Announcing the 2016 Waltons Music for Schools Competition!
Now in its fifth year, the Waltons Music for Schools Competition is a national competition and celebration of music in Irish schools. The Competition annually awards a total of €10,000 worth of vouchers for musical instruments and equipment from Waltons Music, to be divided among six winning primary and post-primary schools, including two first prizes of €3,000 vouchers, and music groups from twelve Finalist schools will have the opportunity to perform before their peers and distinguished adjudicators in a Finalists Concert at a prestigious national concert venue. This year’s Finalists Concert will take place in University Concert Hall, Limerick.
All primary and post-primary schools recognised by the Department of Education in the Republic of Ireland are eligible to enter the Waltons Music for Schools Competition. To date, schools from all 26 counties have participated.
To enter your school in the 2016 Competition, please send, by Wednesday, 2 March 2016, an entry form, photo and video of a single piece or song, performed by an instrumental, vocal or mixed group from your school (maximum 45 performers), that in some way addresses the Competition theme of ‘Why Music?’ – that is, the importance of music in our lives. It can be in any musical style or combination of styles – classical, popular, traditional, jazz, etc. – and can be performed by any combination of singers or instrumentalists you choose. Anything goes!
This is an opportunity for schools to work with any combination of students to develop a creative and original musical project that has learning potential at every stage of the process.
Twelve Finalist schools are selected by an initial judging panel.
Wednesday, 16 March 2016
Twelve Finalist schools are announced on RTÉ lyric fm.
Tuesday, 10 May 2016
Finalists Concert in University Concert Hall, Limerick.
Comments about the Competition
‘Behind the facts and figures relating to music education in Ireland, there lies an indisputable truth, thrillingly exemplified on the stage of the National Concert Hall during the Waltons Music for Schools Competition Finalists Concert: the depth of musical creativity among our young people is simply astonishing. This creativity, borne of endless hours practice and dedication and lovingly nurtured by music teachers throughout the country, is one of the greatest cultural assets our country could wish for. What an honour and privilege to witness at first hand the flourishing of Ireland’s musical talent. Bravo to all involved!’– David Brophy, renowned conductor & 2015 Finalists Concert Adjudicator
‘Hearing such fantastic music making on the stage of the National Concert Hall, seeing the young musicians move and play with such confidence and joy, filled me with pride and admiration for them, their parents, teachers and everyone who contributes towards giving these musicians a gift that will always be with them. They are wonderful, and if this is where music education is headed, then we are in safe hands. A totally exhilarating and life-affirming experience.’– Ellen Cranitch, broadcaster, composer, musician & 2015 Finalists Concert Adjudicator
‘I would like to congratulate all the young people on the stage today. It is really inspiring for me to see the truly excellent work that you have done, and what is most palpable is the passion oozing from every note, move and nuance. Outstanding to me also are your teachers. Thank you for being such wonderful catalysts in this beautiful event. Without a doubt my head is fizzing. Thank you, thank you, thank you.’– Julie Feeney, composer, singer-songwriter & 2014 Finalists Concert Adjudicator
‘Two things stood out in my mind during this superb display of talent at the NCH. The first was the tremendous lift to the spirit that comes from seeing so many young musicians, singers and dancers perform. The second was the ease and confidence with which they moved from traditional Irish music to classical to contemporary – it was truly music without boundaries and a credit to all involved.’– Bill Whelan, Riverdance composer & 2014 Finalists Concert Adjudicator
‘The Music for Schools Finalists Concert was truly inspirational! What really stood out for me was the uniqueness and diversity within each performance and the fusion of genres. The sense of ownership and pride in the teamwork involved from the pupils and their teachers allowed different talents and levels of musical development to shine. As a music teacher educator, I was mesmerised by the commitment and passion emanating not only from the pupils and their teachers but also by the supporting classmates and friends in the audience. I would strongly encourage participating in this awe-inspiring competition.’– Dr Gwen Moore, Coordinator, MA in Music Education Mary Immaculate College, University of Limerick