As a tribute to Ireland’s frontline heroes, every adult and child in Ireland is invited to perform Ode to Joy (Óid don Lúcháire), the European Anthem, on their doorstep on European Music Day on Sunday, June 21.
To launch the tribute, some of Ireland’s finest musicians and singers will perform Ode to Joy streamed live from the steps of the National Concert Hall, Dublin at 6pm. Once this is finished, the nation’s musicians and music lovers will then be called on to perform their own tribute to all our frontline workers within their local communities, while maintaining physical distancing. Participants are also asked to share their performance live on social media with the hashtag #OdeToJoyIE.
Over 30 national organisations around Ireland, curated by Professor James Cavanagh, will collaborate for this countrywide event. Together they are coordinating their members and hoping to involve as many of Ireland’s 600,000 instrumentalists, singers, dancers and performers as possible in this unique, live musical moment.
New lyrics to accompany Beethoven’s Ode to Joy have been penned especially for the tribute by Catherine Ann Cullen, Poetry Ireland Poet-in-Residence.
Music and musicians have continued to play an important role in Irish life during the Covid-19 pandemic, with many people regularly turning to online performances as a source of comfort and hope. In bringing the nation together in this live midsummer tribute, Ireland’s musicians invite everyone to take a moment to acknowledge all of those at the frontline, while looking forward to brighter and more joyful times ahead.
With the anticipated participation of tens of thousands of children and young people in the event, the Ode to Joy tribute will also salute and give voice to children who have been missing the joy of friends, grandparents and school over the past months.
Music and arts organisations are actively invited to get involved. Those already participating include Chamber Choir Ireland, Children's Choir Ireland, CIT Cork School of Music, Comhaltas Ceoltóirí Éireann, Dublin Youth Orchestras, Galway 2020 European Capital of Culture, Irish Association of Brass and Concert Bands, Irish Association of Youth Orchestras, Irish Chamber Orchestra, Music Generation, Music Network, National Concert Hall, Dublin, National Youth Orchestra of Ireland, Poetry Ireland, Royal Irish Academy of Music, RTÉ Concert Orchestra, RTÉ lyric fm, RTÉ National Symphony Orchestra, Sing Ireland, Sligo Academy of Music, St Agnes Community Centre for Music and the Arts, The Band of An Gárda Síochána, The Defence Forces School of Music, TU Dublin Conservatoire of Music and the list continues to grow.
How to get involved
Performers of all ages are invited to perform Ode to Joy in whatever style they like from their doorsteps or public green areas or parks - musicians, singers, actors, poets or dancers! Help the celebration come to life online by live streaming your performance with the hashtag #OdeToJoyIE
All genres and styles are welcome, from Jazz to Classical, Traditional to Pop, Rock and Rap. The sheet music has been arranged as a simple line of music so that everyone, from beginners to the most advanced professionals, can join in this special dedication. And if you cannot play an instrument you can sing! And if you prefer not to sing, recite poetry! Whatever you can – do.