Young rockers in search of U2’s money

YOUNG rockers from across the midlands will be seeking funding from the National Music Education programme for regional School of Rock.

YOUNG rockers from across the midlands will be seeking funding from the National Music Education programme for regional School of Rock.

The venture would be funded through the much publicised U2/Ireland Fund money for a Music Education Partnership between Offaly and Westmeath VECs and local authority Arts Offices. Following extensive consultation across both counties, the local patnership has announced its intention to seek funding to develop a Midland School of Music. An application is being made to Music Generation (Ireland’s National Music Education Programme) for the U2/Ireland Fund money, which has been earmarked for national youth instrumental and vocal music education partnerships throughout Ireland.

The steering committee has identified ten communities (Tullamore, Mullingar, Edenderry, Athlone, Kilcormac, Castlepollard, Banagher, Moate, Clara and Killucan) in the neighbouring counties of Offaly and Westmeath as natural centres for the development of an innovative Music Instrumental and Vocal tuition service. This ‘school without walls’ currently has the working title of Shannon Rock School, but it is hoped that after a successful application, a youth board for the project will determine its identity.

This Rock School model will involve expert weekly tuition in guitar and vocals, individual and group performance mentoring, as well as lots of opportunities for young people to experiment and explore other styles and genres as they feel appropriate.

It is expected that tuition will take place from January 2012 on weekday evenings at local community colleges, though this is not exclusive to students of these schools. The project will also have a strong technological element, with regular weekend workshops in recording, song writing, podcasting and digital media.

It is hoped that up to eight musicians will be employed and receive advance training and mentoring to become part of the expert team which delivers the service.

The steering committee is being led by musician, Shane Brennan, Arts Education Officer (Midlands) and further enquires and suggestions are welcome to midlandarts@westmeathvec.ie or arts@offalycoco.ie; and ckelly@westmeathcoco.ie