VOICE was a new music programme that followed on from Music for Me. It ran from 2012 to 2017 with children in local schools and afterschools, and adults in Bluebell CDP. One of the rationales for the VOICE programme was to maximise and expand participation in a high quality music programme and to integrate new cross generational elements. It took place in a range of community settings with professional musicians.
St. Michaels Estate, Inchicore
Jazz singer Pia Dunne and guitarist Ray Boyle worked with the children from the after schools service in the Family Resource Centre St. Michaels Estate, performing, singing and recording their own compositions. In September 2014 the children performed for the President Michael.D. Higgins when he launched Thornton Heights – the new social housing development on the former St Michael’s Estate, Inchicore site. In 2016 the after schools service in the Family Resource Centre were granted the YPCE award from the Arts Council. With the support of Common Ground this has allowed them to initiate a new musical experience for the children, an exciting music and percussion programme MAKING SENSE OF SOUND. Musicians Alex Pectu Colan and Maeve O’Hara worked with the children over 13 weeks introducing them to a range of percussion instruments.
Bluebell School Choir
Working in partnership with Our Lady of the Wayside National School Bluebell, Common Ground and singers Maeve O’Hara and Pia Dunne progressed the establishment of a children’s choir in this unique DEIS school. The children from the school were from a diverse range of Irish and International cultures and played a key role in performing with the adult Choir many of whom are the grandparents of the school going children. The role of Maeve O’Hara and Pia Dunne was supported by the musician and composer Pete St John who generously committed a music bursary to the school.
VOICE with adults
In 2011 Common Ground in partnership with musician Maeve O’Hara and Bluebell Community Development Project began a pilot over 55’s adult music programme. Following the success of the pilot it became part of the VOICE and was developed into a year round music programme for adults in Bluebell Community Centre. The group have performed at the opening of the Bluebell Community Centre and at many music events in Our Lady of the Wayside National School. In May 9th 2015 they performed along the Grand Canal, as part of the Dublin Rally, during the Bealtaine festival.
In order to expand VOICE to a wider community, in 2013 Common Ground and Rialto Day Care Centre, in partnership with musician Eamon Sweeney, delivered a music programme for older people in the Rialto Area. The group ‘Rialto Boka’ performed with the over 55’s Bluebell Group for Love Live Music Day that year.
The VOICE programme continued in 2016 with musicians Pia Dunne and Eamon Sweeney working with the adults of Rialto Day Care Centre.