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THE NATIONAL NEIGHBOURHOOD: BLUEBELL AT THE NATIONAL CONCERT HALL

“I am really looking forward to performing my song with the orchestra. It’s a huge boost to be involved with something like this . It is so much outside yourself, it enlarges your life.”
– Participant / member of the Bluebell Breakfast Club

On 17th September members of the Bluebell Community Development Project will perform their own compositions with the RTÉ National Symphony Orchestra on the main stage of the National Concert Hall.

This performance has been two years in the making and began when composer Seán Millar began visiting the Bluebell Community Development Project as part of The National Neighbourhood, a Dublin City Council Culture Company programme.

Clients of the Bluebell Community Development Project visit the centre once a week for breakfast and social support. They include young adults with disabilities brought from their care projects, older men who live on their own, a group of older women who run the weekly lottery, as well as those recovering from various addiction issues.

The stories that have emerged from the ongoing relationship built with the breakfast club, and gathered through the process of conversation, have been developed into a series of compositions that celebrate the richness of lives lived by all attending these weekly breakfasts. These songs are portraits of how people find joy amidst the everyday difficulties and they document a passion for history, night walks, unearthing via archaeology and pets.

“We are not shying away from making it big and epic. We’re told that there are important stories and there are unimportant stories. I suppose what I am saying that all stories are important.”
– Seán Millar – Musician/Composer

Early versions of the compositions were performed by the Bluebell residents and a supplemented string quartet in Trinity College last year. Following on from this were visits to the National Concert Hall and workshops in composition which ignited a desire to bring the work to their full scale ambition, a public performance at the National Concert Hall. This was realised when the RTÉ National Symphony Orchestra agreed to perform the works, which have now been orchestrated by Darragh O’Toole with Andrew Synnott conducting, with them. The concert which will take place on 17th September will be followed, naturally enough, by a Bluebell Breakfast in the National Concert Hall.

This project which is part of The National Neighbourhood, has been made in collaboration with Bluebell Community Development Project and musician Seán Millar and Dublin City Council Culture Company’s partnership with Dublin City Council’s public libraries, South Central Area office, Arts Office and Dublin City Gallery The Hugh Lane, with the National Concert Hall and RTÉ National Symphony Orchestra.

“We are delighted to be able to partner with so many organisations to make this very special event a reality. This project is a celebration of people, community, culture and collaboration. It is a prime example of what makes Dublin and its people so special and a true testament of what can be achieved when organisations and communities come together .”
– Iseult Bryne, CEO Dublin City Council Culture Company

The National Neighbourhood is a Dublin City Council Culture Company programme that builds cultural projects in community settings. By connecting artists, groups and villages with libraries, museums and creative places, to create, connect and explore together across Dublin city.

The National Neighbourhood is a partnership, initiated in 2016, between Dublin City Council Culture Company (formerly Dublin’s Culture Connects) with Dublin City Council’s Libraries, Area Offices, Arts Office and Dublin City Gallery The Hugh Lane with the National Cultural Institutions, which are The Abbey Theatre, The National Museum of Ireland, The National Library of Ireland, The National Gallery of Ireland, The National Concert Hall, Chester Beatty, the National Archives and The Irish Museum of Modern Art.

Dublin City Council Culture Company runs cultural initiatives and buildings across the city with, and for, the people of Dublin.
Find out more at dublincitycouncilculturecompany.ie

Dublin City Council Culture Company

Dublin City Council Culture Company

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