The project fulfils the vision of Sister Bernadette Sweeney, who wants every child to have the chance to find their own inner creativity. Although recently retired she continues to develop music in the community. The Community Centre for Music and the Arts is an example of her dedication to the people of the Crumlin area and her belief of the value of music in our lives.
The Project Manager and founder Joanna Crooks has spent a lifetime developing and contributing to music for youth in Ireland. A founder of Dublin Youth Orchestra, she went on to become General Manager of the National Youth Orchestra of Ireland. She has since devoted her time and given selflessly to enrich the lives of many people in the Crumlin area through involvement in music. She oversees all tuition, concerts and events for the school project, orchestras and events.
The String Project is based on the central activity of instrumental music tuition for all school children. Boys and girls from Scoil Úna Naofa have weekly class tuition in string playing from very experienced musicians and teachers. The children do not pay for the use of instruments or the tuition. Every child is included.
Every child in the school, including 60 Early Start children a total of almost 400 primary and secondary school students -
Secondary school students continue to come to St Agnes after school once a week for their lessons, and together form the St. Agnes’ Chamber Orchestra.
By introducing the programme from Junior Infants, every child experiences the benefits, supported by music teachers and class teachers who join in the violin classes with enthusiasm. The support of the whole school staff has been key to the development of the project within the school. The children start learning to read music from 2nd Class. Some children choose to play low string instruments, and so are learning to read alto and bass clefs as well.
The children gain confidence through performance, and gradually develop a sense of their own contribution to group, and with that a sense of commitment and increased self-
The project has been supported by many volunteers, companies and individuals and most recently the Richardson Smith Cup has been presented to a student within St Agnes' School Violin & Orchestra Project at primary or secondary school level. The Cup was and will continue to be awarded annually for exceptional progress throughout the year, and/or an exceptional achievement or an exceptional commitment to the musical life of the school and community. The first presentation took place on Thursday 12th June at the SUMMER CONCERT of St Agnes' School Violin & Orchestra Project at in St Agnes' School Hall.
Scoil Úna Naofa primary school, Crumlin, was formerly known as St. Agnes’ Primary school, and is an amalgamation of St. Agnes’ and Scoil Colm primary schools.