Transforming Communities

Live Music Now Northern Ireland launch programme of 50 free music sessions in Limavady

Limavady is alive with the sound of music – from trad in Magilligan to jazz and opera in Myroe, young and old will enjoy a host of talented musicians in schools, care homes, day centres and community venues. It’s all down to Live Music Now, the leading musicians development charity, whose Northern Irish branch director Alice Lewis is based locally. With funding from the Acorn Fund, Arts Council of Northern Ireland, The Honourable The Irish foundation, and others, Alice has put together a programme of over 50 free music sessions, including traditional Irish, classical, jazz and pop. Alice says:

‘I’m delighted to bring a variety of talented professional musicians to the Limavady area. We all instinctively enjoy live music and research now shows what a powerful impact it has on our mood, brain, social interactions and even physical well-being. Music really is medicine!

Conor Lamb and Deirdre Galway, Realta

‘Our musicians are some of the best Northern Ireland has to offer and their aim is to get people taking part, whether that’s clapping, singing along or even on their feet dancing! With this programme we hope to reach almost 2000 people in the area. What’s lovely is the sheer variety – from classical arias in care homes to young Irish dancers being kept on their toes with live trad players. Music really will be in the air in Limavady this spring.’

Since November there have been regular music sessions at Cornfield, Edenvale, Thackeray and Rush Hall care homes. In February and March members of the well known trad band Realta will be busy in the area with visits to local primary schools including Central and Roe Valley Integrated on Thursday 20th February and a workshop with young dancers at the Allen School of Irish Dance on Saturday 22nd.

They’ll then be touring the USA but will return at the end of March with a free community session at the new Magilligan Community Centre on Thursday 26th March at 7pm along with visits to other primary schools and care centres.

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Grainne Meyer Harpist

Other visiting musicians include a classical duo, soprano Ellen Campbell and pianist Cindy Yung and harpist Grainne Meyer with Aaron O’Hagan on pipes and whistle.

Looking further ahead, award winning harpist Grainne Meyer will be following in the footsteps of the legendary harpist Hampsey who spent time in Magilligan. She’ll be working with the young harpists at Garvagh’s Hampsey School over six weeks and then going on tour. She’ll take in community centres, including Magilligan and care homes in the local areas. In June she will take to the stage at ArtAbyss, Stendhal Festival’s festival for primary schools, playing for hundreds of local children.

To find out more about any of the events or how to get musicians in your school or community centre, email [email protected]