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Knockavoe pupils get ready for a ‘brass-tastic’ performance at the Alley

04 June 2018

This Thursday evening (7 June) pupils from Knockavoe School will be taking to the Alley Theatre stage alongside Strabane Brass Band and The Brass Works with a fantastic ‘Bringing Music to Life’ show.

The ‘Bringing Music to Life’ project has been funded through collaboration with the TADA festival – an accessible disability arts initiative supported by Derry City & Strabane District Council and Public Health Agency through the ‘Access and Inclusion Project’.  

Grainne Dunn from Knockavoe School explains: “Since February 2018, ten pupils at Knockavoe aged 10-19 have been learning to play brass instruments and percussion under the tutelage of Strabane Brass Band and with the support of the TADA Festival and Ulster Orchestra.

“The pupils have really enjoyed this amazing experience with their tutors Ronan, Bob, Ciaran and Gerry – learning to play the instruments, read music and perform in an ensemble. They have really embraced this new opportunity and their positive attitudes towards learning and their smiles as they come down the corridor to attend their music classes have been dazzling.

“The lessons have taken place in the library and the VP whose office is next door says they are too good not to be heard!  Indeed, the improvements made by the students in such a short time has been extraordinary – and they are really looking forward to performing for the wider community on Thursday evening in the Alley Theatre as part of a showcase of local talent.

“It really has been a privilege for the pupils of Knockavoe to participate in this fantastic project. Not only have they developed and enhanced their musical abilities but they have also had the opportunity to participate in this wonderful showcase for the wider community. Because of their participation in the TADA project the pupils have also been invited to join with their mainstream peers in another local music project in Strabane on Wednesday evenings – The Brass Works.

“Brass Works was the brainchild of local teacher Amanda Mc Ginley as part of her final year project. Indeed, Amanda is currently teaching in Knockavoe School and has been instrumental in involving the pupils in musical activities within the wider community.”

Amanda McGinley commented: “It has been a fabulous achievement for pupils at Knockavoe to be able to learn the instruments and read music in such a short time. I am really excited for everyone to see their progression on Thursday night at what promises to be an excellent event!”

Tommy Barr from Strabane Brass Band added: “We are so proud of all the hard work that the pupils have put in – indeed, the progress they have made is outstanding!  Thank you to all the children, The Brass Works, all of the tutors and Louise Boyce, Access and Inclusion Officer from Derry City and Strabane District Council for all their support. 

“The audience on Thursday evening are in for a real treat as Strabane Brass Band, The Brass Works and pupils from Knockavoe will play an array of beautiful ensembles. Other highlights of the night will include ‘The Musical Pathways’, ‘Play Percussion’ and ‘Frienteenz’.

“So I would encourage people to please come along, show your support and have a wonderful evening of great music!”

The show starts at 7.30pm, tickets are £5, £3 (con) available from the Alley Theatre Box Office on 028 71 384444 or online www.alley-theatre.com