Nós Nua is a joint initiative of Music Generation Louth and Oriel Centre, Dundalk Gaol (Comhaltas regional centre). Both organisations are the primary forces in community based music education in Louth and throughout the country. This 60 strong youth orchestra brings young musicians of diverse playing genres together to explore Louth’s local traditions. Drawn from across four counties – Louth, Meath, Monaghan and Armagh – and under the guidance of experienced composers and musicians, the existing members of this folk orchestra have been meeting regularly since October 2017 to rehearse, working together to create unique arrangements of new and existing traditional repertoire.
Nós Nua are very excited to announce their participation at the 24thFestival of Youth Orchestras in 2019 which will result in an evening performance in the National Concert Hall on the 19th of February.
These young musicians and their mentors have had a tremendously exciting and busy inaugural year culminating in their performance at ‘Bloom of Youth’ @Fleadh Cheoil na hÉireann in Drogheda, a celebration of ‘Bliain na nÓg’ which this year has highlighted and acknowledged the contribution of young people to Comhaltas, Irish culture and community service. They also made their Live television debut, as the opening performance on Fleadh TV’s first live show of the season from Fleadh Cheoil na hÉireann in Drogheda, 2018 on Thursday 16th of August 2018.
In the months leading up to ‘Bloom of Youth’, the orchestra seized some exciting opportunities to showcase their work in development and to hone their performance skills. Some of these events included the Official Press Launch of Fleadh Cheoil na hÉireann, RTE Radio 1 Céilí House and a memorable performance for President Michael D Higgins on the Gig Rig at the Opening of Fleadh Cheoil na hÉireann in Drogheda.
In June, together with four local dance schools, on the steps of St Peter’s Church, they took part in a Flash Mob (nicknamed the ‘Fleadh Mob’), which was aired on Fleadh TV from the Ulster Fleadh in Castlewellan.
In Spring 2018, Nós Nua received a visit from Martin Power from Ballincollig, Co. Cork. Assisted by Brian Ó Broin, they worked on a collaborative arrangement with the Orchestra on a number of Martin’s compositions. This year at Fleadh Cheoil na hÉireann in Drogheda, the title of Ard Ollamh was awarded to Martin. This is the highest honour bestowed at the Fleadh so the Nós Nua team were truly delighted to have been able to facilitate these few days of workshops with the orchestra. Martin a musician, teacher and composer is also the Director of the TTCT, the Comhaltas awarded Diploma in the teaching of Traditional Irish Music.
Zöe Conway joined the Orchestra for their February rehearsals, facilitating collaborative composition and arranging workshops with them, the result of which is a lovely piece of music which will be added to their repertoire for future performances. Zöe’s extensive experience in composition and performance is of huge benefit to these young local musicians and we are delighted to announce that she will be returning to work with them again in the near future.
“I was delighted to work with NósNua and see the talent for music that our young people have in this region. I particularly loved the crossover element of the traditional and classical genres, as it really benefits both sides to understand the other. I told them they are very lucky to be in this group, as there were no crossover projects like this when I was a teenager and I would have loved it! “
Zoe Conway, February 2018
In January, the orchestra’s members took part in a singing workshop with two of our country’s finest exponents of traditional song from County Louth, Padraigín Ní Uallacháin and Gerry Cullen. Padraigín who recently launched her new website www.orielarts.com, a rich resource for musicians, singers and historians, is the recipient of Gradam Cheoil TG4 2018 ‘Gradam Comaoine’ for her outstanding contribution to traditional music and song. Gerry Cullen, from Drogheda, is probably best known as one third of The Voice Squad, and for his contributions to The Góilín Song Project. Nós Nua is grateful to both of these tradition bearers for passing on some of their repertoire to our next generation of musicians, who thoroughly enjoyed and greatly appreciated the workshop.
Project Directors Kay Webster-Dooley and Gemma Murray along with Project Manager Deirdre Ní Bhuachalla-Malone are delighted with the development of the Orchestra to date.
Those interested in joining Nós Nua for the 2019 season can register their interest in auditioning at the following link: