Donegal music classes, music groups – back in business!

Welcome to the online home of the Donegal Music Education Partnership, offering top-notch Donegal music classes and organising 11 performing groups across Donegal.

We’ve kicked off music tuition for another year. Once again we have almost 500 music and voice students on our books, mostly young people but the occasional enterprising adult too. We have more than thirty tutors in eight towns and villages across Donegal. We’re filling the few spaces remaining and also turning our attention to possible scholarships in some instruments, including viola and French horn.

STOP PRESS 1 – If you’re a budding singer or uilleann pipers, don’t miss two great workshops coming up on Friday 15th September at the RCC, Letterkenny. Cathy Jordan from Dervish takes singers from 4.30pm – 5.30pm, and Jarlath Henderson takes uilleann pipers, 4.30pm to 5.30pm. More below

STOP PRESS 2 – If you’re aged 5 – 7 years, congrats! you’re a great reader. And you may be interested in our new ‘So Mi’ group for 5 – 7 year-olds with Ellen Quinn. It’s a fun introduction to music, with games, singing and more, and perfect preparation for music and singing lessons in future. Running in the RCC LK on Tuesday afternoons 2.30pm – 3.15pm from early Oct.

STOP PRESS 3 – Check out our new online (and offline) library resources. We have a list of 1500+ musical works which can be borrowed from the DMEP office in the RCC, 07491 76293. Thanks to project leader Ellen Quinn (yes, from Stop Press 2) and fellow volunteers James Sarsteiner and Maureen Fryer-Kelsey and all who helped with this project.

We still have a good number of people on our waiting list so we’ll be looking at arrangements to cater for these budding musicians and singers as well.

Click here to enrol for music tuition or our performing groups.

You can still get on our waiting list for tuition by dropping a line to with this info – parent/guardian name/ student name/ student DOB/ chosen instrument(s)/ musical experience? /address / mobile no / landline no. The tuition programme is after school, so let us know if any evening doesn’t suit.

The DMEP is making a big impact on music making in Donegal (and let’s thank the Department of Education for funding and our parent body Donegal Education and Training Board). We have almost five hundred children and young people, and some enterprising adults, getting 1-2-1 lessons in our Donegal music classes. There are another 350 in our performing music groups, which include the Donegal Youth Orchestra and the Donegal Youth Choir.

See our ‘News’ section for the latest all round. For more info on music classes, music groups or Donegal musical life in general, contact Aisling or Martin at the DMEP on 07491 76293 or

Donegal Music Education Partnership works in partnership with the national network of Music Generation.

ABOVE – Young Donegal musicians pictured just before going onstage at the main gigrig at Ennis during the 2017 All-Ireland Fleadh Cheoil. With them are, on left, Roisin McGrory of the Inishowen Traditional Music Project, and on right Martin McGinley (standing) of the Donegal Music Education Partnership and Paul Harrigan (kneeling) of Ceol na Coille, Letterkenny.

ABOVE – Our ‘young maestros’ who starred in the Atlantic Arc concert at An Grianan Theatre during the Earagail Arts Festival 2017. From left, Amy Gillen (flute, Bridgetown); Sarah Walsh (violin, Ballybofey); Amy Meehan (keyboards/vocals, Manorcunningham); and the Murray twins from Falcarragh, Michael (sax) and Conor (double bass).

We’re also signing up for our eleven performing groups, with music and singing for all ages. Our adult return-to-music group Mind Your Quavers warmly welcomes new members, as does our adult choir, the Errigal Singers. Young singers are catered for in our three junior choirs (Letterkenny, Dungloe, Carrick) and Donegal Youth Choir, conducted by Sara Laughlin. Jazzers have the Errigal Groove Orchestra (keen to have new members in 2017 – 18)) and Errigal Saxtet. We’re delighted to have more than sixty young musicians signed up for the Donegal Youth Orchestra under conductor Vincent Kennedy. Big sound! Then there’s the Donegal Chamber Orchestra, who had some high-profile gigs in 2016-17, and the Donegal Junior and Intermediate Strings, who finished the year with a school tour in the Letterkenny area.

Attention singers and whistle/pipes fans – another great workshop opportunity coming up. Cathy Jordan (Dervish) and Jarlath Henderson (various bands, pictured on left) are doing workshops on Friday 15th September here in the RCC before their concert with Mick Daly at 8pm. Cathy’s singing workshop runs from 4.30pm – 5.30pm and Jarlath’s (pipes/whistle) from 4pm – 5.30pm. Cost – just €10, and that includes concert admission (thanks Music Network and RCC!). To book just message us, email or phone 07491-76293. There’s more on the concert here –

The DMEP is a fantastic music project (though we say so ourselves :-).

As we may have mentioned (and no harm to do it again), the DMEP is part of Donegal Education and Training Board and is funded by the Department of Education and Skills. Many of the music classes happen in Donegal ETB schools, colleges and centres across the county. We teach mostly classical and jazz, with some contemporary/rock and traditional music. If you’d like to play or sing, get in touch!

Home to Ballybeg, An Grianan Letterkenny, 17 JULY 2016.One of the memorable moments of the 2016 Earagail Arts Festival – Mairead Ní Mhaonaigh singing an original Manus Lunny song at the ‘Home to Ballybeg’ concert in An Grianan Theatre in Letterkenny in July. Vincent Kennedy conducted a string section from the Donegal Music Education Partnership. He also conducted the Donegal Youth Orchestra, who played the first half. 

  • Soundwaves 2016
    Soundwaves 2016 the Regional Cultural Centre, Letterkenny ( 15-17 of February)