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Flook to headline Music at the Malthouse
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Flook to headline Music at the Malthouse

Music at the Malthouse 2024 takes place on May 10, 11 and 12

Music at the Malthouse 2024 takes place across the 10, 11 and 12 of May, in the beautifully restored Malthouse building in Stradbally, Co. Laois. This festival, presented by Music Generation Laois, provides a platform for performances and collaborations between young musicians from Laois and guest musicians.

Highlights at this year’s festival include the world acclaimed UK trad band Flook, performing with Scottish fiddler Patsy Reid; Manchester musician Michael McGoldrick; Irish singer-songwriter John Spillane; and performances by young musicians from Music Generation Laois and Laois School of Music, and their Musician Educators.

Laois School of Music Junior Youth Orchestra perform as Music Generation Laois, Laois School of Music, Laois Education Support Centre celebrate Europe Day/Ode to Joy 2023 at the Dunamaise Arts Centre. Picture: Alf Harvey.

Music at the Malthouse kicks off at 7pm on Friday 10 May, with a concert featuring the Laois School of Music Youth Orchestra. The Music Generation Laois Intermediate Trad Group will showcase a very special collaboration with the legendary musician and composer Michael McGoldrick. The Friday night concert ends with a collaboration between the Kildare Youth Folk Orchestra, the Music Generation Laois Trad Orchestra and the Music Generation Laois Harp Ensemble performing ‘The Tionól Suite’ composed by Ernestine Healy in 2023. Ernestine Healy will direct the combined ensemble of over 50 traditional musicians on the night. ‘The Tionól Suite’ was commissioned in 2023 for Music Generation Laois’ annual Tionól for Harp and Pipes, supported by the Music Generation Creativity and Collaboration Fund.

On Saturday 11 May, at 7pm, Flook will take to The Malthouse stage joined by Patsy Reid on fiddle. This concert is presented by Music Network, tickets are selling fast for this event as Flook are highly acclaimed in the folk and traditional music scene in Ireland and internationally. Not to be missed!

Music at the Malthouse culminates on Sunday 12 May with an afternoon concert at 3pm featuring John Spillane, Lorna McLaughlin (The Henry Girls) collaborating with young musicians from the Music Generation Laois harp, and rock and pop programmes. John Spillane will perform ‘100 Snow White Horses ‘ a song written for County Laois in 2016 supported by the Laois Arts Office. This special performance will include a team of musicians from Music Generation Laois. ‘100 Snow White Horses’ is the title track of John’s 2021 album, and features Music Generation Laois harpers in the recording, under the direction of Music Generation Laois’ Musician Educator Siobhan Buckley.

at the Music Generation Laois Music at The Malt House Concert. Picture: Alf Harvey.

In 2023, Lorna McLaughlin of well known Donegal folk band ‘The Henry Girls’ was commissioned to write a song with and for young people from Music Generation Laois. Under Lorna’s direction, ‘Fireworks’ a song in celebration of 11 years of Music Generation Laois was created and first performed in Summer 2023. ‘Fireworks’ will once again be performed by an ensemble of musicians and singers at The Malthouse 2024.

The Music Generation Laois Junior Trad Group will perform on The Malthouse stage at the Sunday afternoon concert, alongside their Musician Educator and Stradbally native, well-known Laois trad musician Tommy Fitzharris. The festival ends with a reprisal of ‘Visions and Voices’ composed by accordionist and composer Martin Tourish and the Music Generation Laois Trad Orchestra, in 2016. This suite of music was commissioned to mark the centenary of the 1916 Rising, and supported by Per Cent for Arts through the Laois Arts Office, Laois County Council, the Music Generation/Arts Council Partnership and the Ireland 2016/Laois 2016 Community Arts Fund.

Speaking ahead of the event, Rosa Flannery Music Development Officer with Music Generation Laois said, “this year’s Music at the Malthouse is very special, the festival is part of, and funded by, the ‘We Are Music Generation’ series of events happening across Ireland,  celebrating the achievements of Music Generation Laois and Music Generation nationally, over the past decade. We are revisiting some fantastic past projects to mark this milestone, and I am particularly delighted to welcome back many of our past students to perform alongside Martin Tourish as part of our final act on Sunday 12 May –  ‘Visions and Voices’ a suite of music that impacted on many of our young musicians when first premiered in 2016, and that we went on to perform at a series of public events in the preceding years, for audience members that included now US President Joe Biden, former Taoiseach Leo Varadkar, Prince Albert of Monaco and Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau.”

Music at the Malthouse 2024 is part of ‘We Are Music Generation’ Co-funded by U2, The Ireland Funds, the ArtsCouncil/An Comhairle Ealaíon and the Department of Education and by Laois County Council’s Tourism Grant Scheme 2024.

Music Generation Laois is part of Music Generation – Ireland’s National Music Education Programme, initiated by Music Network and co-funded by U2, The Ireland Funds together with, The Department of Education and Local Music Education Partnerships.

Locally, Music Generation Laois is part of Laois and Offaly Education and Training Board (lead partner) and supported by Laois County Council.