Image of Michael Rooney

Over 100 young musicians unite in a Cross-Border Music Spectacle

A Deep Ravine: Reflections on a Divided Ireland as part of The Decade of Centenaries 2023

In a momentous celebration of cultural collaboration, Music Generation Cavan/Monaghan proudly presented ‘A Deep Ravine: Reflections on a Divided Ireland,’ a musical suite performed by over 100 young musicians from border counties.

This unique event served as a powerful contribution to The Decade of Centenaries 2023.

The innovative musical suite was commissioned by renowned musician, composer, and musical director Michael Rooney and featured a script crafted by the esteemed writer, Tommy Mc Ardle. The suite told the story of life on the border, delivering a profound creative response to the era of partition, offering deeper insights into the significant events of that time. Audiences were encouraged to reflect the lives of individuals living 100 years ago on the newly established border as two separate states, North and South, came into existence.

The performance of this suite came to life through the talents of recently formed Music Generation Cavan/Monaghan Cross Border Youth Folk Orchestra. The young musicians come from Cavan, Monaghan, Tyrone, Fermanagh, Scotland and Ukraine and represented a diverse range of musical genres. They were joined by talented local actors from Monaghan and Cavan and were guided by RTÉ host and ‘MC’ Sean Rocks.

The performance took place within the enchanting confines of The Magical Spiegeltent, located at Hilton Park in Clones, County Monaghan. This venue was thoughtfully chosen to evoke the unique atmosphere of being right on the border.

‘Spiegeltent is like nothing I’ve ever seen—so cool! Being part of the orchestra was so much fun! I made tons of friends. Hearing the audience’s reaction was amazing, everyone was buzzing. I’ll miss all the rehearsals. Fingers crossed we get to do it again!’

Aine McKiernan , Young Musician, Music Generation Cavan/Monaghan

Music Generation Cavan/Monaghan is part of Music Generation, Ireland’s national music education programme which transforms the lives of  children and young people through access to, and participation in, high quality performance music education.

This project was commissioned by Monaghan County Council and Cavan County Council, funded by The Department of Tourism, Culture, Arts, Gaeltacht, Sport and Media under The Community Strand of the 2023 Decade of Centenaries Programme and Creative Ireland Programme 2023 working in partnership with Music Generation Cavan Monaghan.

Following the event, Tania Banotti, Creative Ireland Director stated:

“I just wanted to say, what an extraordinary event on Saturday. It was really quite something, a privilege to be there. At one point I had to pinch myself and say, ‘This is why I LOVE my job.’

Dr Fiona McGrath, CMETB Chief Executive said:

“A Deep Ravine presents all of us with an opportunity to reflect back one hundred years as we bring to an end a decade of centenaries. It is such a wonderful expression of music from the young people of our border counties.  This celebration of music emerges from the Covid experience and appropriately celebrates the creativity and talent of our youth. In many ways it brings together so many strands of life in Cavan and Monaghan. It is made possible because of the close partnership that exists between Cavan and Monaghan County Councils with CMETB through Music Generation. As a Decade of Centenaries close, I wish to commend this performance as a statement of hope, vitality and excitement for the future of music in our border counties.”

a Deep ravine
a Deep ravine