I am very pleased to have been asked to act as Patron for Galway School of Music, Maoin Cheoil na Gaillimhe. Throughout my career I have been a strong advocate for the development of music nationally, but in particular in relation to Galway. I have had the great pleasure of performing to audiences in Galway over the years, and worked to help many of the teachers, so I am keenly aware that there is a great love of music here.
This city has such a vibrant and diverse artistic culture, that the absence of a developed music infrastructure has, to date, been deeply felt. But I am happy to note how that is now undergoing a process of change. I was delighted to be a part of the advisory team that, earlier this year, advocated for a degree in music in NUIG. With Galway set to become European Capital of Culture in 2020, and the resultant spotlight this will throw upon the city’s artistic institutions, the need for space for a fully dedicated school of music in the city should be a priority.
It is with some satisfaction then that I note how Maoin Cheoil na Gaillimhe have laid out their agenda for the development of music across the city. Starting with early years learning and literacy programmes in primary schools, to later instrumental training, they have clear and particular ideas of how to build a strong demand for, and deliver quality music education. They have a network of international training and development programs to ensure that teaching standards are properly maintained and delivered to the students in their care. In short they have started something of quality and promise that deserves support and recognition at every level.
I, for one, am happy to offer my ongoing support and best wishes to all at Maoin Cheoil na Gaillimhe for the work they are doing.
John O’Conor PhD, DMus, MusD, FRIAM, LRAM, ARCM, LRSM
Artistic Director, Dublin International Piano Competition
Distinguished Artist in Residence, Professor of Music and Chair of the Piano Division, Shenandoah Conservatory at Shenandoah University, Winchester VA
Professor of Piano, Glenn Gould School at the Royal Conservatory of Music, Toronto
International Visiting Artist, Royal Irish Academy of Music, Dublin
Visiting Professor, Showa University of Music, Japan