'Global Citizens Together’: A Per Cent for Art Scheme at Scoil San Phroinsias N.S

Introduction from Principal Kieran Tierney and former Principal Mary Dillon.

Global Citizens Together is a collection of five new pieces of music and song created by the students of Scoil San Phroinsias N.S, Tirellan in Galway city, presented in five music videos. Each piece explores global citizenship from the perspective of the Scoil San Phroinsias community.

This ambitious project was funded by the Department of Education and Skills’ Per Cent for Art Scheme, and delivered by Wall2Wall Music in association with Music Generation Galway City and the Contemporary Music Centre, Ireland, with support from Galway City Council Arts Office. This was a year-long project involving the entire school, which started in November 2019 and was due to end in June 2020 with a big performance in the Black Box Theatre in Galway city.

Creating during Covid–19

The Covid–19 lockdown happened only one week after Wall2Wall Music’s last workshop with the students in March. Everyone was disappointed that the music would not be performed on stage as originally planned. Not wanting the students’ hard work to go to waste, Wall2Wall Music, Scoil San Phroinsias and project partners Music Generation Galway City and the Contemporary Music Centre came up with alternative ways of showcasing and celebrating the new music that had been composed by the students during the school year.

Wall2Wall Music created a lockdown project, sending backing tracks to the students and getting them to record themselves singing the songs they had created in the workshops. Piecing together footage and photos taken over the course of the workshops, they created five new music videos and recordings, which became the main creative output of this Per Cent for Art Scheme project.

Sarah Murphy, Artistic Director, Wall2Wall Music:

We were all deeply disappointed not to be able to perform our newly composed music in the Black Box in June, and while not the same experience as a live performance, we worked hard to find a way to connect and complete the project with the 6th classes during lockdown so that we can now share the amazing music they created together.

CMC is delighted to share two of these pieces of music that were recorded during lockdown by the 6th class students of the school and have just been released today.

The Big Why is an epic piece of music in three movements - ‘The Long Sigh’, ‘Extinction’ and ‘We Can Do Better.’ The children explored the worries and concerns they had for the world, from climate change to inequality and homelessness, all while playing new instruments, singing, rapping and soloing their way into an impressive and rousing response to the world. 

The Big Why

Dreams For Our Future is a slow, moving ballad the students wrote to represent their hopes for the future. This was one of the recordings that was created during lockdown, and you can see the participating students singing and performing from their homes in the music video.

Dreams For Our Future

The music for these two videos came completely from the 6th class students - they wrote, played, performed all of it, often on instruments that were totally new to them. 52 children playing guitar, percussion, tin whistle, ukulele, bass guitar, keyboards and singing; all voicing their concerns and hopes for the future and celebrating their many cultural backgrounds. Wall2Wall Music encouraged the students to creatively engage with the theme of global citizenship through the medium of music. The results were powerful and moving, and the ideas that emerged became increasingly relevant during lockdown.

Global Citizens Together Per Cent for Art Scheme Project: Public Launch

The three other pieces of music created as part of this project involving the whole school will be released on Thursday, 17 September 2020 when the project will be completed and the children and staff of Scoil San Phroinsias have returned to school. Stay tuned for more details of the online public launch