President Michael D Higgins attends a teenage funk/brass performance at Cork City Library

25 March 2018
By Elaine Murphy

Dozens of music-loving Cork children and young people, taking part in the city’s Lifelong Learning Festival, got the chance to play for a VIP this weekend when the President of Ireland attended a Music Generation Cork City concert.

Rebel Brass, a New Orleans-style funk/brass group which emanated from the Barrack Street Brass Band, and the Mahon Community Rock and Pop Hub played everything from Adele to the White Stripes to Oasis for President Michael D. Higgins on Saturday afternoon in Cork City Library.

Lord Mayor, Cllr Tony Fitzgerald said: “We are all very proud of Music Generation and it was an honour to have the President attend this weekend’s concert. There was some incredible musical talent and energy on display in the City Library and the President looked like he enjoyed it thoroughly”.

Music Generaton Cork City Co-ordinator, Margaret O’Sullivan said: “The children were thrilled when they heard that President Michael D. Higgins would attend their concert. It added a huge injection of energy and focus to their performance as their hard work and discipline was being acknowledged. For some of these lucky children, this was their second time performing for the President, and they were so excited to have this privileged experience”.

” Music Generation Cork City has had a huge impact on all involved. In addition to the music learning, it provides some very rich and diverse experiences for the children and young people involved. Through skills development and community engagement such as Saturday’s event, we can see their confidence enhanced no end,” she added.

Music Generation is Ireland’s national music education programme that transforms the lives of children and young people through access to high quality performance music education in their locality. Initiated by Music Network, Music Generation is co-funded by U2, The Ireland Funds and the Department of Education and Skills. In Cork city, it is also funded locally by Cork City Council, the Cork Education and Training Board (ETB), University College Cork, CIT, the HSE and Cork City Partnership.

The Cork Lifelong Learning Festival is taking place throughout the city until March 26. It is internationally renowned and is one of the reasons that Cork was chosen to host the third-ever UNESCO International Conference on Lifelong Learning last year.

The annual festival has grown year on year since 2004 and lives by its motto of ‘Investigate, Participate, Celebrate’, with the public encouraged to do just that by trying out new experiences, participating in events and enjoying demonstrations of skills, both new and old.

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