With the Easter break but a fleeting memory, we are back in workshop mode in a big way!
Last week, we began work on two new projects with old friends. Sarah has been invited back to George’s Hill National School, to deliver a series of 24 workshops with some of the younger children there – we have had some great successes in George’s Hill, and it is very much the epitome of a busy inner-city school, dealing with all the opportunities and challenges associated with it.
Also, last week, we re-joined our friends in the Junior cycle at St. Paul’s NS in Dublin 7. We delivered a short programme of activities with this group before Christmas, and it was the students who suggested using drumming as a way to do well in the practical Music exams, due to take place at the end of the month. We are piloting a novel way of approaching this task, which will make life easier for the students, while still ensuring that they can be examined properly by the Department.
On the music front, we are now getting properly stuck in to the new material from Samba Résille in preparation for their visit to our shores as part of the Gathering in June. It is always interesting to see how different bands approach music that we are already familiar with, and make quirky little changes. I know that we do this a lot too, and it is what keeps it interesting, but we will need to put some concentrated energy into learning the new material over the next few weeks.
Likewise, our show band gets back to ‘normal’ rehearsals tonight (whatever that means?). Over the lest few weeks, we have been very busy with collaborative projects, which have been great fun, great learning opportunities, great opportunities to meet and work with industry legends, but have nonetheless taken over a lot of rehearsal time. It will be good to get back to our regular material, now that the new line-up for the band has settled, and we can get focused on the job in hand.
That is not to say that these collaborations are finished. We are still working with Andrea Nicole on some material towards playing some shows with her, and rehearsals on Quad, a piece by Samuel Beckett, will commence in the next few weeks.