A Year with MGCC 2023

It’s the most wonderful time of the year!! And an ideal time to reflect on all that has been achieved in the past 12 months!

All of these events below were collaborative programmes presented in partnership with a wide range of community and music education partners, including: GMCBeats & The Kabin Studio, Creative Tradition, Music Mash Up, Music in Community (MiC), The Hut Youth Project CDYS, Foróige, Cork Academy of Music, Barrack Street Band, Cork Community Gamelan (with UCC) and more.

This time last year we were still basking in the warm afterglow of our 10 year celebration concert at the Everyman! So let’s start there and we’ll take you on a chronological journey through the exciting events of the past year!


10th Birthday Celebrations! 

November 2022

On Nov 21st 2022, we were beyond proud to host a special concert at the Everyman Theatre celebrating 10 years of Music Generation Cork City. Young musicians and their musician educators performed a fantastic varied set to a full house on the night – including rock/pop, rap & hip hop, brass & wind and trad! Highlights on the night included:

  • Finale performance of the specially commissioned 10 year song ‘Music Gives Me a Reason’ – see HERE
  • Screening of our specially commissioned 10 year film (in four parts) – see HERE

For anyone who couldn’t attend on the night (or for those who would like to re-live it), we highly recommend listening to the song, watching the film, checking out the photo gallery below and reading the programme booklet to get a flavour of the magical atmosphere of the night and of MGCC as a whole! Free printed copies of the 10th birthday programme booklet are available by request from our office at Tramore Road campus – email musicgencorkcity@corketb.ie

PHOTOS – Click the image below to view our photo gallery from the night (photos by Clare Keogh):


‘Crazy World’ Performance & Video – A Gift to Christy Dignam

February 2023

In response to the sad news of Aslan’s Christy Dignam’s illness last January, children from School of the Divine Child and Scoil Ursula came together with their musician-educators Clodagh Kearney and Stephen Manning, film-maker Seán Downey and song producer Alex Brady , to create THIS beautiful version of ‘Crazy World’, as a special gift for Christy, sharing a message of friendship, solidarity and hope.

We were honoured to receive THIS beautiful response from Aslan guitarist Billy McGuinness a few days later.

This musical collaboration featuring Lámh sign language, was presented in partnership with Cork Academy of Music and Music Mash Up. Supported by the RTÉ Toy Show Appeal funds via the Community Foundation of Ireland.

We are so proud of this tribute to one of Ireland’s greatest ever songwriters and performers, and such a kind generous soul. Our deepest condolences to Christy’s family, friends and to Aslan .


Music at Mount Leinster 2023 

Feb 16th and 17th

We were delighted to be invited by our friends at Music Generation Carlow to send a group of young traditional musicians from Cork to participate in Music at Mount Leinster again this year. Jessie Cawley (director of Creative Tradition) & Claire Layton travelled with a group of boys from Club Ceoil Knocknaheeny and Scoil ĺosagáin, and they had a fantastic 2 days of traditional Irish music workshops and performances with fellow trad musicians from all across Ireland!


Cork’s Lifelong learning Festival 2023

27th March – 2nd April

This festival is an annual springtime treat in Cork! All across the city, doors are opened to workshops, events, performances and more – we look forward to this every year as it is such a lovely opportunity to showcase what is happening in each of the local settings!

Our programme for 2023 included 3 concerts (rock, pop and trad), 2 workshops (rap and gamelan) and a youth trad session – see the programme & partners HERE.


Next Level Hip-hop Camp

May 15th – 19th

Sometimes the most incredible unexpected opportunities come our way – and this was one of them! Through our partners at Cork City Council, we were invited to connect with the US Embassy to welcome the Next Level programme to Cork and to be associate producers on creating a week-long hip hop camp for teens and young adults.

Five Hip Hop artists from the USA led the Next Level programme: TRUTH (MC), Mike Manson That Be Dancin’ (Dancer), Akim Funk Buddha (Beatmaker), and Kaykay47 (DJ) together with site manager Dirty Digits, and were joined by Ireland’s finest – Ophelia McCabe. Full details of this cross-cultural creative exchange are HERE.

Presented by the US Embassy and Next Level/Meridian, with support in kind from Music Generation Cork City and Coláiste Stiofáin Naofa, College of FET Tramore Road Campus.

PHOTOS – Click the image below to view our photo gallery from the Next Level Performance at the Marina Market (photos by Clare Keogh):


One Day in May

21st May

Our friends in Music Generation Limerick City created a very special event in Dolan’s Warehouse (featuring 40 acts across 3 stages) to celebrate their 10th year, and invited young people from across Ireland to join them in celebrating this milestone!

Young people from Knocknaheeny, Gurranabraher and Mahon jumped at the opportunity to take part in collaborative improvisation workshops in the months prior, and on the day to share the stage with Denise Chaila and many more talented artists!

Well done to all who took part, and to MGLC for the invitation!


SongTales sa Spéir

June 8th and 9th

In June, we partnered with Ceol Connected to bring very special live outdoor performances to four school yards for the younger children (Junior infants to 2nd Class) – in Mahon, Togher, Greenmount and Farranree.

The SongTales musician team brought their pure joy and musical talent in spades, and delighted the children and staff alike! Take a look at THIS gorgeous video of the Senior Infants of Scoil Iosagain Farranree dancing to the music!



Release of ‘Music Gives Me a Reason’ Song & Music Video

June 9th

Friday 9th June saw the hotly anticipated release of ‘Music Gives Me a Reason’, a song and music video featuring young musicians from multiple Music Generation Cork City programmes, created to celebrate MGCC’s 10th birthday.

First performed live as the finale at our 10th birthday concert in the Everyman last November, the team came together in the months that followed to create this amazing recording and music video!

Co-written and produced by Garry McCarthy (GMCBeats), Rory McGovern and Alex Brady from the Kabin Studio together with hip hop group Misneach, the Kabin Crew and more, this is a brilliantly catchy fun song, with definite feel-good vibes! The music video created by Seán Downey @swaniguess is a slick pop of colour and energy from start to finish!

OUT NOW! ‘Music Gives Me a Reason’ is available to stream/download on all major platforms including Spotify, Apple Music and more. With official music video on YouTube (below)!

Full info here https://musicgenerationcorkcity.com/mgmar/


Rock the Block

June 10th

‘Rock the Block’ was a full-day musical takeover of Elizabeth Fort, celebrating Cruinniú na nÓg 2023, presented by Rhyme Island, Cork City Council, GMCBeats and Music Generation Cork City. Supported by Creative Ireland.

The day-long festival featured live performances on stage, screenings, rap & beats workshops, art/printmaking, food and facepainting. Groups came to perform from all across Cork and Ireland (including from Northern Ireland through the Shared Island initiative).

Well done to all involved – what an incredible day it was! See full details HERE!

PHOTOS – Click the image below to view our photo gallery from the night (photos by Claire Ryan):


Fusion Avenue

June 17th

Fusion Avenue was an epic high-energy youth culture take-over at Marina Park! Inspired by hip-hop, rap, beatbox, spoken word and Afro beats, this all-ages block party was a vibrant celebration of creativity, identity, and inspirational youth music, with brand new music performances and DJ sets. Presented Music Generation Cork City, The Kabin Studio, Cork Migrant Centre and Cork Midsummer Festival.

The teens involved worked with Kate Donnachie of Battersea Beatbox Academy, choreographer/art director Andrea Williams, spoken word artist/songwriter Raphael Olympio and The Kabin Studio legends Garry McCarthy (GMCBeats), Caoimhe Barry and Alex Brady to create their new songs, raps and dance performances.

For more info see: https://www.corkmidsummer.com/whats-on/fusion-avenue and check out this video HERE and a selection of more photos and videos HERE!

This project was part of the Creative Europe and The Arts Council funded BEyond PARTicipation, exploring methodologies and possibilities of participatory co- creation and co-funded by Music Generation / Arts Council and the Department of Education’s Creativity and Collaboration Fund, Here Comes the Sun.


Féile Fearann Rí

June 19th – 23rd

This was the most special week in Farranree!!

What a privilege it was to welcome festival headliner & artist in residence Liam Ó Maonlaí to Cork to share his unique, immersive and inclusive brand of magic! He stole the crowds hearts & lifted their spirit at concerts in Farranree Church and Hollyhill Library.

Féile Fearann Rí was the first-ever trad and folk music festival on Cork’s northside. Presented by Creative Tradition, Scoil Íosagáin, Music Generation Cork City, Musical Neighbourhoods, local schools, community groups and Farranree Parish.

This exceptional 5-day festival featured workshops, rehearsals, sessions, recitals, and concerts, showcasing the community spirit and musical culture of the northside.

We are looking forward to next year’s Féile already!

For full details, photos and the 2023 festival programme, see: https://www.creativetradition.ie/feile



Summer Camps

July 2023

This year’s summer programme saw the annual return of TradCamp, BandCamp, Music Mash Up camps and The Kabin Studio camps!

  • BandCamp (presented by Barrack Street Band, Cork Academy of Music & MGCC) welcomed young brass, wind and percussion players from across Cork city and county for 4 days of creative music-making, culminating in a fantastic concert for a large audience of family and friends at Cork College of FET Tramore Road Campus.
  • TradCamp featured 4 fun days of traditional Irish music making for young musicians of all levels, and was presented by Creative Tradition in partnership with MGCC and supported by Cork Academy of Music. We were delighted to welcome special guests Boston City Singers this year for a beautiful sharing of song and dance!
  • Music Mash Up week-long camps took place in both Hollyhill and Mayfield (in partnership with Foróige and Cork ETB Youth Services), offering young people (aged 10 – 18) the opportunity to build confidence on their chosen instrument, to create rock/pop music together as a group and perform on the last day of camp!
  • GMCBeats and The Kabin Studio hosted 3 summer camps for children and teens this year in partnership with MGCC, packed full of rapping, hip-hop, beat-making, song-writing, recording and performing!

Culture Night 2023

22nd September

Culture Night is always an annual highlight for MGCC, and a great way to kick off the new academic year each September!

This year’s line up of events featured 2 concerts (at the Kabin Studio & Nano Nagle Place), 3 workshops and an open trad session and jam. Full info here : https://musicgenerationcorkcity.com/culture-night-2023/

Presented by Music Generation Cork City in partnership with Cork Migrant Centre GMCBeats The Kabin Studio Cork Creative Tradition Musical Neighbourhoods Cork City Libraries Cork City Council Culture Night Cork Community Gamelan Music At UCC Nano Nagle Place Music Generation Ireland


Cork Jazz Festival

28th October

This year’s Cork Jazz Festival saw the introduction of the new stage at Elizabeth Fort to the schedule!

A trio of jazz enthusiasts from The Hut Youth Project CDYS treated the crowds to their fantastic set of jazz numbers on the Saturday of the festival (see video below)! Performers from The Kabin Studio, GMCBeats and more from the Hut also took to the stage.

We also worked with one of the festival jazz bands to form a very special collaboration – which we will reveal more about in the new year – so stay tuned for more on that!

Sophia on the RTÉ Late Late Toy Show

24th Nov

We are so proud of Sophia ‘Sombrero’ from The Kabin Studio who performed on this year’s Toy Show – she lit up TV screens across the country with her confidence, energy and pure joy!

She also shared a very inspiring personal message a few days later in her new song called ‘Hiccup’ where she raps about her experience on the Toy Show, encouraging people to express their feelings when they face challenges: “If you mess up, and your whole world shatters, take a step back, look at what really matters”.

Such an important message, well done Sophia, you truly are the comeback queen! There will be no stopping you in what you can achieve!

In recent years, other Toy Show performers from Music Generation Cork City have included Rebel Brass, MC Tiny, Jamie the King, Coben MC Sparky & Greenmount NS, and also we are very grateful to have been beneficiaries of the Toy Show Appeal Funds.

Christmas Performances

December 2023

This year, we were delighted to be invited to perform at SOLAS – a brand new stage and immersive experience of light and sound celebrating Christmas presented by Cork City Council! MGCC performances take place on the Solas Stage on Dec 1st and 10th – See full details HERE.

Music Mash Up juniors from Mayfield will perform at the Cork ETB Youth Services ‘Voices in Harmony’ concert  on 6th December with the Local Creative Youth Partnership, led by Cork Academy of Music. This Christmas concert will feature songs sung by Ukrainian adult and youth choirs, Sauti Studio, Youth groups and choirs from Foróige projects in Mayfield and Fermoy, CAM Youth Choir and more.

The annual Lord Mayor’s Gala Christmas Concert took place on Saturday, December 2, in Cork City Hall. The Christmas Concert is a charity event, and this year the Lord Mayor Councillor Kieran McCarthy has chosen St Vincent de Paul, Féileacáin, and Music Generation Cork City as the charity beneficiaries. As a not-for-profit organisation, we are most grateful for the support and all monies raised will go towards supporting our ongoing performance music education projects in youth services, schools and communities around the city. 

MGCC students will also take part in their local school Christmas concerts across the city too in great style!

2023 – That’s a wrap!!

So there’s a quick run down of all of our 2023 events, and that is all ON TOP OF all the incredible work that takes place every week in schools and community settings across the city! Well done to every single child and young person involved, to all of our funders, supporters, and to all of our incredible musician-educators and providers who work together to make these events happen!


A Year with MGCC 2023 – Music Generation Cork City