Wednesday, 8 March 2023

Congratulations to Laura Heneghan, University of Galway BA Music Graduate, winner of the Seán Ó Riada Composition Competition. Read more here

Thursday, 23 February 2023

A new report has been launched which looks at how a musician's gender can impact their career and experiences within the Irish music industry. Also featured on RTÉ Brainstorm, the author of the report is Dr Ann-Marie Hanlon, a Lecturer of Music at the School of English & Creative Arts at the University of Galway. Read full story here.

Thursday, 20 October 2022

Pictured at the Emily Anderson Concert, Thursday 20th October, presented by Music for Galway and the University of Galway are Finghin Collins, Artistic Director with Music for Galway,  Ellison Hassel-Cramer, Laura Heneghan and Katie Feeney (three recent graduates of the BA in Music) The evening included three Beethoven Sonatas for piano and violin.  The graduates had been commissioned to write three further pieces for this concert. Dutch star violinist Rosanne Philippens with her duo partner Hungarian concert pianist Zoltan Fejervari also gave the world premiere of these works to an enthusiastic audience on the night. 

Monday, 29 August 2022

Graduates from the BA Arts (Music) Degree were conferred at a ceremony at NUI Galway on Monday, 29th August 2022. This cohort of graduates were the first ever music students to graduate from a Music Degree at NUI Galway. Congratulations to all!

Thursday, 7 April 2022

Music was delighted to hold its very first final year Music Practice Recitals in the Emily Anderson Concert Hall on Thursday, 7th April 2022.  Through instruments of piano, voice, violin and percussion, students performed a short recital programme before an invited audience. Pictured with the final year students are Mr Mark Duley, Module Convenor and Dr Aidan Thomson, Head of Music at NUI Galway.   Photo: Mr Mark Duley, Niamh Connor, Christopher Callinan, Katie Feeney, Casey Cowan, Sinead StJohn, Kimberley, O'Hehir, Dr Aidan Thomson

Monday, 22 November 2021

Music at NUI Galway was delighted to hold the first final year performance exams.  Through instruments of voice, piano, guitar and concertina, the group of final year music students performed in front of an invited audience in the Emily Anderson Concert Hall at NUI Galway. Pictured: Dr Aidan Thomson, Head of Music at NUI Galway, Rachel Reed, Laura Heneghan, Eimear Cowman, Roisin Seoighe, David Love (all Final Year Music Students) and Dr Deirdre Ní Chonghaile, Module Convenor (Irish Traditional Music Performance)

Friday, 26 March 2021

This is the recording of the seventh webinar for the “Re-Imagining the Creative Arts Curriculum and the Creative Arts Canon" webinar series hosted by the School of English and Creative Arts at NUI Galway and supported by the National Forum for the Enhancement of Teaching and Learning in Higher Education. This webinar took place on Friday March 26th 3-4.30pm (Irish Time) The webinar Irish Classical Music and the Canon featured speakers: Dr Laura Watson (MU), Dr John O’Flynn (DCU), Elaine Agnew (Composer), and Maeve Bryan (Galway Music Residency) and was chaired by Dr Aidan Thomson. Timestamps: Dr Laura Watson (04:13​) Dr John O’Flynn (15:35​) Elaine Agnew (29:04​) Maeve Bryan (43:03​) Q&A (52:30​)

Friday, 19 March 2021

This is a recording of the sixth webinar for the “Re-Imagining the Creative Arts Curriculum and the Creative Arts Canon" webinar series hosted by the School of English and Creative Arts at NUI Galway and supported by the National Forum for the Enhancement of Teaching and Learning in Higher Education. This webinar took place on Friday March 19th from 3-4.30pm (Irish Time) The webinar 'Engaged Assessment in the Creative Arts' featured students from the School of English and Creative Arts at NUI Galway in a roundtable discussion with the panel chair Dr Frances McCormack (NUI Galway).  

Thursday, 11 February 2021

Distinguished accordion player, and honorary doctorate holder, Dr Sharon Shannon along with guitarist Jim Murray, will open the University's 2021 Arts in Action Programme with a free concert online on Wednesday, 17th February at 1pm to launch her new partnership with NUI Galway's Music degree and you are all invited to join in.  To register for this event and all events, please click here at   See the full programme here at

Friday, 16 October 2020

On Monday, 16th November 2020, Sharon Shannon and Win Horan had their introductory masterclass with the 1st Year Music Students, via Zoom, as part of their Irish Traditional Music module with Dr Verena Commins. Sharon and Win who are experienced Irish traditional musicians in their own right, performed live and spoke about the new partnership with NUI Galway and the forthcoming collaboration with Music. Both students and staff truly enjoyed the wonderful live performance which we had craved for so long! We very much look forward to working with Sharon in what will be a very exciting time for the BA in Music!

Thursday, 10 October 2019

The Department of Music at NUI Galway welcomes Fred Freeman, Professor of Traditional Music at The Royal Conservatoire of Scotland, who will play tribute to Hamish Henderson with a lecture in this, the centenary of his birth. Drawing song and verse examples from his CD tribute album, Fred considers one of the outstanding figures of the 20th-century: a man who accepted the surrender of Italy during WW II; won the Somerset Maugham Prize for his war elegies (which bear comparison with Siegfried Sassoon or Wilfred Owen); was a prime mover for the founding The School of Scottish Studies; influenced, quite directly, the course of 20th-century history. His songs (like BALLAD OF THE D-DAY DODGERS, BANKS OF SICILY, RIVONIA & THE FREEDOM COME ALL YE) were sung by British soldiers and Italian partisans in the field of battle during WW II and by the freedom fighters of S. Africa throughout the 1960s. Moreover, his theories of art and the artist (which can be seen as an extension of the ideas of Antonio Gramsci) make him somewhat unique in the history of 20th-century literature in Britain. His achievement has been fully acknowledged by Nelson Mandela, Montale, Pete Seeger, Bob Dylan, E. P. Thomson and others. Currently, Professor of Scottish Music at The Royal Conservatoire of Scotland, Fred Freeman is a graduate of Aberdeen and Edinburgh universities and was Senior Associate Member of St Antony’s College, University of Oxford for two years. He is author of numerous books and articles on Scottish literature, Scots language, folk music and history; was formally recognised by the ASLS with a lifetime Honorary Fellowship in 2014. Over the past decade, he has drawn upon his extensive musical background, producing over 47 (internationally acclaimed) CDs, including the only ever recorded “COMPLETE SONGS OF ROBERT BURNS” (Linn Records) and a Hamish Henderson tribute album, “A’ the bairns o Adam”.

Tuesday, 15 May 2018

From September 2018, students at NUI Galway will be able to take a Bachelor of Arts honours degree in Music. This is an exciting development for music making and music education in the west of Ireland, and builds on the University’s established reputation for excellence in creative arts subjects. The University has also announced the appointment of new Head of Music, Dr Aidan Thomson. Dr Thomson has taught at the University of Oxford, the University of Leeds and, for the last fourteen years, Queen’s University Belfast, principally in music history, theory and analysis, but also in performance. A feature of the four-year BA degree is that all students will have the opportunity in their third year to undertake a music-related placement. Students will also be able to work with top musical professionals throughout their degree, notably the current Galway Musicians in Residence, the ConTempo String Quartet. The core of the degree is a thorough grounding in musicianship - theory, harmony, keyboard harmony and critical listening - and training in the repertory and culture of western classical and Irish traditional music. Students will also take core modules in performance, composition and sound technology over the course of their first two years. The degree is thus aligned with the requirements of the Irish Teaching Council, meaning that graduates would be equipped to take postgraduate teaching qualifications in Music at primary and secondary level. Students will be able to learn from leading professional musicians during their degree through masterclasses and concerts. The university is developing strategic partnerships with the Galway Music Residency and Music for Galway, and is building on existing expertise in Music in different disciplines within the institution. The degree complements many other disciplines within the College of Arts: English, Irish Studies, modern languages, and, most significantly, Drama and Film Studies. Students will have the chance to take modules that look at the relationship between music and theatre, and music and words, both academically and practically. In their final year, they will also take a module in writing about music and performance criticism, which is a feature of all creative arts subjects at NUI Galway. Dr Aidan Thomson, newly appointed Senior Lecturer in Music at NUI Galway, said: “The timing of this new degree could not be better. Introducing music has the potential to make NUI Galway an important hub for musical performance, creation and thought. It builds on Galway’s reputation as a centre for artistic excellence, as recognized in its City of Culture status in 2020. The flexibility of the Music degree will equip students to embark on a wide variety of careers. They will be ideally equipped to build on the creative energy that will be Galway 2020’s legacy, be it as performers, composers, teachers, journalists, arts administrators or broadcasters, among others. But even before that, our students will be at the heart of the creative life of the university, the city and beyond.”