Walkers' Announces Support for the National Concert Hall's 'Primary Ensemble Project' in partnership with The Royal Irish Academy of Music

Primary Ensemble Lock Up Supported By Walkers

 

Walkers (Ireland) is delighted to announce a new charity partnership with the National Concert Hall ("NCH") on their 'Primary Ensemble Project' which will run from Autumn 2022 – Spring 2023, with a finale concert planned at the NCH planned for 2023. The project is presented in partnership with the Royal Irish Academy of Music and it is making a welcome return post pandemic to rekindle and support the revival of ensemble music making in classrooms.

Schools will be invited to respond to an open call this June and the 'Primary Ensemble Project' will ultimately involve 720 students from 8 schools in Dublin and surrounding counties. At least 3 of the schools will be DEIS (Delivering Equality of Opportunity in Schools) involving children who are at a risk of educational disadvantage due to their socio-economic background. Under this partnership, Walkers will team up with one of the local DEIS schools and we will host independent and collaborative workshops.

Participating schools and students will be guided through a series of workshops throughout Autumn 2022 and early 2023, led by music tutors and expert composers from the Royal Irish Academy of Music in which they will be guided in their development in ensemble performance and improvisation techniques alongside aural and technique skills development in a trusted, vibrant and supportive environment. Students will also collaborate and get creative, exploring musical ideas and themes with the ultimate aim of creating a new piece of music to be performed by them in front of friends and family in a finale celebration concert at the NCH in Spring 2023.  Overall, the Primary Ensemble Project is designed to support primary school ensembles and students with a high-calibre musical programme that equips them with the necessary musical and teamwork skills to participate in an ensemble with their peers.  

This project will also provide staff in Walkers with more opportunities to collaborate away from the desk in a fun and creative environment by participating in a workplace ensemble and or choir in addition to a selection of different workshops on various music led themes. The workshops at Walkers will include an introductory percussion based workshop, a joint workshop with our partner DEIS school and a session with acclaimed Irish conductor, choirmaster, star of RTÉ's Unsung Heroes and High Hopes Choir, David Brophy.

Commenting at the launch of the project, Fiona de Lacy, Managing Director of Walkers Professional Services Ireland, said: "Walkers is delighted to support the National Concert Hall's Primary Ensemble Project in partnership with The Royal Irish Academy of Music. We recognise the value of this opportunity to the students. Regardless of how serious a musician the children may become, there is immense value for them in getting exposure at an early age to singing and instrumental music. The lifelong learning experiences that can be taken from music in our education system are huge; students learn to perform under pressure, work as part of groups and learn how to deal with a performance or other public moment not going to plan. As a former musician turned chartered accountant, I can absolutely speak to the experience of taking the skills and lessons learned from my time performing as a musician and applying those skills to my leadership role in Walkers."

Robert Read, CEO of the National Concert Hall also said: “As Ireland’s National Concert Hall our ambition is to foster an appreciation and engagement in music at all levels. Our Learning and Participation (L&P) programme is central to devising, collaborating on and delivering key programmes that support that ambition. Today we are delighted to announce the return to in-person ‘Primary Ensemble Project’ workshops as part of L&P Programme. The programme provides a unique opportunity for primary school children to be guided by expert tutors in their musical exploration and discovery and to have fun, collaborate, create and perform together at the NCH. We are particularly thankful for the support of Walkers, who, through their support of local community CSR initiatives, are aligned on our mission of delivering impactful music education opportunities, and to our presenting partners the Royal Irish Academy of Music in making this possible”.  

Deborah Kelleher, Director at the Royal Irish Academy of Music remarked: “The Royal Irish Academy of Music (RIAM) is thrilled to once again partner with the National Concert Hall to promote and develop early ensemble playing in Primary Schools across the country. Our specialist tutors adore working with primary-aged children to develop the important and transferable life skill of collaboration, culminating in a memorable performing experience on the beautiful National Concert Hall stage. We particularly welcome the support of Walkers, whose commitment to education and community resonates deeply with that of the RIAM and the Primary Ensemble Project”. 

The NCH Primary Ensemble Project is part of the National Concert Hall’s Learning and Participation programme which is designed to foster and celebrate the appreciation, knowledge and love of music in all its forms and for all.

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