Star-studded fundraiser for Derry’s Link Music School

Swanee River.
Swanee River.

A stunning musical fundraiser will take place at Sandinos Venue this coming Thursday, March 1, to help raise money for one of the city’s newest and most ambitious community interest companies - the Link Music School on Castle Street.

Local rockers Swanee River, Our Krypton Son, Balkan Alien Sound, Little Bear, Grace and Mercy and The Lost will all be taking to Sandinos’ stage on Thursday night to help promote and fund Link Music School.

Mark Forbes, Mark O'Doherty and Denis McLaughlin from Link Studios.  (0609JB06)

Mark Forbes, Mark O'Doherty and Denis McLaughlin from Link Studios. (0609JB06)

The five visionary musicians behind Link Music School, Paddy Danagher, Denis McLaughlin, Mark O’Doherty, Kevin McGowan and Marc Forbes, have just found out they’ve received their first funding from the EU to help initiate the Children’s Promise - which aims to see every schoolchild in Derry using a musical instrument before the City of Culture 2013 celebrations.

‘Music for the Masses’ is part of a collaboration with music schools, youth groups and social entrepreneurs in partner countries Denmark, Estonia, Slovenia, Spain.

The main aim of ‘Music for the Masses’ is to promote intercultural dialogue amongst European young people, artists and practitioners, with a focus on conceiving and developing a possible strategy around a youth and music policy that focuses on marginalized young people and how this could be implemented.

‘Music for the Masses’ also aims to encourage young people to consider a career in a music related field.

Our Krypton Son.

Our Krypton Son.

All of the partner countries involved will deliver a variety of workshops in their respective countries and evaluate social and personal development, followed by a Trans-National Seminar which will be held in Derry’s White Horse Hotel in August.

During the seminar policy makers will be drawn from a variety of settings including other music schools, collectives, City of Culture Company, education sector, business, NGO and voluntary sector as well as local and national government for a “conference” day. Representatives from the UK and Ireland-wide music industry will also be involved.

Link Music School opened its doors back in September last year, with its five-strong team all graduates of music from the University of Ulster who found themselves disenchanted with the opportunities available locally.

Thanks to some seriously hard work and dedication, Link Music now boasts state-of-the-art facilities for the benefit of its clients.

Tutor Paddy Danagher says of the school: “We have a lot of backgrounds in engineering, production, performance, we all bring something different to the table. All of us have been teaching and all of us love what we do.

“The music school has a studio in it, which we run at a reduced cost to the public. That idea, in turn, led us down the avenue of becoming a community-interest company, which is a non-profit company, but will allow us to go for funding.”

The ‘Link’ aspect of the school came about because of their broad scope in working in all levels of expertise with all parts of the community, youth elderly, marginalised, and musicians from across the religious divide.

To find out more about Link Music, telephone: 71. 360113 or email: or see: or look up Link Musicschool on facebook.

In the meantime, don’t miss some of the city’s finest musicians embark upon a stage spectacular at Sandinos’ Venue this coming Thursday, March 1. Admission will be £7 and doors open at 9pm.