By Fiona Lee
One of Ireland’s best-loved musicians, Sharon Shannon, along with guitarist Jim Murray, will open NUI Galway’s 2021 Arts in Action programme with a free concert online on Wednesday, 17th February at 1pm.
The event will also launch her new partnership with NUI Galway’s Music degree.
The concert will celebrate Shannon’s musical virtuosity as well as the future potential arising from her future relationships with NUI Galway’s music students, as the next generation of emerging artists.
Ms. Shannon will deliver a series of masterclasses that look at different facets of the creation, performance, and production of traditional Irish music alongside her long-time collaborator, Irish American fiddle player, Win Horan.
These masterclasses will be used as part of the teaching of traditional music modules within the new BA in Music.
Sharon and Jim will follow up the masterclasses with six live workshops per year, in which they will discuss traditional Irish music directly with the students.
This will be the first Arts in Action programme following the death of the programme’s founding director and curator, Mary McPartlan, an accomplished folk singer and educator who died last April.
To celebrate her memory, the theme of this limited 2021 programme is ‘art as legacy’, and will feature traditional and classical music, drama, performance, and literary-focused events.
Speaking about the new partnership with NUI Galway and Arts in Action programme, Sharon Shannon, said,
“I’m delighted to be involved with the Music Department and I am really excited about sharing my music with the students at NUI Galway via the online masterclass series we have developed. It’s also a great honour to perform along with Jim Murray in celebrating Arts in Action in 2021 and to help re-launch the late Mary McPartlan’s great series.”
The entire programme will be presented online free of charge, providing viewers nationally and internationally a chance to share in this unique Arts in Action programme.
The programme will have a wide range of art forms and artists to showcase the diversity of the creative arts at NUI Galway, including the work of the staff. The line-up includes: Máirtín O’Connor, Seamie O’Dowd and Cathal Hayden; Sean Ryan, Mick Crehan and Greg Cotter; Leah Redmond, soprano and Dearbhla Collins, piano, and Simon Mawhinney in association with Music for Galway.
Head of Music at NUI Galway, Dr Aidan Thomson, says: “I am thrilled that our Music students will have the opportunity to work with a musician of the calibre of Sharon Shannon.
“Galway has a rich history of traditional music, and it is wonderful that one of its greatest exponents should be able to share her expertise with our students, and in turn greatly enhance their learning. The next three years will be a very exciting time for the BA in Music.”
The programme will also include a theatre production of Sacrificial Wind Revival in memory of Mary McPartlan, and RTÉ broadcaster Vincent Woods in conversation with traditional Irish musician, Mick Moloney in ‘Green Fields and Granite Songs’.
To attend the free live streamed Arts in Action events, log on to www.eventbrite.ie and search for ‘Arts in Action Sharon Shannon’.