National Concert Hall Seeks Young People for New Music Composition Programme – Creative Lab – aimed at addressing Diversity in Music, Supported by the RTÉ Toy Show Appeal and Accenture, and in partnership with New Music Dublin. 


Media Release 20th July 2021

The National Concert Hall is delighted to launch a new music composition programme - Creative Lab - for young people (aged 12-18) from typically underrepresented groups for example, Black, Asian, the Mincéir/Traveller and Roma Communities, other Minority Ethnic Communities within the island of Ireland, as well as women, transgender, non-binary, people with disabilities and gender-nonconforming people.

Supported by the RTÉ Toy Show Appeal and Accenture, and in partnership with New Music Dublin, Creative Lab at NCH is designed to offer opportunities to young people with a passion for music, while also highlighting diversity in music and addressing the imbalance of composers from traditionally underrepresented groups who are commissioned, performed and championed.   

 The 8-month programme, starting September 2021, will support young people to develop musical skills in composition. Led by renowned Irish composers and Artistic Directors Amanda Feery and Emma O’Halloran the programme not only offers one-on-one tuition, mentorship, professional development and performance opportunities but also provides participants with high-quality recordings of their work. In addition, participants will also have their musical composition premiered at Ireland’s foremost contemporary music festival, New Music Dublin in Spring 2022.  

Robert Read, CEO of the National Concert Hall: “The pace of change has been far too slow in classical music and there remains significant barriers to participation. I’m delighted that we can launch this important initiative, as part of our Learning and Participation programme of events, which aims to support young people to develop musical skills in composition, from typically underrepresented communities. The NCH is committed to ensuring all members of our diverse society are represented on the stage and in the music industry with this and many other programmes and initiatives. I would like to thank the RTÉ Toy Show Appeal and Accenture for their support in making Creative Lab possible, and New Music Dublin for their support of the project.” 

Dr Michelle Cullen, Managing Director and Head of Inclusion & Diversity, Accenture said: “Accenture is delighted to support the Creative Lab at NCH. We are a longstanding supporter of the arts in Ireland as we recognise the role that arts play in fostering a creative and inclusive environment. At Accenture we have an unwavering commitment to a culture of equality and the ambition of the Creative Lab to tackle an imbalance in the arts reflects our own ethos of inclusion and diversity.” 

Denise Charlton, Chief Executive of The Community Foundation for Ireland: “We are passionate about equality, including access to the Arts. Thanks to the huge generosity of viewers who responded to the RTÉ Toy Show Appeal we are delighted to support the Creative Lab at the National Concert Hall. By opening up opportunities to young talent this exciting project will not only support a new generation of musicians but also bring joy to audiences long into the future.” 

 The first phase of the programme focused on exploration, will see the young composers learn about traditional and non-traditional methods of composition. They will also be introduced to a wide range of music through conversations, listening sessions, and score exploration. With the guidance of their mentors, the composers will learn how to communicate their ideas to other musicians.   

 Following this, they will develop sketches of their new work and will hear these sketches brought to life through a workshop with some of Ireland’s top musicians. 

 The final phase of the programme will culminate in the spring of 2022 when their finished works will be heard live at one of Ireland’s leading contemporary music festivals - New Music Dublin Festival.   

The NCH is now seeking applicants for the programme which starts September 2021. Creative Lab is open to anyone with a passion for music and a creative spark that can be nurtured. No previous experience is necessary and there is no requirement to read music. The mentors at Creative Lab will work with all applicants to help communicate musical ideas to the musicians. Thanks to the generous support of the RTÉ Toy Show Appeal and Accenture, the programme is offered at no cost to the participants.   

 Deadline for application is 17th September 2021. See for full details and application form.  


Media Queries to Sinead Doyle, Marketing & PR Manager, National Concert Hall, Earlsfort Terrace, Dublin 2. Tel: 087 1775334, E-mail: or Roisin Dwyer PR & Publications Executive National Concert Hall Earlsfort Terrace, Dublin 2. Tel: 085 7129628, E-mail:   


Emma O’Halloran 

Emma O’Halloran is an Irish composer and vocalist. Freely intertwining acoustic and electronic music, O’Halloran has written for folk musicians, chamber ensembles, turntables, laptop orchestra, symphony orchestra, film, and theatre. 

Read more about Emma O’Halloran here

Amanda Feery 

Amanda Feery is an Irish composer working with acoustic, electronic, and improvised music, and has written for chamber and vocal ensembles, film, theatre, installation, and multimedia. Much of her inspiration comes from literature, cultural criticism, folk music, and the natural world.

Read more about Amanda Feery here


The inaugural RTÉ Toy Show Appeal raised over €6.6m, thanks to viewers of The Late Late Toy Show. In partnership with The Community Foundation for Ireland, RTÉ launched an open call to support projects for children and young people across Ireland. 55 projects were awarded funding, including NCH Creative Lab. 

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