Unique show in The MAC features flute band, women’s choir and contemporary musicians

A unique music event will take place in The MAC on Saturday evening featuring a collaboration between the Gertrude Star Flute Band, their newly formed Women’s Choir and some of Northern Ireland’s finest contemporary musicians Matt McGinn, Chip Bailey and Una McCann.

By Graeme Cousins
Thursday, 24th March 2022, 2:28 pm

Fifes & Fusion, part of EastSide Arts year-long ‘People Make The East’ project, resulted in the creation 10 new tracks.

The project aims to challenge negative perceptions around flute bands, showcase the wealth of talent found within the community as well as explore east Belfast through music and culture.

Fifes & Fusion supported the exploration of band culture and identity as well as the development of a new women’s choir consisting of the partners and friends of band members.

Getting ready for Fifes & Fusion at The MAC on Saturday, March 26 are, from left, music facilitators Chip Bailey, Una McCann, Matt McGinn and Aimee Consiglia Conway from EastSide Arts. Picture by Carrie Davenport

The choir had the opportunity to explore their own creativity as well as bringing a female voice to the project. Collaborating with musicians including Matt McGinn, Chip Bailey and Una McCann, participants shared stories, learned about songwriting and developed their own musical talents.

For one night only The MAC will showcase this music collaboration, which has resulted in 10 new tracks, featuring Gertrude Star Flute Band with guests, the women’s choir, poetry and performances from the professional musicians who took part in the project.

Guest artist on the evening will be Duke Special.

Lord Mayor of Belfast, Councillor Kate Nicholl said: “Belfast is now a UNESCO City of Music, recognised across the world for expressing itself through a unique and diverse music scene.

“To that end, Belfast City Council is delighted to be supporting this collaborative music event at The MAC, which celebrates an important element of Belfast’s musical heritage and the rich interwoven fabric that makes up our city’s vibrant music culture.”

Aimee Consiglia Conway, EastSide Arts, commented: “EastSide Arts is delighted to present Fifes & Fusion and are grateful to Belfast City Council for their support and the dedication of the participants and musicians involved.

“This project is integral to our ‘People Make The East’ programme, which was not only a fantastic opportunity for participants to develop their creativity with some of the best contemporary musicians in Northern Ireland, but is a brilliant opportunity to get people to rethink band culture as well as to take a second look at east Belfast and recognise it as a vibrant and blooming creative arts scene.”

Musician and project facilitator Matt McGinn added: “This has been an amazing project and I’m very lucky to be a part of it. I’m really looking forward to our concert at The MAC on March 26.

“It will be the first time we can showcase to the public the results of all the hard work and talent of everyone involved. I think it will be like something they’ve never before seen.”

Fifes & Fusion will take place at The MAC on 26th March 2022 tickets are £10. To book visit https://themaclive.com/event/fifes-fusion.

For further information on EastSide Arts visit www.eastsidearts.net. Follow EastSide Arts on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram #Creativity4Everyone.

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