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Multi Award Winning Artist Appointed Composer-in-Residence at
Mary Immaculate College, Limerick

Students and teachers at Mary Immaculate College (MIC) Limerick will be busy composing sweet new music over the next few years following the appointment of a Composer-in-Residence at the College, the multi-award winning artist Anne-Marie O’Farrell.

The Department of Arts Education and Physical Education (AEPE) at MIC in conjunction with the Lime Tree Theatre (LTT) are hosting this residency which is jointly funded by The Arts Council of Ireland and the College.   According to Dr. Ailbhe Kenny, Lecturer in Music Education at MIC and leading this initiative, the primary purpose of the residency programme is to enliven the musical culture of the MIC campus, and to allow practicing artists to feed into the educational programmes and work of the institution.

Continuing she said;

Composing has been a highly neglected area of arts education in Ireland. The residency will raise awareness of the value of composing, processes involved, and develop new audiences for the composer’s work”.

Anne-Marie O’Farrell, originally from Dublin, has received many national and international awards for her original compositions.  She has composed for a variety of instrumental and vocal media, and her works are featured on the higher examination grades of conservatory syllabuses around the world including the Royal Conservatory of Canada, the UK’s Associated Board of the Royal Schools of Music, Trinity College London, and the RIAM.  She lectures in composition at the DIT Conservatory of Music and Drama.  She is the recent winner of the BBC Baroque Remixed composition competition with her orchestral work, Rann Dó Trí, which was premiered in London by the BBC Concert Orchestra and broadcast live on BBC Radio 3.  Her new choral work, Skimming Stones, has been recorded by the BBC Singers in Maida Vale Studios London, and its premiere in St Paul’s, Knightsbridge in London in January 2014 was broadcast on BBC Radio 3. While she holds diplomas in many instruments, she is the leading exponent of the Irish harp as a recital instrument. Her innovations and composition for the instrument have led to performances and recordings for TV and radio throughout Europe, the USA, Scandinavia, Japan, Russia and Africa. As a musician experienced in performing at state events, she was called upon to play during the state visit of Queen Elizabeth II to Ireland, and has performed for President Robinson, President McAleese, and President Michael D. Higgins.  A prolific recording artist, she has released numerous commercial recordings on CD.

Commenting on her appointment she said;

"I'm very much looking forward to making an artistic impact on the creative environment in Mary Immaculate College and to collaborating with the community there.  It's an endorsement of the central role music can play in our lives, and of our living musical traditions, that composition has been chosen for one of the arts residencies in Mary Immaculate College. I'm extremely honoured be part of this venture."

The Composer-in-Residence at MIC is the second in a series of three artist residencies planned for the College.  Since September 2013 the Department of AEPE and the LTT have successfully hosted a theatre artist-in residence, Branar Théatar do Pháistí, and the proposed composer-in-residence will complement and enhance this work in new ways.

Speaking on the appointment Louise Donlon, General Manager of the Lime Tree Theatre said;

The Lime Tree Theatre looks forward to working with Anne-Marie O’Farrell. We have had a very fruitful collaboration with Branar and we have no doubt that Anne-Marie’s presence on campus will add greatly to the work presented by the Lime Tree. Having artists of such calibre in our working environment adds a huge amount to our working lives and helps us to achieve our aims in presenting the best possible programme to our audiences”.

The Composer-in-Residence is funded by the Arts Council as part of the Council’s commitment to the provision of artists in residence in all colleges of education; a commitment outlined in the Arts in Education Charter (2012).

Welcoming the appointment, Orlaith McBride, Director of the Arts Council said

"The Arts Council is delighted with this latest appointment. The residency is an effective way of embedding contemporary arts in the daily working environment of Ireland's teacher-training colleges, ensuring that staff and students have a wide range of formal and informal encounters with artists and their practice such as to contribute to greater awareness of and ease with the arts at a formative stage”.

This residency will provide an exciting schedule over the next year of new commissions, performances, workshops, projects and seminar and will involve MIC undergraduate and postgraduate students, children, practising teachers, professional and amateur musicians, and other community groups.

Dr. Ailbhe Kenny, Lecturer in Music Education, Anne-Marie O'Farrell, Composer-in Residence at MIC; Louise Donlon, General Manager of the Lime Tree Theatre and Dr. Michael Finneran, HoD Arts Education and Physical Education, MIC.

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Mary Immaculate College, South Circular Road, Limerick, Tel: +35361 204300