Schools' & Community Outreach

Schools' & Community Outreach

Blackwater Valley Opera Festival & the Mobile Music Machine

In 2019, the Blackwater Valley Opera Festival partnered with Mobile Music Machine in order to further our ambition of fostering a love of classical music in the children of the Blackwater Valley. Mobile Music Machine, a classical music education company, delivered a series of world-class string ensemble workshops to schoolchildren in Waterford. The first series of workshops was a triumph, which led to Music Generation Waterford generously co-funding a second series. All in all, the project was a resounding success with local schools, as we reached just under 2000 primary school children in the Waterford area.

It is no surprise then that this thriving partnership between BVOF and Mobile Music Machine will continue in 2020. We are pleased to welcome new applications from schools in the region that would like to invite Mobile Music Machine to deliver their high-energy, interactive and engaging classical music workshops.

Each workshop is thoughtfully put together and covers all aspects of classical music. The instructors, professional musicians themselves, will introduce their instruments and chat about sound, rhythm, harmony, melody, emotion, and listening. They will delve into the history of music, and teach children about composers in a light-hearted and fun way. These relaxed, informal sessions provide a chance for children to experience live performance and to get in touch with classical music in a way that is not alienating. We aim to rewrite the narrative of classical music in a way that is truly approachable while still retaining the high quality of the art form.

Originally founded in 2007 by Fulbright scholar and cellist Gerald Peregrine and violinist Paul O’ Hanlon, Mobile Music Machine has since performed to over 18,000 schoolchildren across Ireland. They regularly perform family concerts at the National Concert Hall, Dublin, where they work with the education and outreach department. They have also formed working partnerships with Music Generation, as well as many local arts councils across Ireland.

The members of the group are all highly experienced musicians and are in constant demand as performers both at home and abroad. They have a wide range of talents and are adept at many musical styles. In terms of education, they have given workshops to thousands of children in Ireland and the U.K., France, and America, and have years of experience in this field.

The members of the ensemble have a passion for music education and have experience working in early education classes right up to lecturing at university level (such as at Trinity College, Beijing and Peking Conservatory, and Memphis/Florida State Universities among others). They have degrees from the most prestigious music colleges in the world (Royal Academy of Music London, Royal College of Music London, Royal Northern College of Music, Limerick University, DIT, Indiana, and Texas SMU).

Gerald Peregrine

Gerald Peregrine is an established soloist, chamber and orchestral musician, who regularly performs in Ireland, Europe, the Americas, and Asia. He has a diverse range of musical interests and has gained much critical acclaim as a soloist and chamber musician. As a chamber musician, he has performed with international artists such as Patricia Rozario, Andy Akiho, Ian Rosenbaum, Barry Douglas, Rosey Chan, Celine Byrne, Anthony Pleeth, Catherine Leonard. He has given numerous solo recitals in all the major venues in Ireland, as well as at major festivals in Asia and Europe. He was the National Concert Hall’s rising star in 2004, and also represented Ireland in the European Young Musician of the Year competition in 1996. He presented several concert series in Dublin featuring the complete works for cello/piano by Bach, Beethoven and Brahms, all recorded and broadcast by RTE Lyric FM.
As an educator, Gerald has taught cello at Trinity College, RIAM, Cork school of music, Peking and Beijing Universities, and Memphis University.

Joe Csibi

Joe Csibi is a Producer, Orchestrator, Composer, and Musician. A former member of The National Symphony Orchestra of Ireland, Joe spent 7 years with Riverdance the Show as a Musician & Musical Director. Joe is currently The Orchestra Contractor, Manager and Education Supervisor for Wexford Festival Opera. On the education front, Joe has been involved with many wonderful outreach, education and community projects and has been a leader and facilitator for the National Concert Halls Education Community & Outreach Programmes since 2005 in all sorts of wonderful projects.

Sandra Oman

Dublin-born soprano Sandra Oman was the 2004 recipient of the Margaret Burke Sheridan Memorial Award for her contribution to opera in Ireland.  Born in the heart of the Liberties, Dublin, she graduated from the DIT Conservatory of Music, Dublin with the Ely O’Carroll Gold Medal, the Conservatory’s highest award. Sandra has appeared at the Blackwater Valley Opera Festival and has also performed extensively in opera and concert in Ireland, UK, USA, Italy, Faroe Islands, Latvia, and Poland.

Lynda O'Connor

Lynda O’Connor made her debut appearance at the National Concert Hall, Dublin when she was just four years old. Subsequently, Lynda has performed as a soloist, chamber musician and orchestral musician throughout Ireland, Europe Asia, and the USA. As a chamber musician, Lynda has collaborated with a dazzling array of artists including Barry Douglas, Chee Yun Kim, Celine Byrne, Nobuko Imai, and Gilles Apape. Linda has also had several high-profile appointments as an orchestral leade

If you would be interested in applying to have the Mobile Music Machine come to your school contact us using the form below.


Festival Partners

The Blackwater Valley Opera Festival, centered in Lismore, Co. Waterford, is held in the breathtakingly beautiful surroundings of Lismore Castle and Historic Houses on the shores of the scenic Blackwater River.

Lismore Music Festival Clg
t/a Blackwater Valley Opera Festival,
8 Main Street,

CRO Num : 484001
CHY Num : 22220

Subscribe to our mailing list