Ms Mary Hanafin TD, Minister for Education and Science launches DIT Ballymun Wind Band Project CD

Dublin, 21st June 2005: Ms Mary Hanafin TD, Minister for Education and Science today launched ‘Fire’; a CD featuring the DIT Ballymun Wind Band Project. The launch took place in the Council Chambers, Civic Centre, Main Street, Ballymun.

The Wind Band Project is part of DIT’s Community Links Programme, which aims to address disadvantage in both Dublin Inner City areas, and to an increasing degree, disadvantage in rural areas. The Balllymun Wind Band Project grew out of a 'Breaking Ground

Initiative’ funded by the Department of Education and Science and DIT. The project was conceived to provide an opportunity for children to learn through the arts. Over the years, the project has grown, with five schools now involved; St Joseph's junior and senior schools and the Ballymun Comprehensive boys, girls’ senior schools. The Wind Band currently consists of a 30 piece string section and 40 piece choir at primary level and a 30 piece wind band at a comprehensive level.

‘Fire’, a contemporary piece of music composed by Elaine Agnew in conjunction with the Ballymun Wind Band, was commissioned by the Breaking Ground Initiative; an expansive programme of art commissioning which traverses artforms, and supports both local arts initiatives and projects. The piece was recorded under the direction of Ron Cooney, a musician and music teacher from St Joseph's National School. Under Ron’s direction the Wind Band has acquired a national reputation and continues to go from strength to strength.

Participation in the Project benefits students in a variety of ways and impacts on their development on a number of different levels – intellectually, artistically and socially. DIT’s Media Production Unit recently produced a video about Ballymun, the Wind Band and its preparations for the performance of ‘Fire’ and is available upon request.

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