19 May 2022

World class artists set to bring joy to Kilkenny hospital and care home residents

Mobile Music Machine 'Covid Care Concerts' 2021 is here from next week


The live ‘Covid Care Concerts’ feature everything from Bach to Beethoven and The Beatles to Abba, as well as traditional Irish music and more in-between

World class artists will bring joy and music to the residents of Kilkenny hospital settings and residential care homes next week as part of Mobile Music Machine’s ‘Covid Care Concerts’ series.

The series, which starts on April 19, is a partnership with Kilkenny County Council as part of their Creative Ireland / Creative Kilkenny programme, funded by Age Friendly Ireland. World class singer and musicians Sandra Oman, Paula O’ Hanlon, Aoife
Durning and Aura Stone will delight residents, patients and staff with a wonderful selection of music and entertainment.

The live ‘Covid Care Concerts’ feature everything from Bach to Beethoven and The Beatles to Abba, as well as traditional Irish music and more in-between, usually finishing with We’ll Meet Again by Vera Lynn. All of the 40 musicians and singers who have taken part to date approach these performances as if they are taking to revered, world-famous stages. 

Performers have been delighted to experience the joy that they are bringing to these communities - some of their intimate audiences have included residents living with Alzheimer’s and dementia joining in and singing along.

These concerts are part of a national series of concerts where a host of renowned musicians have been bringing joy to the residents of hospital settings and care homes as part of Mobile Music Machine’s ‘Covid Care Concerts’. To date 350 live classical music concerts, across 13 counties, have been performed safely in their gardens since launching in June 2020.

Ireland’s finest classical musicians have been joined by world-class talent who perform at the highest level from Opera singers to traditional - the sensational live classical concerts have featured incredible performances from Anthony Kearns, Des Keogh, Celine Byrne, Iarla Ó Lionáird, Claudia Boyle, Emmet Cahill, Sandra Oman, Sibéal, Seán Keane, Orla Fallon, Niall O Sullivan, Simon Morgan and Gavan Ring amongst others.

The pilot project is the largest arts and health intervention supported in response to the pandemic and is funded by the HSE. In 2021, Mobile Music Machine are aiming to deliver a further 250 concerts with the support of Age Friendly Ireland and Healthy Ireland as part of the Irish government’s ‘Keep Well’ campaign. The project is also a collaboration with Blackwater Valley Opera Festival.

Speaking about the initiative and its positive impact within these communities, the founder and creative talent behind the project Gerald Peregrine (leading Irish Cellist) said:

“We are delighted to have played a part in bringing some happiness to these residents with our ‘Covid Care Concerts’, especially at a time when families are not in a position to visit their loved ones and when the residents have lost access to all their occupational therapy such as music, arts and crafts," she said.

"By the end of 2021, we hope to deliver over 600 concerts, leading to the employment of 80 musicians, and have high hopes for the future with plans to nationalise this programme in partnership with the HSE from 2022 onwards spreading cheer
around the country”.

The ‘Covid Care Concert’ series is the most comprehensive live arts programme currentlyactive in Ireland. As a project in response to the pandemic, it is unique in its size and reach  within a global context. Mobile Music Machine’s ‘Covid Care Concerts’ is an initiative created by cellist Gerald Peregrine, in response to the Covid-19 pandemic in collaboration with Creative Ireland, Age Friendly Ireland and Blackwater Valley Opera Festival.

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