An ensemble of five young traditional Irish musicians from the north-east region of Ireland represented the country’s national music education programme, Music Generation, at the United Nations (UN) Headquarters in New York City on 11 February 2020.
Mary Robinson (Chair of The Elders), António Guterres (UN Secretary General) and Bono (co-founder of the ONE Campaign) took part in the Irish Government’s launch of ‘The Drive For Five’, a global call to action for the education of adolescent girls.
The five young musicians who took part in the event originally came together through their membership of ‘Nós Nua – Louth Youth Folk Orchestra’, a collaborative initiative between Music Generation Louth and Comhaltas Ceoltóirí Éireann in Ireland’s north-east region.
Together with members of the UN Choir and the Pihcintu Multicultural Chorus – a choir of immigrant and refugee girls based in Portland, Maine – their performance rounded out the high profile launch event. Already the response to The Drive For Five campaign has been significant, receiving support from nations worldwide.
Ranging in age from 15-17, the five young musicians (Kerrianne McCardle, Flute, Evelyn McCaul, harp, Saoirse McGahern, bodhrán, Iarla McMahon, Uilleann pipes and Kim Poole, fiddle) performed before an audience 0f 500 guests, who included UN Secretary General António Guterres and UN Women Executive Director, Phumzile Mlambo-Ngcuka.
Each musician has previously been involved in various music programmes and initiatives led by Music Generation Louth and Comhaltas Ceoltóirí Éireann, including Nós Nua.
The musicians said:
‘We had the most amazing experience yesterday at the United Nations. It was an honour for us to represent Ireland and the young people of the world in advocating for every child and young person to have access to education. We are very grateful to everyone who made this possible for us, we will never forget.’
For full details of ‘The Drive for Five’ visit https://ireland.ie/drive-for-5/
Header photo: Music Generation Young Ambassadors perform at the Irish Government’s launch of The Drive For Five together with the UN Choir and members of the Pihcintu Chorus © Kim Haughton