NUIG launches 16th Múscailt Festival programme

Campus festival runs from March 6 to 9 with some events open to the public

Singer-songwriter Sharon Murphy at the launch of Múscailt. Photo:- Aengus MacMahon

Singer-songwriter Sharon Murphy at the launch of Múscailt. Photo:- Aengus MacMahon

'SEAS AN Fód/Stand Your Ground' is the defiant theme of this year's Múscailt, NUI Galway's annual arts festival, which brings a host of visual arts, music, performance, song, talks, and workshop to the campus in March. All events are free and open to the public.

The festival, now in its 16th year, opens on Sunday March 6, Mother’s Day, with a Mindful Movement Workshop, led by choreographer Bernadette Divilly, on the theme of 'Mother'. A concert follows later that evening in Galway Cathedral, with the West Liberty University Singers, USA, led by Dr Scott Glysson, along with organist Jonathan Emmons, performing Bernstein’s Psalms. NUIG’s Choralsoc, university staff and student choir Unitunes, and the Testostertones will open the concert.

Art and installation will feature heavily during with week, including 156 Steps, an exhibition of sculpture, artworks, and video installation, by artist Anne O’Byrne; Creatures from the Campus by Colours Street Theatre; a solo show of portraits and paintings by Owen Durkan; nature photography by the award winning photographer JuanJo Sierra Alcala; Yield, a group exhibition of paintings and drawings; and Focus 16, a selected exhibition of Photsoc’s best works.

Sculptor Donnacha Cahill has built a large scale gramophone especially for Múscailt. This will be a portable stage and music player throughout the festival. Representing ‘Romantic Notions’, the gramophone will take a few unscheduled detours around the city during the festival and the public are invited to participate.

Other events to watch out for include Jane’s Next Step by Aine Gallagher, a bi-lingual romp through an Irish class with Jane, who has accidentally been crowned Ireland’s fifth funniest Irish-speaking comedian; Seacht Seacht le Rogha Bhríde, a workshop and singing session, hosted by Flirt FM and Seachtain na Gaeilge, with Bríd Ní Mhaoileoin as MC.

Singer-songwriter Sharon Murphy will perform songs from her new album Where I Belong; Susan Stenger, a flautist, composer and soundscape artist for film and installation, will give an audio-visual presentation of her work and include a short performance by John Cage; The SOLO SHOW will showcase seven original ‘five-minute monologues’ from staff and students.

Contemplative Dance Workshop on International Women’s Day, led by Bernadette Divilly, will investigate the work done by women, paid and unpaid, and will give an opportunity to dance and validate the contribution of women to the work field. James O’Connell will give a solo dance performance entitled Loophead; the Victorian Society will host a Victorian funfair; while James Fleming will perform a new one-man show, The Spinner, on the mystical adventures of a cockeyed cowboy seeking justice on the streets of his urban prairie.

For the full programme see www.muscailt.nuigalway.ie or contact NUIG’s arts office at or 091 - 495098.

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