‘Come and Try’ music sessions in Ballyshannon and Donegal Town

Well-known musicians from the Donegal Music Education Partnership will be visiting Donegal Town and Ballyshannon next Tuesday (11th) for ‘Come and Try’ music sessions.

The sessions will be held in the Adult Education centre in Donegal, from 5pm to around 6.30pm, and Coláiste Cholmcille in Ballyshannon, from 7.15pm.

Anyone who might be interested in taking up an instrument can come along and try a selection, including violin, flute, guitar, cello, clarinet, saxophone and lots more.

Musicians on hand will include fiddler Martin McGinley, who works with the DMEP; the cellist Victor Yélamo; and Don Swain, who teaches flute, sax and oboe (pictured – Martin, left, and Victor).

DMEP Come & Try sessions

Martin says the sessions are very informal.

“We did a come-and-try in Donegal Town a couple of years ago and got an excellent turn-out of young people and adults. Everyone had a great time trying out the different instruments. We’ll also be hearing some pieces and tunes. The tutors will be in action and we hope to have some talented young musicians along as well to show how it’s done.”

Martin says the DMEP hopes the come-and-try sessions will help them expand the classes they already offer in Donegal Town and Ballyshannon.

“So far in Donegal Town we have tutors for piano, brass, violin, flute and cello. Victor Yélamo has also been working with our local Junior Strings ensemble. They had a great time on a tour of local schools in June.

“Don Swain is teaching in Ballyshannon, which has a great tradition of music-making. We’d love to have more classes in the town if we can get the numbers.”

Martin paid tribute to the staff of the Adult Education Centre in Donegal and Coláiste Cholmcille in Ballyshannon for their help with the sessions.

“In both places staff are very enthusiastic about having more music tuition and more music-making locally. They couldn’t have been more helpful. Now we’re looking forward to having some budding musicians along and having a bit of fun next Tuesday night.”

The DMEP is part of Donegal Education and Training Board, which is headed up by Ballyshannon native Anne McHugh. It offers one-to-one tuition and small group classes to more than 400 children and young people, and some adults. It also has ten performing groups, including the Donegal Youth Orchestra, the Donegal Youth Choir and the Donegal Chamber Orchestra.

Anyone who’d like more information about the DMEP or the ‘come and try’ sessions next Tuesday is invited to email martinmcginley@donegaletb.ie or ring the DMEP office on 07491 76293.