Music school celebrates 20 years

By Gráinne McWilliams

THE Andersonstown Traditional & Contemporary Music School is appealing to former staff, students and local people to donate old photographs, videos, recordings and press articles of the school for a special archive exhibition.

The exhibition will form part of a programme of events that will mark the school’s 20th anniversary.

The programme includes a commemorative brochure, a CD of music performed by the school and a television documentary to be produced by NVTV.

The highlight of the 20th anniversary events will be a gala showcase concert of music performed by the school in early November to coincide with Belfast Music Week.  The venue for this eagerly-anticipated concert will be confirmed at a later date.

“Andersonstown Traditional & Contemporary Music School, against all the odds in this economic climate, is celebrating its 20th year of delivering music classes and performances within Andersonstown and throughout the city of Belfast,” said school Manager, Thomas ‘Maxi’ McElroy.

“An initiative of Belfast’s legendary and world-renowned Irish traditional fiddle player Seán Maguire, the school started in 1991 in Sarsfields GAA club in Stewartstown Avenue with only four classes per week in the tin whistle, fiddle, guitar and bodhrán.

 

Pupils

“Local demand determined growth, not only in West Belfast, but across the city,  and over the years we now deliver over 70 classes to approximately 800 pupils per week.

“The genre of music tuition expanded to include more contemporary musical styles beyond Irish traditional to accommodate rock, folk and classical styles where required. In 1998, we re-structured our classes and introduced a syllabus programme of accredited examination that has resulted in an exemplary pass rate of 99 per cent.

“Now in our 20th year, and on the back of our achievements, we are planning a  celebration that will appropriately coincide with the Belfast Music Week, and we plan to mark the occasion with a showcase concert early in November,” continued Maxi.

“As a community-based music organisation, and ambassadors of local community development, we have developed and formed working partnerships with other groups within the community that we hope will enable us to further this element of the school’s development in the future.”

If you would like to submit old photographs, recordings or articles to the Andersonstown Traditional & Contemporary Music School’s 20th anniversary archive exhibition, contact the school on 90434894 or 90 434 902, or on the mobile numbers 07754 592 111 or 07754 466 954.

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