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Music Magic In Hospitals And Homes

by Edited by Jimmy Rhatigan

April 19 brings to Kilkenny a series of 10 intimate live concerts with world class artists.

The shows are for residents of Kilkenny hospital settings and residential care homes, the concerts are part of Mobile Music Machine’s ‘Covid Care Concerts’ series.

The series is a partnership with Kilkenny County Council as part of its Creative Ireland / Creative Kilkenny programme, funded by Age Friendly Ireland.

World class singer and musicians Sandra Oman, Paula O’Hanlon, Aoife Durning and Aura Stone will entertain residents, patients and staff with a selection of music and song.

The live series feature everything from Bach to Beethoven and The Beatles to Abba, as well as traditional Irish music and more in-between, usually finishing with We’ll Meet Again by Vera Lynn.

All of the 40 musicians and singers who have taken part to date approach these performances as if they are taking to revered, world-famous stages.

Performers have been delighted to experience the joy they bring to these communities.

Audiences include residents with Alzheimer’s and Dementia who haven’t spoken in years, joining in and singing along.

To date, 350 live classical music concerts, across 13 counties, have been performed safely in gardens since launching in June 2020.

Ireland’s classical musicians have been joined by world-class talent who perform at the highest level, from opera singers to traditional.

Wonderful entertainment at Tennypark Nursing Home

Concerts have featured Anthony Kearns, Des Keogh, Celine Byrne, Iarla Ó Lionáird, Claudia Boyle, Emmet Cahill, Sandra Oman, Sibéal, Seán Keane, Orla Fallon, Niall O’Sullivan, Simon Morgan and Gavan Ring.

The pilot project is the largest arts and health intervention supported in response to the pandemic and is funded by the HSE.

Mobile Music Machine is aiming to deliver a further 250 concerts with the support of Age Friendly Ireland and Healthy Ireland as part of the Irish Government’s ‘Keep Well’ campaign. The project is a collaboration with Blackwater Valley Opera Festival.

Speaking about the initiative and its positive impact within these communities, the founder and creative talent behind the project Gerald Peregrine (leading Irish Cellist) told Kilkenny Press:

“We are delighted to have played a part in bringing some happiness to these residents with, especially at a time when families are not in a position to visit loved ones and when the residents have lost access to occupational therapy such as music, arts and crafts.

“By the end of 2021, we hope to deliver over 600 concerts, leading to the employment of 80 musicians, and have high hopes for the future with plans to nationalise this programme in partnership with the HSE from 2022 onwards.”

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