10 November 2020
By Tom Collins
Cork County Council’s Arts Service brings music to County Schools during lockdown. The latest project in ‘Tuning Up’, Cork County Council’s Music in Schools Programme, will see Ensemble Dagda, visit six primary and secondary schools, to give virtual performances in the classroom. Developed by Cork County Council, ‘Tuning Up’ aims to give children and young people a unique experience of live music performed by professional musicians.
Irish early music group Ensemble Dagda was formed in 2014 and is based in Cork. Popular with audiences for their playful interpretations and engaging performances, in recent years they have championed lesser-heard works by seventeenth-century composers and works by women composers of the Baroque era. The group has been invited to play the West Cork Chamber Music Festival, East Cork Early Music Festival, ‘Finding a Voice’ Festival, Clonmel, and the Kaleidoscope Night Series, Dublin.
Mayor of the County of Cork, Cllr Mary Linehan Foley commented,
“The current Level 5 restrictions mean musicians are unable to go into schools to perform. As part of the Council’s new ‘Keep Well’ initiative to promote wellbeing, Cork County Council Arts Service along with West Cork Music and Ensemble Dagda have come together to develop a way in which the musicians can have a live interactive event in the classroom using ZOOM technology and the ingenuity of local teachers. The many innovative approaches people are coming up with, finding new ways to deal with present challenges, never cease to surprise me. I congratulate all involved in this invaluable scheme.”
Ensemble Dagda is passionate about education and making music accessible and engaging to everyone. They have brought workshops to Primary and Secondary schools around Ireland, introducing students to historical instruments, and the style and context of music they play.
Inspired by the popular Horrible Histories books Ensemble Dagda has created a fast-paced tour through music history. Students in the classroom will encounter Henry VIII – his wives and his music, strings made of guts, the grisly fate of Louis XIV’s court composer. Horrible Histories and Harmonies with Ensemble Dagda romps through the 16 to18th centuries through music and dance.
Schools taking part in this series are: Lisavaird NS, Crossmahon NS; Scoil Eoin, Innishannon, Star of the Sea Primary, Passage West, St Mary’s Senior School, Dunmanway and St Mary’s Secondary, Charleville.
“Tuning Up” is part of Cork County Council’s Arts in Schools Programme and is managed by West Cork Music. “Tuning Up” is part funded by the Arts Council/An Comhairle Ealaíon.