Young Laois musicians centre stage at Allianz arts awards launch

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Young Laois musicians centre stage at Allianz arts awards launch

Young Laois musicians Aibhlínn Doheny (17) and Liam Cunningham (13), at the launch of the Allianz Business to Arts Awards

Two talented young Laois musicians recently took centre stage at Dublin’s Bord Gáis Energy Theatre with renowned percussionist Alex Petcu.

Aibhlínn Doheny (17) and Liam Cunningham (13) travelled from Portlaoise last Tuesday morning, September 4, to take part in a photocall to mark the announcement of the 27th annual Allianz Business to Arts Awards. They were accompanied on their trip to Dublin by their tutors, Ros O'Meara and Denise Boyle.

Both Aibhlínn and Liam are young musicians and participants with Music Generation Laois and Laois School of Music, with whom they play percussion among other instruments. After the photocall, which took place on the theatre’s main stage, the pair had an opportunity to learn some tricks of the trade at a workshop with internationally renowned Irish percussionist Alex Petcu, who performed during the awards ceremony later that evening.

The Allianz Business to Arts Awards recognise and celebrate imaginative, innovative and effective partnerships between businesses and the arts. This year, Music Generation, in partnership with U2 and The Ireland Funds and with support from Bank of America Merrill Lynch and the Stavros Niarchos Foundation, was announced as winner of the Award for ‘Best Long Term Partnership’. The Award was presented by Minister for Culture, Heritage and the Gaeltacht, Josepha Madigan TD before an audience of some 600 leaders from across the arts, cultural and business sectors.

That same night in Portlaoise, Music Generation Laois and Laois School of Music hosted an open evening for new and returning young musicians at their brand new home, Laois Music Centre – formerly Scoil Mhuire on Church Avenue.

Music Generation Laois is part of Music Generation is Ireland’s national music education programme, which was initiated by Music Network and is now co-funded by U2, The Ireland Funds, the Department of Education and Skills and Local Music Education Partnerships. Locally, Music Generation Laois is managed by Laois Music Education Partnership and funded by Laois County Council, Laois-Offaly Education and Training Board and Laois Partnership Company.