Bill Whelan launches new scholarships in Limerick

Alan Owens

Reporter:

Alan Owens

RIVERDANCE composer Bill Whelan was the special guest at an event to mark the launch of a brand new initiative aiming to make music more accessible to young people from low income and marginalised sectors of society, held last week in Thomond Park.

RIVERDANCE composer Bill Whelan was the special guest at an event to mark the launch of a brand new initiative aiming to make music more accessible to young people from low income and marginalised sectors of society, held last week in Thomond Park.

The Limerick composer launched the Peter Dee Academy of Music Scholarship Programme, which will see 100 scholarships made available to suitable candidates, offering them a tailored three year musical training programme commencing this September. The initiative - which is being supported by Thomond Asset Management - will run under the tutelage of well known musician and composer Denis Carey, owner and manager of the Peter Dee Academy, which has been providing music tuition for almost 40 years, while Limerick FC chairman Patrick O’Sullivan will head up a trust established to operate the programme.

“We want to make music as accessible as possible, to as many people as possible,” said Mr Carey. “Learning music requires a great deal of dedication and practice and I strongly believe that learning music can have a hugely positive influence on young people, helping them to improve their social skills and aiding their long term educational development,” he explained.

Mr Carey said that to support the participants, the academy would be starting a fundraising drive to provide an instrument bank, which would require support from “local music and business sectors”.

Speaking at the launch, Mr Whelan noted that “children have been proven to open up to other channels of education on the back of musical education”, and commended the initiative for putting the programme in place.

John Loftus, Managing Director, Thomond Asset Management, said the company were “delighted to be getting behind such a worthwhile initiative”.

For full details on the programme, contact 061-310028.