Dance and Technology R&D Project Report

Early in 2021 Longford Co Arts Office undertook a very innovative IT/Dance project in partnership with Longford based dancer and choreographer Helen Keenan.

Here is Helen’s description of the project.

Job Vacancy: Technical Advisor to the County Arts Office

Longford County Council Arts Office wishes to invite submissions from suitably qualified candidates for the position of Technical Advisor to the County Arts Office. The successful candidate will be selected following a competitive tendering process. Closing date for submissions will be Friday August 2nd at 1.00pm. Given the nature of the position candidates must apply on-line to marked: Arts Office Digital Technical Advisor.

Download application form

Job Vacancy: Researcher and Textual Compositor to Longford County Council Arts Service

Longford County Council Arts Office wishes to invite submissions from suitably qualified candidates for the position of Researcher and Textual Compositor. The successful candidate will be selected following a competitive tendering process. Closing date for submissions will be Friday August 2nd at 1.00pm. Given the nature of the position candidates must apply on-line to marked: Researcher and Textual Compositor.

Music at Backstage Theatre – Autumn 2019

The following music acts are performing in Backstage Theatre this autumn.

Step Up

Wed 28th August

Step Up Dance Project, now in its ninth year, once again plays host to Longford’s own Marguerite Donlon (Ireland / Germany), International choreographer and Director of Donlon Dance Collective, based in Berlin.

More details on

Paul Noonan

Sat 7th September

Bell X1’s much loved frontman Paul Noonan brings his unique sound to Backstage for a special intimate gig.

More details on

The Glen Campbell Story

Thurs 19th September

Starring master guitarist and well-known country music personality, Ciarán Rosney with his 5 piece band.

More details on

Gina & the Champions

Fri 8th Nov

Gina, Dale Haze and The Champions established themselves as Ireland’s top attraction in the late seventies and maintained that coveted position right through the eighties.

More details on

Music Generation Longford, Coming Soon…

Planning for Music Generation Longford programming is currently underway. Further details will be announced in the coming months.

  • Liz Lavery, Director of Schools
  • Longford and Westmeath Education and Training Board, Marlinstown Business Park, Mullingar, County Westmeath
  • T: +353 44 934 8389
  • E:

Funder acknowledgements: Music Generation Longford is managed by Longford Local Music Education Partnership, led by Longford and Westmeath Education and Training Board in partnership with Longford County Council and with support from Creative Ireland.

Music Generation Development Officer (Wexford)

Waterford & Wexford Education and Training Board (WWETB) is now inviting applications for the position of Music Generation Development Officer (Wexford).

Appointed by WWETB, the Music Generation Development Officer will be responsible for managing an extensive performance music education programme on behalf of Wexford Music Education Partnership.

County Wexford has recently been selected for participation in Music Generation – Ireland’s National Music Education Programme, which is co-funded by U2, The Ireland Funds, the Department of Education and Skills and Local Music Education Partnerships.

Three-year fixed-term contract.

Application form, job description and person specification available online at:

Closing date for receipt of completed application forms: Mondy, 15 January 2018

Late applications will not be accepted.

Based on the volume of applications received short-listing may apply. Short-listing will take place on the basis of the information provided in the application form. Depending on the qualifications and experience of applicants, short-listing thresholds may be significantly higher than the minimum standards set out.

Waterford & Wexford ETB is an equal opportunities employer

Contemporary Dance at the Backstage Theatre

Book online at

This autumn, Backstage Theatre, Longford is embarking on an exciting project with their artist in residence, choreographer and dancer Catherine Young, redeveloping her highly acclaimed work ‘Welcoming the Stranger’.

‘Welcoming the Stranger’ is a moving and compelling dance piece inspired by the stories of migrants and refugees from Gaza, Iraq, Syria, Africa. The piece was first commissioned as part of the 1916 Casement Project celebrations to premiere on Banna Strand.

In light of the location – a beach and the on-going migrant crisis, with refugees being washed up on shores daily – Catherine wanted to create a work that looked at how Ireland could be if there was real understanding and inclusion between communities. That if Roger Casement were to wash up on Irish shores 100 years later, what kind of Ireland would he want to see?

Since its premiere, this critically acclaimed piece has performed at the Ramallah Contemporary Dance Festival in Palestine as well as Culture Night Dublin and The Big Bang Festival, to name but a few.

In this redevelopment of the piece, Catherine will be working with people throughout Longford – locals to the area and those from overseas who have come to call Longford their home. She will bring both communities together through a series of workshops and rehearsals throughout October and November, culminating in a performance in Backstage on Fri 15 December alongside a group of world-class professional dancers and musicians.

Through these workshops and rehearsals, the Irish and migrant communities in Longford will come together to move and be moved, sharing their stories, their culture, their music, their food, their language as Catherine gently guides the group towards the creation of a work for performance.

Kids dancing alongside adults; a multi-generational, multi-ethnic work where rhythm the common language not English; this true coming together of people and cultures, through their music, dance and song is set to inspire audiences locally to embrace cultural difference and which will provide an opportunity for new migrants to engage with people from the local community, encouraging them to become involved with arts activities and arts organisations on a long- term basis.

‘Welcoming The Stranger’ has been overwhelming for both the participants and the audiences alike.  It has moved people profoundly and is a real testament to social inclusion and the value and richness of cultural diversity, showing that we are more similar than different and we have a lot we can share and learn from each other.

Projects like this break down barriers, bring people together in a very close and real way and through the creation of art, allow participants to form strong bonds of friendship and solidarity with each other, getting rid of preconceived notions and biases.

The piece invitation to perform in the Ramallah Contemporary Dance Festival in Palestine in 2017 was a statement of intent by the people of Ireland to play our part in welcoming the stranger in the future.

The Arts, and dance in particular transcends politics, religion and language and can work to bring people together and towards integration. In present times, we need more art and projects like these to forage a way forward through the negativity and shine some light on how things could be.

Backstage Theatre have joined forces with Shawbrook Dance in Legan, Co Longford, who are providing accommodation and technical supports and expertise in support of the project. The project is also supported by Co Longford Arts Office, Longford County Council and the Dept of Justice Integration Fund.’

Tickets and further information on Welcoming the Stranger are available on 043 33 47888 or book online at

Longford Live & Local – Classical Night

Come out and support live classical music in Longford.

Bring some friends along to enjoy everything from home-grown talent of emerging international pianist Peter Regan, soprano Emer Barry accompanied by Fintan Farrelly and – topping the bill – Ballymahon educated and trained international soprano Regina Nathan.

“If you miss this fabulous event you will kick yourself when you hear your friends describe it as Longford’s live music event of the year”
Fergus Kennedy
Longford County Arts Officer

Book now on

Expression of Interest for Musician / Singer or Musical Facilitator

The Local Arts in Education Partnership invites expressions of interest from Musicians / Singers / Musical Facilitators to work with young people in the North Cavan area in order to produce a song or piece of music reflecting the responses of the young people to the potential of music to address pertinent social inclusion issues for the young people.


Longford Music Education due for Radical Development

Music Generation the organisation charged with non- schools music education in Ireland is offering two million Euro for the expansion of the Music Education Partnership Scheme first launched five years ago.

Longford County Council through the Arts Office has submitted an application to be included in the scheme. Under this new scheme five new Music Education Partnerships will be established throughout the country. The beauty of this scheme is that if an applicant is accepted as a Partnership, the funding they raise to support music education will be matched on a pro rata basis by Music Generation up to a maxim of €200,000.00 per year. The second advantage of the scheme is that once a Music Education Partnership has been successfully run for three years the Department of Education replaces Music Generation as the financial supporter thus guaranteeing long-term sustainability.

The funding is not meant to support curriculum based school music education rather it is to support vocal and instrumental development of music in a non-academic way though obviously, any student studying music for the Junior and Leaving Certificates who are also participating in a Music Education Partnership programme will benefit greatly.

As part of the application process Longford Music Education Partnership established a Working or Steering Group under the Chairmanship of Cllr Mae Sexton MCC whose job it is to supervise the carrying out of research and the preparation of a music education programme based on that research. To further augment the research and programme development process the County Arts Office has engaged the services of a music development consultant Mary McAuliffe who, along with County Arts Officer Fergus Kennedy will be carrying out an extensive research programme throughout the County both on a one-to-one basis with interested members of the public and will also be organising focus group meetings with music representative groups. A schedule of meetings and locations can be accessed on and we would be delighted to hear the views of interested parties

If you have strong views or constructive proposals relating to music development in Longford and you would like to have them considered by the Music Education Working Group you can arrange to meet Mary McAuliffe by sending an e-mail to marking it for the attention of Mary McAuliffe and Mary will be in contact with you to arrange a mutually convenient appointment.

Representative groups will be contacted individually by the County Arts Office in order to arrange mutually convenient Focus Groups meeting.