From Monday 14th March to Thursday 17th March, music, song and dance filled Manchester Town Hall and Wythenshawe Forum Theatre to celebrate the Manchester Irish Festival 2016.
This annual event organised by One Education Music is supported by the Irish Youth Foundation and was a resounding success with over 1000 young people taking part.
The celebration offers the opportunity to take part in traditional Irish music, song and dance workshops followed by a lively fleadh with all of the children joining in with singing and dancing, as well as watching performances from some of the schools involved. The event builds the confidence and self-esteem of pupils of Irish heritage in addition to sharing this rich culture with other children.
Charlotte Earley, Music Co-ordinator Button Lane
Since attending for the first time last year we have been inspired in our own music at school and eagerly anticipate the festival every year.
Audience participation was prominent throughout – singing classics such as The Star of the County Down, Dirty Old Town and The Fields of Athenry accompanied by a professional live band who work for One Education Music or local schools, teaching thousands of children and young people in schools across the region.
Thanks to Angela Durcan for organising and leading the fleadhs, Richard Sanderson for organising the Wythenshawe Forum event and the talented musicians – Dave Thom, Sean Cartwright, Riaghnach Connolly, Nicky McCallan, Lazslo Palko, Mairead Hussey and Charlotte Earley.
Mylene McGuire, Headteacher St Mary’s RC
This is what primary education is about.
Great performances were given by pupils at all of the events including the largest youth ceilidh band in Manchester formed of pupils from St Edmund’s RC, St Catherine’s RC and St Mary’s RC primary schools and the newly formed Wythenshawe Irish Music Collective featuring Button Lane and Sandilands primary schools.
The feedback from schools has been excellent about all aspects of the event including the beautiful venue, accessible and brilliant workshops, great variety in the fleadh and an excellent performance element.