Twenty-two young musicians from Nós Nua Youth Folk Orchestra wooed audiences when they performed a moving tribute to Aslan’s Christy Dignam on RTÉ One televisions “Up for the Match” on Saturday night.
The musicians, drawn from Louth, Armagh, Monaghan, Cavan, Meath, Dublin, Down and Tyrone featured in a special performance of ‘Crazy World’, Aslan’s best known song and much loved by Irish people at home and abroad but especially in Dublin, the band’s hometown.
The wonderful opportunity to perform on the show which was broadcast on the eve of the All-Ireland senior football final, came about when Nós Nua were contacted by Paul McKay the series director in late June to see if they were available and interested in taking part.
Nós Nua had worked with Paul in the past on several broadcasts including live on Fleadh TV from Drogheda in 2018 and 2019 along with videos for the social media launches for Fleadh TV in the same years.
Paul was initially working with the London-based musician Lisa Canny from Mayo to do a traditional arrangement of ‘Crazy World’ as a tribute to Christy, when the idea of including young traditional musicians in the performance was mooted.
A multi-award winning musician and multiple Fleadh Cheoil winner herself on harp, banjo and accompaniment. Lisa worked with Nós Nua members as she prepared the arrangement for the show. They had one workshop in the Oriel Cenrre and one rehearsal in advance of the broadcast.
Lisa and the orchestra were joined by 4-piece band Ceol and special guest Kiera Dignam, Christy’s daughter, for what was the finale segment on the show.
Series Director Paul McKay said:“RTÉ’s ‘Up For The Match’ were delighted to have the wonderful Nós Nua Orchestra on the football show last Saturday night,” series director Paul McKay said.”Their performance of the Aslan classic ‘Crazy World’ with Lisa Canny and Ceol was absolutely stunning and the reaction has been incredible. When Christy Dignam’s daughter Kiera joined them all on stage for the finale, it was a real highlight moment in this year’s series!”
“We cannot thank the amazing Lisa Canny enough for the gargantuan effort she put into making the performance the success it was,” Nós Nua project manager and co-director Deirdre Ní Bhuachalla-Malone said. “She worked tirelessly with the group on the wonderful arrangement she created and guided our young musicians so well through every step. What an absolutely fantastic inspiration and role model she is to all of our musicians. We cannot wait to work with her again in the future. Thank You Lisa. You are an absolute powerhouse!!!!
Nós Nua co-director Kay Webster, reachtaire of the Oriel Centre said that they were “so honoured” to be invited to take part in the show.
“It was a once in a lifetime experience for all of the musicians.”
One of these young musicians, uileann piper, Oisín O Maoileoin said “ It was such a great experience to work with Lisa Canny. She kept everything fun and energetic. Spending the day in RTÉ studios was such a great experience and we had great craic together. We got the chance to meet the presenters and footballing legends afterwards and I even got to lift the Sam Maguire. I will never forget it!”
Nós Nua are a joint initiative of Music Generation Louth and Comhaltas @ Oriel Centre, Dundalk Gaol, the Comhaltas Ceoltóirí Resource Centre for the North-east region. Current Nós Nua membership comprises young musicians aged from 12 to 20 from across counties Louth, Meath, Dublin, Cavan, Monaghan, Tyrone, Armagh and Down.
They also have two guest musicians who join them from Ardee Concert band on trumpet and Euphonium.
Next up for Nós Nua is a performance at Fleadh Cheoil na hÉireann, Live on the Gig Rig at 6pm on Thursday August 10 in Mullingar.
The Nós Nua project is being part-funded through the Creativity and Collaboration Fund which is co-funded by Music Generation/Arts Council and the Department of Education.
If you would like to catch up on the performance you can watch the entire show on RTÉ Player and the performance is available on youtube at https://youtu.be/MukrsVrAlWM