The official opening of the home of Music West, which incorporated Mayo Concert Orchestra, Mayo Youth Orchestra and Castlebar Concert Band, takes place on Saturday, May 28, at 1 p.m.
It will be performed by founder members of the Mayo Academy of Performing Arts, who worked to provide the new facility at Breaffy Road Retail Park in Castlebar, in conjunction with Deputy Michael Ring, former minister at the Department of Rural and Community Development.
It represents the fulfilment of many years of planning and effort by those determined to place the future of the three organisations on a firm footing.
The members have been indebted to St. Patrick's National School for providing rehearsal and storage space over many years and members always felt very welcome there.
The school was also the location of Music West's weekly tuition classes run by a team of accomplished tutors and these classes are now up and running at the new headquarters with places always open for new students with a wide range of instruments available for hire
A major step towards Music West establishing its own place was taken when a significant contribution from Castlebar Development Association helped secure the purchase of Unit 19 at Breaffy Road Retail Park, as did donations from Castlebar Lions Club and the Stephen Garvey Memorial Committee.
It lay vacant for a number of years until sufficient funding was acquired to renovate the building into a state-of-the-art centre suitable for the performing and learning of music.
This was achieved with the support of Leader funding approved by the South West Mayo Development Company, Newport, in conjunction with Mayo County Council, and the Department of Rural and Community Development, during Deputy Ring's term as minister.
It was also accomplished with the assistance of a number of benefactors and supporters, including the Naughton Foundation, the Mayo Male Voice Choir, former Taoiseach Enda Kenny, former EU Commisisoner Padraig Flynn, and elected members of Castlebar Municipal District and Mayo County Council.
Once the necessary finance was put in place, local building firm, Michael Duane Limited, was appointed main contractors to the project which was completed with immense professionalism and care.
As the new centre has been granted music examination status, the annual exams of the Royal Irish Academy, as well as Comhaltas, are being held there for the first time in 2022.