The Leading Edge 2015 - Professional Development for Musicians - 17th/18th July - The Dock

As part of the Leitrim Equation Traditional Music Development Programme, musician and singer Eleanor Shanley introduces a programme of professional development workshops for traditional musicians and singers to enhance their skills in presenting on stage, publishing, marketing and promotion, how to get gigs, and how to get your music played on air. This unique and very valuable programme is designed to be highly informative, interactive and above all fun. It is designed for traditional musicians and singers of all ages, but is particularly suited to those considering traditional music as part of their career. Eleanor will be joined by musicians with vast experience and experts in each field including:  Stuart Ongley - owner of SGO Music; Elizabeth Laragy – Producer, RTE Radio; Ellie Byrne - Ellie Byrne Promotions; Rory O’Connor - Executive Producer of Sligo Live; Caitlín Nic Gabhann & Ciarán Ó Maonaigh – Musicians; Declan Drohan - Musician/Drama Tutor; Philip Delamere - Leitrim County Council Arts Officer; Keith Conroy - Sound Engineer.


FRIDAY 17th July

10.00 -11.00        Catherine Simon

Catherine Simon conducts a workshop about confidence and stage presence, being heard and making communication with your audience as fluid and fluent as your playing.

11.00-13.00         Eleanor Shanley & Keith Conroy

One of Ireland’s foremost singers, Eleanor Shanley and sound engineer Keith Conroy demonstrate how to choose repertoire, present yourself effectively on stage, develop confidence as a performer and work with your equipment.

14.00-15.30         Caitlín Nic Gabhann & Ciarán Ó Maonaigh

Caitlín Nic Gabhann and Ciarán Ó Maonaigh are young professional musicians who have spent a lot of time working out how to manage their careers, their internet presence and how to approach their performances. In this workshop they talk about their musical path to date, sharing practical tips, advice and tricks of the trade to help aspiring musicians take that next step on the ladder.

15.30-17.00         Stuart Ongley

Stuart Ongley has an illustrious career in the music industry stretching over 30 years. From his early days as Managing Director of Cliff Richard’s Patch Music in the 80’s to becoming owner of SGO Music with clients including Cliff Richard, The Fall, Vanessa Paradis, Big Country and Lúnasa. Stuart knows just about everything you’ll ever need to know about the business of the musician and the maze of the music industry.


Saturday 18th July

10.00-11.30         Rory O’Connor

Rory O’Connor is a Sligoman who cofounded and is executive producer of Sligo Live since 2005. He was artistic and financial director of Sligo Arts Festival and led the development of the Model and Niland Centre as Chairman for 10 years. In this workshop he talks about what you can do to increase your chances of getting into a festival programme, the dos and don’ts, networking, and the journey to the top of the bill.

11.30-13.00         Ellie Byrne

Before establishing her own music promotion company, Ellie Byrne was Head of PR at the Irish World Academy of Music & Dance. In her new company she provides management, PR, tour promotion and event management. In this workshop, Ellie takes you through the steps towards getting an audience for your work.

14.00-15.00         Philip Delamere

Philip Delamere, Arts officer with Leitrim County Council talks about public funding for traditional arts and other ways to fund your development.

15.30-16.30         Elizabeth Laragy

As a music producer with RTE Elizabeth Laragy has a unique insight into the machinations of the music broadcasting industry. In this workshop Elizabeth talks about what you need to do and how to present your work to get it onto a radio playlist.



All eight workshops will be held in The Dock, Carrick-on- Shannon, Co. Leitrim on Friday 17th and Saturday 18th July during Carrick Water Music Festival. The fee for the two-day programme is €60 or €40 for students/unwaged. To book call The Dock on 071 96 50828, Early booking is strongly advised. For further information call Leitrim County Council Arts Office 071 96 21694 or go to

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