranger at the Door' on Irish harp.
Aoibhe is the winner of a year's free lessons with Music Generation Laois. Aoibhe was accompanied by her brother Naoise Kettle on guitar.
Speaking after the event, Rosa Flannery of Music Generation Laois said, “the Music Generation Laois Online Open Mic Night was a national call out to young musicians during the Covid-19 lockdown, to give young people an opportunity to showcase their original music.
“The standard of the entries received was exceptional, a unique display of the outstanding creativity among young Irish musicians in 2020, and the judges were truly blown away by what they heard.”
Music Generation Laois is a performance music education programme that delivers high quality, accessible music programmes to children and young people in their own local areas.
Locally Music Generation Laois is supported by Laois Offaly ETB (lead partner) and Laois County Council.
This year’s Laois Cruinniú na nÓg programme also included workshops organized by the Dunamaise Arts Centre with circus performer, Maria Corcoran and her fun circus sesson via zoom to 20 young people across the county, and aslso a pre-recorded online art and craft workshop with Caroline Keane.
Singer, Aileen Lambert prepared two online traditional songs workshops for 4-7 year olds and 8-12 olds. Aileen also delivers traditional song workshops in schools with the Heritage-in-Schools Scheme and Music Generation to all ages from Junior Infants to 6th class.
She currently is working along with her husband Michael Fortune on the 'Songs for Our Children' Project, with support from Local Authorities, Galway 2020 and the Irish World Academy of Music and Dance.
Another highlight of the programme was the making of a video remotely by 26 children and young people across the county on the theme of ‘A Sense of Place’.
The video work creatively explores, interprets and reflects on sense of place using the mediums of dance, theatre and music as well as discovering sense of place in relation to biodiversity and sense of place and relationship with the library service in this time of social distancing and isolation.
Huge thanks to Orlaith Miller, Damien Buggy, Maya Anton, Alana Stynes and Mariam Slimi Nieto from Laois Youth Theatre and co-ordinator, Alex Rosiak on creating a video journey describing physical and emotional spaces.
Young members of Laois County Library Service, George & Charlie Donnery, Ruth Chawanda, Caesar Adeyanju, Gabriel Turek, Grace Quinn and broadcaster and filmmaker, Ann Marie Kelly exploring their relationship with their local library as hub for creativity, learning and communication.
Olivia Reynolds, Keelin O’Brien- Crosland, Aimee Keating, Devlin Henderson Jensen and volunteer, Barbara Sullivan from the Irish Wildlife Trust Laois/Offaly Branch sharing with us their favourite aspects of nature including hedgerow plants, the River Barrow and the glory of our native gorse shrub.
Caoilfhionn Doyle, Finna Cadogan, Isabelle Quinn, Kalia Rice and Mayara Pessanha from Laois Youth Dance Ensemble and artistic director, Erica Borges exploring creativity and dance skills within domestic settings.
Harrison Marshall, Max Gibney, Eva Troy, Sarah Daly and Lily van den Bergh from Music Generation Laois and tutors Dale Mckay and Sarah Troy listening to the natural sounds around them and incorporating them into their music.
The Laois Cruinniú na nÓg programme was coordinated by Laois County Council Culture Team and the workshops and events are all available to view on the Creative Laois YouTube channel.
Cruinniú na nÓg Laois is an initiative of the Creative Ireland Programme at the Department of Culture, Heritage and the Gaeltacht and is partnership with RTÉ and Local Authorities.
For more information on this annual programme of free creative events for young people, go to creativeireland.gov.ie, Facebook: creativelaois and Instagram: creativeirelandlaois.