DMEP concerts ahead in busy ‘Music Month’

Some of Donegal’s best-known music ensembles are taking part in a series of concerts over the next two weeks, organised by the Donegal Music Education Partnership.

The Donegal Youth Choir will headline the ‘Soiree at the Castle’ in Glenveagh next Friday night (19th) at 8pm. Also on the bill are soprano Ann Jennings and local sax prodigies Saxtet.

The Donegal Youth Orchestra are having their end-of-year concert ‘Orchestra Afternoon!’ in the Balor Arts Centre in Ballybofey on Sunday week (21st) at 3pm. Special guests will be the music group from Gaelscoil Adhamhnáin in Letterkenny, who recently performed at the National Concert Hall.

Ramelton Town Hall will host the Errigal Singers and Mind Your Quavers at the ‘Hallelujah! II’ concert on Friday 26th May at 8pm. They’ll be sharing the bill with the Colmcille Singers.

Pictured are members of Donegal Youth Choir, who are in concert at ‘Soiree at the Castle’ in Glenveagh Castle next Friday

Martin McGinley of the DMEP said: “May is ‘Music Month’ for us and we’re really looking forward to these concerts.

“Glenveagh Castle is a marvellous place to have a concert. It’s a very special experience to be listening to great music and song there as the evening lights streams through those big windows.

“We’re expecting a full house at the Balor for the ‘Orchestra Please!’ concert with the DYO and the talented group from Gaelscoil Adhamhnáin. That will really highlight the fantastic musical talent among the young people of Donegal at the moment. It will be a particularly special occasion for those Leaving Certificate students who are playing their last concert with the orchestra. Their ‘party pieces’ are always highlights.

“The ‘Hallelujah! II’ concert at Ramelton Town Hall on Friday week (26th) will be a big night for one remarkable woman, Margaret McAteer. She is conducting not one but two choirs on the night. Add in what we call everyone’s favourite back-to-music group, Mind Your Quavers, and you’ve got a first-class night’s music in store.”

And that’s not all from the DMEP groups in May. The Donegal Chamber Orchestra also has a series of concerts coming up. The first is in the Playhouse in Derry on Saturday 27th. Next day they’re guests of the National Trust for a performance at the remarkable Mussenden Temple, on the cliffs near Castlerock in County Derry. A third concert is in the Church of Ireland in Leitirmacaward on Saturday June 3rd.

Conductor Vincent Kennedy in action with the Donegal Youth Orchestra, who are holding their end-of-year concert in the Balor Arts Centre in Ballybofey on Sunday week (21st) at 3pm. Pic – John Soffe.

Martin McGinley added: “It’s not just about the concerts this month either, although we hope to see lots of people at those. During May we also have more than 150 students doing music examinations with the Royal Irish Academy and Trinity examining bodies.

“Overall it’s been a hectic year for the DMEP with one event after another – we helped with the RTÉ Lyric fm concert in LYIT on Monday, for instance. But it’s terrific to see the amount of music-making that’s happening in Donegal these days.”

Tickets for the ‘Soiree in the Castle’ and ‘Hallelujah!II’ can be booked through An Grianan theatre box office,, phone 07491 20777 or call in. Tickets for ‘Orchestra Afternoon!’ are available from the Balor Arts Centre, phone 07491 31840 or call in. More information from, the DMEP Facebook page or call 07491 76293.