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Announcing the Launch of the 2015 Waltons Music for Schools Competition

‘truly music without boundaries . . .’
– Bill Whelan, Finalist Adjudicator 2014

Now in its fourth year, the Waltons Music for Schools Competition is a national competition and celebration of music in Irish schools. Each year the Competition awards a total of €10,000 worth of vouchers for musical instruments and equipment from Waltons Music, to be divided among six winning primary and post–primary schools, including two first prizes of €3,000 vouchers, and music groups from twelve Finalist schools (six primary and six post-primary) have the opportunity to perform in the National Concert Hall.
Calling on schools nationwide, the Waltons Music for Schools Competition aims to encourage, incentivise and enable all kinds of music in schools. It is a unique competition in that it is open to all genres of music, and each entry is judged on its own merit. The Competition invites teachers and students to work creatively on either their own take on an existing music piece or to create their own piece and submit their performance of it in video form, along with a description of their school’s music programme and resources. From their entries and videos, music groups from twelve schools are selected to perform in a Finalists Concert at the National Concert Hall, where they perform before their peers and two distinguished adjudicators, who select six schools (three primary and three post–primary) to win prizes.

While it is a competition, it is equally a celebration of music in Irish schools, and teachers and students from the many schools involved – whether or not they were selected as Finalists or won a prize – have remarked on what a fantastic learning experience it was. There is simply no other event like it in the country.
To enter the 2015 Competition, schools need to send, by Friday,
February 13th, 2015, an entry form, photo and video of a single piece or song, performed by an instrumental, vocal or mixed group (maximum 45 performers), that in some way addresses the Competition theme of Why Music. After the entry deadline, judges from Waltons and RTÉ lyric fm will review all entries and select the twelve Finalist schools for their ambition, imagination and clear goals for starting or developing a music programme in their school. Special attention will also be paid to the inclusiveness of the performance – students’ age range and ability – and how well it addresses the ‘Why Music?’ theme.
The Finalist schools will be announced by Liz Nolan on RTÉ lyric fm’s Classic Drive programme on Friday, 20 March, and they will perform in the 2015 Finalists Concert in the National Concert Hall on Monday, 11 May, when the six winning schools will be selected.
Here’s what last year’s Finalists Concert adjudicators, Bill Whelan and Julie Feeney, had to say about the competition:“Two things stood out in my mind during this superb display of talent at the NCH. The first was the tremendous lift to the spirit that comes from seeing so many young musicians, singers and dancers perform. The second was the ease and confidence with which they moved from traditional Irish music to classical to contemporary – it was truly music without boundaries and a credit to all involved.” – Bill Whelan
“I would like to congratulate all the young people on the stage today. It is really inspiring for me to see the truly excellent work that you have made, and what is most palpable is the passion oozing from every note, move and nuance. Outstanding to me also are your teachers. Thank you for being such wonderful catalysts in this beautiful event. Without a doubt my head is fizzing. Thank you, thank you, thank you.” – Julie Feeney

More information:
See previous Finalist entries and concerts on the Competition
YouTube channel:

2015 Competition Calendar

Friday, 13 February 2015

· Deadline for schools to submit their entries (consisting of an entry form, video recording and photograph).

Friday, 20 March 2015

· Twelve Finalist schools are announced by Liz Nolan on RTÉ.

· Finalist school videos are posted on the Waltons Music for Schools Competition YouTube channel (

Monday, 11 May 2015

· Finalists Concert in the National Concert Hall. Performances are judged by two prominent musicians/educators. The six winning schools are announced after the concert.

· Finalists Concert videos are posted on the Waltons Music for Schools Competition YouTube channel.

For more information, please contact: Aideen Walton, Waltons Music, Email:, Tel: 087 967 6263. John Mardirosian, Director, Waltons New School of Music,
Email:, Tel: 01 478 1884.

Permalink - Posted: October 31, 2014 at 12:25 pm