Music Capital Scheme Awards €189,000 for New Musical Instruments

Music Capital Scheme Awards €189,000 for New Musical Instruments

Sing Out With Strings, Matthew Noone and Neil O’Connor among those awarded funding under the Scheme.

Music Network have announced the details of the Music Capital Scheme, with funding totalling €189,000 going to performing groups and musicians from across the country.

The Music Capital Scheme, which is managed by Music Network and funded by the Department of Arts, Heritage, Regional, Rural and Gaeltacht Affairs, supports the purchase of musical instruments. The Scheme is in two strands, the first for non-professional performing groups and the second for professional musicians.

This year, €125,000 has been awarded to 22 non-professional performing groups, including music schools such as the Cork ETB School of Music, community music initiatives such as Coole Music & Arts, and ensembles such as the Major Minors Junior Orchestra and Royal Meath Accordion Orchestra. The Irish Chamber Orchestra’s Sing Out With Strings project, a free music education programme inspired by El Sistema, received €13,061.50 towards the purchase of instruments.

Speaking to The Journal of Music. Kathrine Barnecutt, Education and Outreach Officer for the Irish Chamber Orchestra, said the impact of the Music Capital scheme award has been immeasurable. Last year they purchased six double basses, five cellos and twenty violas that have enabled them to take on a more diverse repertoire, but they also need to replenish much of their old stock.

After 8 years teaching 300 children the violin 2/3 times a week, the strings and bows have become particularly exhausted, drastically affecting the quality of the sound. This award will allow us to acquire better quality stringed instruments which are essential to support children progressing to study at a higher level. In addition, we will purchase a portable stage piano to accompany the growing number of children studying for exams, for performances citywide and for our song-writing programme.  Receiving this award has been nothing short of transformative.

New synthesiser ensemble
In the professional performers strand, a total of €64,000 was awarded for a wide variety of instruments, including violin bows (Liam O’Connor, Patrick Joseph Rafter, David Doocey), uilleann pipes (Maitiú Ó Casaide), Irish harps (Laoise Kelly and Eilís Lavelle) and even an electroacoustic 
sarode (Matthew Noone). Composer/electronic musician Neil O’Connor received funding to purchase a modular synthesiser.

It’s a Make Music System Cartesian Modular Synthesizer. It’s capable of several types of synthesis: subtractive, additive, FM, phase modulation, ring modulation, amplitude modulation and more, often simultaneously. I plan on using it to enhance my live performance, particularly for improvistions with other modular synthesizer performers and hope to form an ensemble around this: the group is called TME (Temporary Modular Ensemble). The first show is in Fumbally Stables,  Friday May 19th, supporting Matthew Nolan.

For full details of all of the Music Capital Scheme awardees, visit

Published on 3 May 2017

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