28 June 2022

GMR 6-month round up

It has been an exciting year to date at Galway Music Residency. Our performance programme has continued at pace with the final two editions of From Europe with Love (Lithuania and Finland); the continuation of our Lunchtime Concerts series with concerts in May and June; ConTempo County-wide performances in Oughterard and Athenry; the world premiere of E-bow a newly commissioned work for electric guitar and string quartet by Irish composer Dave Flynn; and collaborations with Music for Galway, which included a concert to mark the 150th birthday of Ralph Vaughan Williams, and four concerts as part of its MidWinter Festival. Online offerings also continue. In February, we released the three-part “Mood Series” as part of our Connecting with ConTempo programme. This series is available for all to view on our YouTube channel.

We’ve also been busy on the education front. In May we delivered an exciting new multi-faceted pilot programme across seven classes in three primary schools focused on active listening, and linked to our Connecting Kids with ConTempo programme.

“…our class were thrilled to have a professional musician in their classroom. It was such a positive experience for them. … Because they are masters at their art the children trusted them and had the confidence to share their opinions ... I can't overstate how important it is for our students to be up-close and in conversation with skilled professionals” Third class teacher, Scoil Bhríde

The June bank holiday saw 28 young string players take part in our three-day Ensemble Skills Summer Course with conductor and music educator Sinéad Hayes and ConTempo Quartet. One participant commented:

“I loved absolutely everything about this course from the friends I made, to the masses of information I Iearned, to the inspiring tutors/ conductors, to the performance to finish, I loved every aspect of this amazing opportunity!!!” Participant Ensemble Skills Summer Course

There is a growing body of research worldwide to show that engagement in the arts benefits children a whole range of ways. It has been found that it boosts their confidence, their socio-emotional wellbeing and academic skills. As a result, we consider this work a really important aspect of what we do.

Our work with our education partner NUI, Galway also continues. This year ConTempo Quartet has performed at the NUI Galway Open Day, worked with the NUI Galway Orchestra, and delivered three workshops in the BA Music programme, including the final class for the first group of music students to complete the Music degree at NUI Galway. In collaboration with NUI Galway Music Department staff and students we developed a series of videos to support Leaving Cert students taking practical exams in music.

…And we’ve lots more planned for the rest of this year! Watch out for an event at Galway International Arts Festival; JazzTempo at the end of August; an exciting project involving a visiting artist in residence; lunchtime concerts; engagement with writing and music programmes at NUI Galway and so much more!

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