Gealóga – Mayo’s bright young musicians

Members of Gealóga, The Music Generation Mayo Traditional Music Ensemble, pictured with Minister for Education and Skills, Ruairí Quinn at an EU presidency event in Castletown House, Kildare. L-R: Patrick Boyle, Alan Judge, Kate Heneghan, Catherine Lambe, Marianna Tiernan, Grace McDonnell, Seán McGreal, Donal Parkinson, Orla Mannion, Niamh Mulhern, absent from image: Ellen Murphy

Members of Gealóga, The Music Generation Mayo Traditional Music Ensemble, pictured with Minister for Education and Skills, Ruairí Quinn at an EU presidency event in Castletown House, Kildare. L-R: Patrick Boyle, Alan Judge, Kate Heneghan, Catherine Lambe, Marianna Tiernan, Grace McDonnell, Seán McGreal, Donal Parkinson, Orla Mannion, Niamh Mulhern, absent from image: Ellen Murphy

On Thursday June 13, Gealóga, a traditional music ensemble formed as part of the Music Generation Mayo - Music Residency Programme, performed for international delegates attending the Education Committee Meeting in Castletown House, Leixlip, a Department of Education and Skills event organised as part of Ireland’s EU presidency.

The group of 11 young talented traditional musicians, aged 12-18 years, was selected via an audition process in January 2013 and they have been progressing under the mentorship of their director, acclaimed Co Mayo musician and performer, Emer Mayock.

Nominated by the Mayo Music Education Partnership to represent their country on this international stage, Gealóga’s appearance marks the final event in Music Generation’s performance programme for the Department of Education and Skills EU presidency events.

Hailing from throughout Co Mayo, Gealóga, which translates as ‘bright youth’, comprises the following musicians: Kate Heneghan, Orla Mannion, Donal Parksinson (fiddle ), Patrick Boyle (accordion ), Marianna Tiernan (concertina ), Ellen Murphy (harp ), Alan Judge, Catherine Lambe, Grace McDonnell (flute ), Niamh Mulhern (uilleann pipes ) and Seán McGreal (bodhrán, whistle and voice ). Over the past few months the ensemble has been meeting regularly to share and source material, collaborate as fellow musicians, examine the history of the ensemble in traditional music, while preparing and rehearsing for the performances which will mark the culmination of their residency programme in July 2013.

An exceptionally accomplished young ensemble, members of Gealóga have successfully competed and received top prizes in the Connacht and national Fleadh Cheoil na hÉireann competitions. They have graced many prestigious performance stages as individual musicians and in groups, having been taught and influenced in their musical development by the cream of Irish traditional musicians both in Co Mayo and neighbouring counties. “Each individual member is an accomplished musician in their own right,” noted ensemble director, Emer Mayock, “now as part of the ensemble they bring their own musical imagination and energy to create a dynamic and vibrant sound.” To celebrate Love Live Music - International Music Day, members of Gealóga undertook a whistle-stop tour of Mayo on Friday June 21 and are looking forward to their main performances at the Linenhall Arts Centre, Castlebar, on Friday July 12 (booking 094 902 3733 ) and the Ballina Arts Centre on Saturday July 13 (booking 094 902 3733 ). Tickets are €5 for adults, under 18s free of charge.

Visit www.musicgenerationmayo.ie for more information.

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