Arts Council of Northern Ireland

The Funding and Development Agency
for The Arts in Northern Ireland

028 9262 3555

Latest News
Browse Archive

£494,000 public funding awarded to musicians to help develop talent

Wednesday 27th January 2021 at 4pm 0 Comments

Kieran Leonard, freelance percussionist, timpanist, drummer and Irish Music specialist. Recipient of Musical Instruments Scheme award 2021 Image: Kieran Leonard, freelance percussionist, timpanist, drummer and Irish Music specialist. Recipient of Musical Instruments Scheme award 2021

Musical groups, bands and musicians across Northern Ireland are celebrating this week, with news they are set to receive funding to help upgrade worn out instruments and purchase new ones. Sixty-nine awards have been made and among those set to benefit are schools groups, community choirs, marching and brass bands, and individual professional musicians.

The Arts Council of Northern Ireland is providing the funding worth £494,000 under its Musical Instruments Scheme. Thanks to capital investment from the Department for Communities, the scheme, set up to increase the quality of music making in Northern Ireland, offers grants to a range of professional and non-professional musicians and groups.

There are three strands to the funding. Under Programme One: Musical Instruments for Bands, twenty-four bands are set to benefit, including:
The Church Hill Sliver Band, county Fermanagh, with a strong youth programme and good regional performance success, received £9,815 towards a mix of cornets, trombone and drums. While The Strabane Brass Band, county Tyrone, received £10,000 towards the purchase of cornets which will contribute to their strong youth development programme, tuition and expansion of repertoire.

Under Programme Two: Professional and Non-Professional Performing Groups, thirty-three awards have been offered, including grants for:
Dunseverick Primary School in Bushmills, county Antrim, which received £6,030 towards instruments for their Harp ensemble; this extraordinary small, rural primary school has managed to build an enthusiastic group of young harpists who, with tutoring from Katy Graham of the Causeway Harp School, are committed to keeping the tradition of Irish harping alive on the beautiful Causeway coast and glens. 

While under Programme Three, twelve Individual Professional Performing Musicians will receive support, including:
Kieran Leonard, a freelance percussionist, timpanist, drummer & Irish Music specialist from Enniskillen, Co.Fermanagh. Educated at Trinity Laban Conservatoire of Music & Dance, London, he is very active on the both the Irish & UK orchestral scene, working regularly with English National Opera and the Philharmonia Orchestra as well as the Ulster Orchestra (Guest Principal Timpani & Percussion), RTÉ National Symphony Orchestra (Guest Principal Timpani). If that wasn’t enough, he is one of the world’s leading exponents of the Bodhrán, his solo film credits include, Academy Award winning composer John Powell’s ‘How to Train Your Dragon 2’ soundtrack and ‘How to Train Your Dragon 3’. 

Ciaran Scullion, Head of Music at the Arts Council of Northern Ireland, commented:  “Northern Ireland has a fine history of musicianship, one which is celebrated all over the world. Today’s  funding announcement will go a long way in supporting that legacy, benefitting so many performers across a broad range of genres including classical, jazz, traditional, contemporary and electronic.

Communities Minister, Deirdre Hargey said: “The Arts Council’s Musical Instruments Scheme supports players at all stages of their musical journey, from those just starting out, through to highly skilled professional musicians and non-professional groups and bands, ensuring their skills can continue to grow and that our musicians have everything they need to reach their full potential as players and performers.

“This programme makes a significant contribution to the quality of music and musicianship here.  It supports our professionals and our talented youth and recognises the vital role that amateur bands and players have in our rich musical heritage. The importance of music and the wider arts sector is appreciated now perhaps more than ever and I am delighted to continue to support this very practical measure.”

List of Awards for Programme 1: Musical Instruments for Bands

List of Awards for Programme 2: Professional and Non-professional Performing Groups

List of Awards for Programme 3: Individual Professional Performing Individuals




Comments (0)

Add Your Comment
Commenting is not available in this channel entry.