2021 with MGCC

2021 – A Year with Music Generation Cork City

2021 – What a year! Our team and young people have proved that nothing can stop them from making music! Where there is a will there is a way. As well as returning to live teaching for the vast majority of our programmes in September 2021 (having been online for 18 months), we were also very proud to present a range of LIVE performances!

Special thanks to everyone involved for making all of this happen throughout the year!

Here are some of the highlights from 2021:

The focus in the Spring was still on making music together – remotely! Out team got creative with online platforms such as Zoom, Soundtrap and more. Here are some of the fantastic music projects that came out of that time:

  • The Island of Woods
    • Presented by Creative Tradition, this was a traditional Irish music project featuring 24 musicians and over 50 young visual artists from programmes across MGCC, working remotely. In partnership with Cork Academy of Music. For full info click here.
  • Believe in Yourself
    • A gorgeous new song and video by Athrú Collective, created remotely, featuring musicians from multiple MGCC programmes. Find out more and watch the video here.
  • Virtual performances for St. Patrick’s Day
    • Barrack Street Band and Mahon Community Concert Band celebrated St. Patrick’s Day in style with this recording of a virtual performance of ‘School Spirit’.
  • Beekeeping Project
    • The students and staff of Cork City Learning Support Services (CCLSS) created this great video about their rooftop urban beekeeping project, and the soundtrack was composed by the students of CCLSS with their MGCC music tutors Joe Philpott and Rory McGovern (all done remotely online) – well done all!


We were beyond excited to get back to live in-person events last summer! These are the wide range events that took place throughout the summer:

  • Throwing Shapes
    • Throwing Shapes is a short documentary style film, which depicts the stories of 7 young Cork artists as they find creative ways to express themselves through Hip Hop. We were very proud to premiere this as part of Cork Midsummer Festival 2021. Co-produced by GMCBeats at the Kabin Studio, Graffiti Theatre Company, Cork Midsummer Festival and Music Generation Cork City with support from Arts Council Ireland/An Chomhairle Ealaíon and Cork City Council’s Arts in Context fund. Click here for more details and to watch the Throwing Shapes trailer.
  • Cruinniú na nÓg
    • We were delighted to present online traditional Irish music workshops (with Cork Academy of Music) and songwriting/beats workshops (with GMCBeats), and a live episode of the Hapnin’ podcast (also online) for to mark Cruinniú na nÓg 2021. Full details here.
  • Non-Fire Night
    • A live stream from the Kabin Studio with the Hapnin’ Podcast and Stevie G took place for NonFire Night! Check out the cool poster and details here.
  • Flute performance (virtual) with Sir James and Lady Jeanne Galway
    • In July, our young flautists from Cork Academy of Music and Barrack Street Band joined flautists from all across Ireland to perform in this very special virtual performance with Sir James and Lady Jeanne Galway, presented and delivered by the Galway Flute Academy in partnership with Music Generation.
  • Summer Music Camps
    • All of our summer camps returned to live in-person settings in 2021, which we were very excited about! Camps included rock & pop, rap & beats, brass & wind, singing and traditional Irish music – see the full list here!
  • Lose Yourselves in Hope
    • On August 6th, the talented young people of Mahon Community Pop Academy released their debut single ‘Lose Yourselves in Hope’ = a fantastic song and video! Check it out here.
  • The Toy Show Appeal – Funding (and gorgeous video to day thank you)
    • In June, we received the amazing news that MGCC was one of the successful grant applicants from the inaugural RTE Toy Show Appeal, via the Community Foundation of Ireland. The funding has been awarded to fund an action research and development project to partner with groups that work with marginalised children. Details here. Also in December, this gorgeous video was produced by Sean Downey at The Kabin Studio on our behalf to say a huge thank you to the Toy Show Appeal and the Community Foundation of Ireland!


As well as making a return to live in-person teaching in the Autumn, the team were all busy with these amazing projects too!

  • Culture Night
    • Culture Night saw a mix of in-person and online events taking place, with everything from film screenings to music workshops, open rehearsals and a live episode of the Hapnin’ podcast. Full details here!
  • ‘We can all become Food Heroes’ – by The Kabin Studio
    • This fantastic catchy song and video is the biggest project to have ever emerged from The Kabin Studio, and was produced for the UN Junior World Food Day in October. Whilst this isn’t an MGCC project, we wanted to include it here to celebrate the work of our partners at GMCBeats and The Kabin Studio. (Song by Garry McCarthy and video by Seán Downey).
  • Cork Folk Fest
    • To celebrate Cork Folk Fest 2021, a group of trad musicians of all ages from Creative Tradition and Cork Academy of Music came together for this lovely trad session at Test Site in Cork City.
  • ‘Optimism’ harp collaboration for Lá na Cruite
    • To mark Lá na Cruite (Harp Day) 2021 in October, harper Donnchadh Hughes, Harp Ireland and the Kabin Studio/GMCBeats came together to write and record this gorgeous original piece ‘Optimism’ – treat yourself and watch the video here!


What an unbelievably exciting Winter we had – with the Toy Show, Ed Sheeran, Glow and more!!

  • TG4 – Mo Shaol Do Shaol
    • In November, our wonderful young musicians from Mahon Community Hub, along with their tutor William Kearney, played incredible supporting roles in making Cathal’s ‘Mo Shaol Do Shaol’ challenge on TG4 come through – ar fheabhas gach duine! View the episode online here.
  • Barrack Street Band at Cork Airport
    • Cork Airport celebrated the opening of their new runway in style with Barrack Street Band (and youth band members) performing live on site – see them in action here!
  • The RTE Late Late Toy Show
    • What a night!! On Friday Nov 26th, dreams came true for 6 of our young MGCC musicians! Coben and Jamie from The Kabin Studio and Mia, Emily, Evan and Jay from Greenmount N.S. performed live on TV with Ed Sheeran! And he gave each of them tickets for them and their families to attend his upcoming concert in Páirc Uí Caoimh. Coben and Jamie even got to do a rap for Ed and play a game of Pencil Nose with him! Well done all, ye were amazing! This article on Cork Beo sums up the excitement!
  • GLOW on the GO! 2021
    • On Friday 10th December 2021 we brought music to parks, 10 schools, shopping centres, residential homes and libraries in our local communities, to spread Christmas cheer through music with Glow on the Go, our offering as part of GLOW, A Cork Christmas Celebration. This short video produced by Seán Downey and Alex Brady at the Kabin (MGCC alumni) gives you a real flavour of the events, which were supported by Cork City Council and Bus Éireann.
  • New Christmas song: ‘Santa’s Still Coming to Town’
    • “The Kabin Studio to me is everything that is beautiful about community and kindness”– Ryan Tubridy

RTÉ Radio 1’s Ryan Tubridy Show talking to Maura Fennessy, the wonderful principal of St Mary’s on the Hill NS Knocknaheeny and superstar Coben Cullen– listen in from 31mins in, discussing their original new Christmas Song, ‘Santa’s Still Coming to Town’,  written and performed by the children of St Mary’s on the Hill N.S. with GMC Beats at the Kabin, which featured on RTÉ’s Christmas Day Home School Hub Special : https://youtu.be/m_fUtbnu2hU

“Christmas Dinner with the gang, pull the cracker make it bang. Roast potatoes they be grand, turkey stuffing gravy ham.”


 What an incredible year! And we’re looking forward to making more magical music happen in 2022. Happy new year!


2021 with MGCC – Music Generation Cork City