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Mary Noonan, representing the Eimear Noonan Music Bursary, seated with the late Eli Murray's piano, and Katharina Baker, director of Coole Music. Photograph by John Kelly

Carpe Diem finale to remember Eimear and Eli

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A GRAND finale to a musical initiative to honour to young musicians will be held on March 11 in Gort. 

The Eimear Noonan Music Bursary Award was established five years ago by the family of the inspirational young musician, who died in France in 2017. A Carpe Diem concert was also held annually in Eimear’s memory. That event was originally conceived by Katharina Baker and Fiona Buckley of Coole Music to honour Eimear’s memory and celebrate her participation in the School of Music, particularly in her role as leader of the Youth Orchestra. On the night of Saturday, March 11 at 7.30pm in O’Sullivan’s Hotel, Carpe Diem Forever, will offer an opportunity to celebrate Eimear’s memory and legacy, the music she made, and the many emerging young players that she supporter and inspired. 

“The initiative was originally conceived of to remember our Eimear, but later included another young musician friend, Eli Murray, who died suddenly from Juvenile diabetes in 2019,” Eimear’s mother Mary told The Champion. “Their legacy formed a wonderful musical legacy and amazing concerts. We always said we would do it for five years and we did. We have come full circle and we are so, so delighted with the legacy it engendered.”

To-date, the bursary has supported 25 third-level music students, as well as two orchestras, Gaillimh Theas CCE and the Music Departments of Gort Community School and Scariff Community College. This year, two donations have been made towards young Ukrainian children in Gort and Flagmount.

The final Carpiem Diem promises to be a night of eclectic music, showcasing talent in trad, classical music and song. Among those performing will be Guaire, who have a major surprise up their sleeves. The event will also feature some of Eimear’s favourite tunes as well as ‘Eimear’s Hornpipe’, composed in her honour by her uncle John Keehan. An element of audience participation is promised on what is shaping up to be an memorable night for a due of  unforgettable young musicians. 

Since 2018, the Carpe Diem concerts have celebrated music in all its colours, spanning the classical, orchestral, trad, folk and rock genres. In 2020, in the height of the pandemic, a #CarpeDiemSingandPlay challenge featuring musicians and singers of all ages and genres, went viral on social media. More than 500 musicians worldwide participated, raising in excess of €30,000 which divided equally, after costs, between Coole Music and Arts and the Eimear Noonan Music Bursary Fund.  The initiative exceeded all fundraising expectations but also brought together a community of musicians united in their purpose to remember Eimear Noonan and Eli Murray and to support music education for young people.

Tickets for the final Carpe Diem are available from Sullivans Hotel, Gort Credit Union or online at Eventbrite.ie. 

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