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excel - Mayo County Council Youth Arts Programme

excel Mayo County Council Youth Arts Programme is a developmental programme of arts events for teenagers and young adults across the county. With a focus on supporting and developing skills of young people with specific arts interests.  During the annual EXCEL programme, the Arts Office works directly with a number of groups, including Mayo Youth Orchestra, Mayo Youth Theatre and Achill Pipe Bands among others, providing specialist workshops and masterclasses to support the work of these groups. The programme offers challenging opportunities and fun in equal measure.

Excel 2012 Brochure (PDF, 3.2 MB)

Excel 12

Mayo County Council’s Youth Arts Programme - November 2012

Welcome to EXCEL 12, the tenth year of our annual Youth Arts Programme.

This programme is designed for teenagers and young adults (13 – 19). We provide specialised workshops and masterclasses for groups already involved in the arts and this year, we are excited to bring an open event for TY students in Junk Kouture.


Open to TY Students.

Junk Kouture Workshops – Turning recycled materials into fashion

These free workshops are open to TY students (max 15 students per workshop).  The workshops will be given by Mayo Artsquad and located in their premises in Castlebar. 

The workshops offer participants an exciting opportunity to work in a creative space alongside skilled artists to experience and explore working with recycled materials.  The workshops are an opportunity to brainstorm ideas, to have a hands on experience working with recycled materials, a time to be creative, to explore, to try out new ideas, to exercise your imagination and have fun. 

Note: Some recycled materials will be available during the workshops but it is recommended that participating groups bring their own recycled materials with them.

There are four workshops available, Booking is Essential and will be allocated to the first four schools that contact the Arts office.  Schools can only book one workshop.

About Mayo Artsquad: Established in 1997 with FÁS support, Mayo County Council’s Artsquad has continued to provide excellent training in community arts skills for fifteen participants annually. The participants on Artsquad come from a wide variety of backgrounds and work with groups from all communities, providing workshops, training and street theatre. The Artsquad also works extensively with festivals throughout the county.

Location: Artsquad, Golden Mile Industrial Estate, Castlebar.

Dates: Tuesday 27th of November, 9.30 am – 3.30 pm

Wednesday 28th of November, 9.30 am – 3.30 pm

Thursday 29th of November, 9.30 am – 3.30 pm

Friday 30th of November, 9.30 am – 3.30 pm

Please note this is not part of the Junk Kouture competition.  However, information regarding the Junk Kouture competition will be available and participating groups can use this opportunity to prepare and work through ideas for the Junk Kouture competition.


 Master Classes

(These Masterclasses are not open to the general public)

Youth Orchestra Masterclass

As part of Mayo County Council Arts Office annual EXCEL Youth Arts programme, WhistleBlast Quartet members Mary Curran(French Horn) and Ken Edge (Saxophones and Clarinets) will be joined by Oonagh Keogh, Violinist with the Irish Chamber Orchestra, to facilitate a day long Masterclass for members of Mayo Youth Orchestra. Following on from a very successful collaboration in 2010, these professional musicians will return to provide tuition for all instrumentalists to help them prepare for a forthcoming performance as part of the Festival of Youth Orchestras in the National Concert Hall on the 9th of February.  The Masterclass will look at sectional and group work, including a detailed look at tuning, sound production, preparation and performance. The day will close with a special performance of the chosen pieces by the Orchestra at 4.30pm for Family and Friends.

The Whistleblast Quartet’s extensive outreach concert/programme is funded by by Mayo County Council in conjunction with the National Concert Hall's Learn & Explore Department and the Arts Council. For more information please see

Sunday 11th of November, 11am to 5pm.

Concert for Family & Friends at 4.30pm in St. Patricks National School, Castlebar.


Drumming Masterclass: Jim Butler and Achill Pipe Band

Jim Butler, drum sergeant of Grade 2 Cullen Pipe Band,Corkwill give masterclasses to teenage band members from the Achill Pipe Band.

Jim began drumming in the CBS Pipe band fromLimerickin 1981.   He has been part of the Curragour pipe band, the Dunraven Drum Corps, Ringaskiddy & District Pipe band, Corpus Christi Pipe band and St. Laurence O’Toole pipe band

 Achill, weekend of November 24th


Crimlin Batafada

Masterclass in Drumming with Stephen Doyle and Samantha Duffy.

& Masterclass in Piping with Terry Tully

Masterclass in Drumming  

Stephen Doyle and Samantha Duffy are members of the St. Laurence O’Toole Development Pipe Band. Their drum corps were crowned World Champions in Grade 3A  at the recent World Pipe Band Championships inGlasgow.

Stephen is the leading drummer of the band and has previously led the Lord Edwards Own and Black Raven Drum Corps before taking up the role in O’Tooles.

Samantha is a talented young tenor drummer who recently won the Leinster Solos after her brilliant achievement of being placed 10th in the International Tenor drum competition at the World Solo Drumming Championships inGlasgow.

The pipe band drumming workshop will feature the development of specific drum scores for the Crimlin Batafada Drummers and the introduction to various tenor flourishing techniques for tenor drum.

Masterclass in Piping

Pipe Major Terry Tully of St. Laurence O’Toole’s pipe Band will give a Masterclass in piping to members of the Crimlin Batafada Pipe band.   Terry comes from a long line of pipers, his parental grandfather, his father and mother were all pipers.  Terry has written three successful piping books.

Masterclass in Drumming  - Saturday 17th November, 2012.

Masterclass in Piping – Saturday 1st Dec & Sunday 2nd December


Mayo Youth Theatre (MYT) Masterclasses with Annie Ryan.

Founder of the Corn Exchange Theatre, Actress and Director Annie Ryan will give  workshops with MYT inTeamBuildingand Improvisation. 

Established in 1999, MYT not only aims to facilitate the enjoyment of drama but also aims to promote, develop and support high quality youth theatre .It emphasizes personal and social development equally with the attainment of artistic excellence. In youth theatre personal and social developments are as important as artistic quality.

Team Building & Improv Masterclasses.  Saturday 8th of December.  Ballina Arts Centre.



(These workshops are not open to the general public)

DJ workshops with DJ PC.

DJ Paul Cunningham will give DJ workshops with Charlestown & ClareIslandForóige Groups.  The workshops will be interactive with an emphasis on participants having a practical and fun, hands-on learning experience about DJing and computer based music production and performance. Participants will be introduced to the basics of using DJ equipment, computer software and hardware and be given a short overview of the general audio theory underpinning the technology.  The fun starts when they are invited to make their own musical track or DJ mix to take home with them in MP3 format.

Paul has been a DJ and music producer for the last 20 years. He has DJ'd all overIreland, in theU.K. andEurope.  He has worked as a sound engineer, music promoter, radio producer and presenter in addition to spending time writing about and reviewing music for a number of publications. In that time he has grown to love music more and more and in recent years has been involved in the design and delivery of a number of music education modules for teenagers as well as working through music with adults and young people with learning difficulties.

Charlestown Arts Centre Friday 16th of November

Community Centre, Clare Island, Saturday 17th of November. This workshop is being run in conjunction with Cliara Development Company,ClareIsland.


Removing Barriers in Creative Thinking

Steph Troy with Ty Students ofDavittCollege, Castlebar.

Steph Troy has been a passionate advocate for the importance of developing creative thinking as a way of empowering the individual and the community. Steph’s workshops are about removing the barriers in our thinking that get in the way of our creativity and developing some useful strategies to nurture our individual creative processes. Steph’s creative thinking workshops are very active and as part of the process participants utilise varied art techniques and productive play towards the goal of creative freedom and innovative problem-solving.

Davitt College, Friday 30th of November.  11 – 12.30pm

For further information on any of the above please contact the arts office on:

T: 094 90 24444 ext 7558/7471,


W: – Arts Section

Facebook:  Mayo ArtsOffice

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