Exceptionally Talented Programme

The students of the Exceptionally Talented programme, or ETs, began with a jazz workshop with the PRS musician-in-residence, Neil Cowley, who impressed and mesmerised in equal measure with his piano-playing skills and introduced the students to the basics of jazz improvisation. Following this was the ET hothouse, a week jam-packed with performance and creativity, with workshops on African drumming with the percussionist Ronan McKee, on contemporary classical music with the composer John McLachlan, and song writing with the songwriter Eoin O’Callaghan (Best Boy Grip), which culminated in the New Music Generation event at Christ Church. The ET students expanded upon their work with John McLachlan to compose the piece ‘ET Phone Home’, which they performed to great acclaim at the Joyous Celebration event in St Columb’s Hall in December 2013.

The ET students were also invited to join the Music Promise Youth Choir, who competed in the City of Derry International Choral Festival, performed at the BBC ‘A Year in a Night’ event, and also at the Mayor’s Christmas Concert in the Guildhall.

In February 2014, the ETs recorded their EP of songs they had written with the songwriter Eoin O’Callaghan (Best Boy Grip) in the Blast Furnace studios. Also in February, was the Digital Dimensions, an exploration of space in dance and music using new technology, in collaboration with Music City 2014, Echo Echo Dance Theatre Company, and St Mary’s College. The ETs worked with the composers Peter Moran, Lorcan Doherty, and the Dublin Laptop Orchestra, using coding, improvisation, motion sensors, and live electronics to create soundscapes that the acclaimed dancers of the Echo Echo company responded to and interacted with in a performance in Echo Echo studios. The ETs travelled to Belfast to see NI Opera’s production of Verdi’s Macbeth and have a workshop on the background of the piece and on the genre of opera.

The ET programme is an exciting, fun, and practical initiative to expose young local talent to the many varieties of music making and creativity.

Joyous Celebration

The students of the Music Promise Exceptionallly Talented programme perform a contemporary-music piece, after their work with the composer John MacLachlan, at Joyous Celebration event in St Columb's Hall, December 2013. Directed by Seán Doherty, co-ordinator of the Exceptionally Talented programme.

Digital Dimensions

The Music Promise Exceptionally Talented Programme, in collaboration with Music City 2014, Echo Echo Dance Theatre Company, and St Mary's College presents Digital Dimensions; an exploration of space in dance and music using new technology.

The composers Peter Moran, Lorcan Doherty, and the Dublin Laptop Orchestra work with local students from the Music Promise Exceptionally Talented Programme, using coding, improvisation, motion sensors, and live electronics to create soundscapes that the acclaimed dancers of the Echo Echo company will respond to and interact with.

Workshop with Neil Cowley Trio

Students in the Exceptionally Talented Programme, Music Promise, have a workshop with the Neil Cowley Trio in Henderson's Piano Warehouse, December 2013.

New Music Generation

Exceptionally Talented Programme, Music Promise, New Music Generation event in Christ Chruch, Derry, which was the culmination of the ET hothouse, a week jam-packed with performance and creativity, with workshops on African drumming with the percussionist Ronan McKee, on contemporary classical music with the composer John McLachlan, and song writing with the songwriter Eoin O’Callaghan (Best Boy Grip).

ET EP

In February 2014, the ETs recorded their EP of songs they had written with the songwriter Eoin O’Callaghan (Best Boy Grip) in the Blast Furnace studios.