Donegal music classes, music groups – hello 2018!

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

2018 is here and we’re looking forward to another great year for music in Donegal. Here at the DMEP 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 still filling the odd vacancy as it arises and we have full/part scholarships available in some instruments, including viola and French horn.Evan McGarrigle introducing the teeniest DMEP performing group at the Christmas concert, the talented Cór Shliabh Liag. Pic © John Soffe 2017.


WORLD PREMIERE OF QUARTET ‘This is Real’ by John McLachlan at Conwal Church, Letterkenny, Sunday 21st January, 3pm. Robinson Panoramic Quartet, Donegal Chamber Orchestra.

NATIONAL CONCERT HALL – Donegal Youth Orchestra is closing the evening concert at the Festival of Youth Orchestras, Saturday 10th Feb, 8pm. It’s gonnabegreattt! Conductor – Vincent Kennedy

Thanks to all our ensembles for their contribution to music making over Christmas – there were at least nine different performances, from the DMEP Christmas concert before a packed house at An Grianán to the Saint-Saen’s Christmas Oratorio featuring the Donegal Chamber Orchestra at St Eunan’s Cathedral

Violinist Sarah Ponsonby of the Donegal Chamber Orchestra casts her eyes heavenward (or is it towards the organ loft) during the performance of Saint-Saen’s Christmas Oratorio at St Eunan’s Cathedral in Letterkenny.

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.

Cathy Jordan (Dervish) and Jarlath Henderson (various bands, pictured on left) passed on their songs and tunes at workshops on Friday 15th September here in the RCC before their concert with Mick Daly. 

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!

The Errigal Groove Orchestra, with some talented new members for 2017-18 (to join the talented existing members!), in action with conductor Sean McCarron on Culture Night.

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