Musician John Spillane in Laois for Musical Memories
One of Ireland’s best known musicians John Spillane, was in County Laois on December 15 & 16 as part of the Creative Ireland Laois funded Musical Memories project led by Music Generation Laois’s Nuala Kelly. As part of a series of live Musical Memories events, John visited Rath National School, Paddock National School, and Mountmellick and Portlaoise Mens Shed in this intergenerational song-singing project.
John Spillane said:
“It was a joy for me to return to County Laois and take part in a number of musical events in schools and Mens Sheds as part of Musical Memories. It’s been five years since I waas involved in the Laois 1916 centenary celebrations and composed my song for Laois ‘100 Snow White Horses’ which went on to be the title track of my new album. It is lovely for me as a travelling musician to renew these bonds of friendship and make new friends among these open, friendly and musical communities. It was so nice to visit Paddock NS, Rath NS and the Mens Sheds in Mountmellick and Portlaoise”.
Music Generation Laois’s Music Development Officer, Rosa Flannery said:
“We have had the pleasure of musician John Spillane singing with Musical Memories participants at Paddock NS, Rath NS and the Mens Sheds in Mountmellick and Portlaoise as part of our live Christmas celebrations. John has visited Music Generation Laois many times pre-Covid. It is with much enthusiasm we welcomed John to participate in our Musical Memories project and in particular to hear him sing ‘100 Snow White Horses’ a song John wrote for County Laois and the title of his brilliant new album”.
Musical Memories is an intergenerational music project supported by Creative Ireland Laois as part of the Creative Ireland Programme Creativity in Older Age fund, in partnership with Laois County Council.
For more information go to https://www.musicgenerationlaois.ie/musical-memories/
Musical Memories Phase 3 launched on Thursday 21 October at Laois Music Centre, Portlaoise. This intergenerational music project is supported by Creative Ireland Laois as part of the Creative Ireland Programme Creativity in Older Age fund, in partnership with Laois County Council.
At the launch event, project lead and musician Nuala Kelly said:
“Phase 3 of Musical Memories offers more opportunities for intergenerational music activities with participation from Mountmellick Men’s Shed; Portlaoise Men’s Shed; Paddock NS; Rath NS; and active retirement groups. We are delighted that the Creative Ireland Programme has again supported Musical Memories in 2021. We are very excited that as part of a regional development, Musical Memories has expanded into Offaly and Westmeath and is facilitated by musicians from Music Generation Offaly Westmeath working with intergenerational ukulele and singing groups.”
Musical Memories is a Song-Singing project that commenced in June 2020 in response to the social isolation experienced by residents of care settings in Laois – Abbeyleix Hospital, St. Brigid’s Hospital, Shaen and St. Vincent’s Mountmellick Community Nursing Unit. The pilot phase was delivered entirely online by lead musician Nuala Kelly, who works with the Music Generation Laois Primary Schools Programme. The project engaged with children and staff of Paddock NS where new songs were learned and online singing from the classroom was streamed to residents at the care, culminating in a festive singing event for Christmas 2020.
Despite restrictions across the whole country in January 2021, Phase 2 of Musical Memories was initiated and expanded to include Mountmellick Men’s Shed; Rath NS and Errill NS. The project remained online and culminated in an interactive song-singing session with all participants in March 2021, with special guest and Laois native, Trudi Lalor. With restrictions easing somewhat post-Easter, members of Mountmellick Men’s Shed organised an outdoor visit to St. Vincent’s Community Nursing Unit, bringing much joy to the residents by meeting and singing in-person. Outdoor visits to the care settings by Music Generation Laois musicians Nuala Kelly and James O’Connor continued throughout the summer.
Phase 3 of Musical Memories has extended further with members of Portlaoise Men’s Shed and their grandchildren as well as grandparents of children in Paddock NS and Rath NS taking part. The culmination of Phase 3 aims to have all participants come together for a seasonal song-singing session in December.
For more information, contact Nuala Kelly, Music Generation Laois at 057 8681782 or firstname.lastname@example.org.