The NUI Galway Medical Orchestra will give two concerts in Mayo and Sligo Hospitals this month. The concerts will take place on Saturday, 24 November at 6pm in the Hume Hall, Sligo IT and on Sunday afternoon, 25 November at 2pm at Mayo General Hospital (St. Mary’s Hall) in Castlebar.
Entitled ‘The Maureen Woods Memorial Concerts’, students will perform for the patients and medical staff of both hospitals, to invited guest musicians from the medical academy of Sligo and Mayo and also to invited members of the public. Both performances are free, thanks to the benefactors, the Woods family of Tarmon Co. Leitrim.
The concerts by the NUI Galway Medical Orchestra celebrate much of what Maureen Woods loved and believed in – the healing power of music, the essential role of the arts in medicine, and the close bonds between the creative instinct and the best of science and medicine.
Speaking in advance of the performance in Castlebar, Kevin Barry, Dean, Mayo Medical Academy, said: “I am delighted that NUI Galway Medical Orchestra is coming to perform at Mayo General Hospital/Mayo Medical Academy. This is a unique opportunity to celebrate the cultural, spiritual and healing powers associated with music. We have long recognised the importance of the arts in promoting patient welfare. The Arts Committee at Mayo General Hospital has for example, hosted many wonderful exhibitions at our hospital over the years including the works of our patients. NUI Galway Medical Orchestra is a fantastic initiative and the various student members are to be congratulated for their dedication and strength of character. I look forward to a great afternoon of entertainment. This is a most inspiring event.”
Dr Geraldine McCarthy, Dean of Sligo Medical Academy, said: “Sligo Medical Academy and Sligo Regional Hospital are delighted to welcome the NUI Galway Medical Orchestra to Sligo for their concert for hospital staff and patients. It is a wonderful initiative linking the arts and health and the students have been great ambassadors for Galway Medical School.”
The NUI Galway Medical Orchestra is made up solely of medical students from across Clinical Sciences to include medical students as well as students from Nursing, Midwifery and the Therapies.
One of the ground breaking initiatives of Clinical Sciences at NUI Galway under Professor Fidelma Dunne, Head of School and Dr Gerard Flaherty, Senior Lecturer in Clinical Medicine, is to offer formal academic credit to medical students who choose to join the orchestra special study module.
The arranger and musical director is the well-known musician Carl Hession and the producer of the orchestra is Mary McPartlan of NUI Galway and originally from Drumkeerin, Co. Leitrim.
Speaking of the initiative, Professor Fidelma Dunne, Head of School at Clinical Sciences, said: “This is an excellent performance opportunity for the students involved, as well as recognising the benefits of music and the importance of the creative arts in the development of young students studying medicine, the holistic nature of their endeavour and the integrity it embeds into their lives as healthcare professionals.
I would particularly like to thank the family of Maureen Woods for helping to make these two concerts possible through their generous sponsorship of these two concerts in Sligo and Castlebar.”
The Medical Orchestra at NUI Galway has been in existence for over a year and it has already established itself as a very positive initiative with a number of high profile public performances. The orchestra is open to students across the Schools of Medicine, Nursing & Midwifery and Health Sciences and students may select the orchestra to attain academic credit or simply participate for their personal satisfaction, enjoyment and development.