Interview: Aoife Corcoran (Member of Harp Ensemble)

Interview to Aoife Corcoran on 4 October 2020.
Aoife is 15 years old and the member of Music Generation Laois Harp Ensemble.

➖ Could you tell us how you got into playing a harp, and what brought you to learn a harp at Music generation Laois?

I started playing harp when Music Generation Laois introduced harp lessons to my primary school. I loved the sound of the harps, so I started lessons. Music Generation Laois informed me of the harp ensemble, so I decided to join that, too.

➖ Could you tell us what kind of lessons you’re taking, the contents of lessons and your feelings and opinions about the lessons at Music Generation Laois? How do you think about Music Generation Laois as a whole?

I have an hour lesson with the harp ensemble and a 30 minute private lesson with two other people. We usually play the piece we learned the previous week and then we start on a new piece. I enjoy the lessons and you get a lot done in time you have at them. Music Generation Laois are outstanding. They have provided so many opportunities for people, especially young people.

➖ What music do you like the best? What is the content of the piece? Why do you like it?

I don’t really have a preference to what type of music I like, but I love Michael Rooney’s pieces. His pieces mainly consist of 10th in the left hand. I like them because its upbeat and I like his style of music.

➖ What is your favorite class in your school? What is the contents and why do you like it

I like to draw and sing. I enjoy dancing, especially Irish dancing. I like to go on walks and play with my dog. I like to meet up with my friends regularly, too.

➖ What do you like to do apart from playing a harp?

My favorite class is art. I love to draw and I like making art objects, too. In the art class we study art history, work on drawings and create artwork. My favorite activity would be basketball after school. We do warm-ups and then we do a practice match. I love hanging out with my friends there and I enjoy going to the matches.

➖ I hear that you keep learning a harp on zoom since the lockdown. Please tell us your feeling and opinions the lessons on zoom.

I think the zoom lesson was handy as I didn’t have to travel for harp lessons. The only issue I found from using it was if your internet connection was bad, you couldn’t hear what other people were saying. Other than that the zoom was a good idea. During pandemic, I usually go for walks or I help my dad on the farm. I also play with my dog a lot.

➖ I hear that ‘The Spirit of Laois Suite’ was composed by Michael Rooney collaborating young harpers including you. You discussed about Laois and Michael composed the suite based on it. Where are your favorite places to visit in County Laois? Could you share the attraction of ‘The Spirit of Laois Suite’ you think? Can you tell me what it was like to work with Michael?

I like to go for a walk along the grand canal in Laois as the view around you is breath taking. I love to go to the Rock of Dunamaise in Portlaoise as the view from that height is amazing. Laois is my home place, so that’s why it’s special to me. Michael was great fun to work with. He is funny and we got a lot of tunes learned while we were working with him.

➖ Could you share the most memorable stories of domestic and overseas performances in each with photo or movie at Music Generation Laois?

One memory was when we were out in Edinburgh, Scotland for a harp festival. We did lots of fun staff while we were there. I remember we all sat down to watch the jungle book while eating pizza.

➖ What is your dream in the future?

My dream is to become a vet. I love animals and I would love to work with animals. Another job I’m interested in is a secondary school teacher. I’d hope to become a geography and art teacher.

➖ What do you want to do in Japan apart from the concerts? Would you mind sharing your expectation to the concerts in Japan and message to Japanese audience?

In Japan I would like to go sightseeing and shopping. I hope the concerts go well and that the people enjoy the music we play for them. I would tell the Japanese audience to enjoy the concert and to be open minded to other cultures such as us Irish people.

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