Ukes4Youth is Music Generation Leitrim’s cross border project for teenagers, which has been developed with partners Enniskillen Royal Grammar School and Carrigallen Vocational School under Leitrim County Council’s Peace IV programme. The programme involves over sixty teenagers from across the two counties who have had the opportunity to meet new friends and share in the learning of a new instrument, learn new songs and be introduced to bands and styles that perhaps they wouldn’t otherwise have considered.

As part of the project, the group of young people performed a relaxed concert for family and friends in St. Macartin's Cathedral Hall, Enniskillen on Saturday March 9.

During the event the group performed three songs on ukuleles and also a percussion piece led by the main group facilitator Andy Spearpoint.

Enniskillen Royal Grammar School student Marc Hennessy introduced the first song of the concert, which was 'Teenage Kicks' by the Undertones. Marc explained that the song was first performed in 1978 in the height of The Troubles within Northern Ireland and how it "thrived in a time of such civil unrest."

Following the introduction of the song, Marc was asked what he had enjoyed about the project so far.

He said: "I've enjoyed it immensely. It's mainly the people who you meet that is actually one of the best parts about it. If it wasn't for this programme I wouldn't have met many of the people who are sitting here today who I have got along with so well over the past few months."

He continued: "The ukulele is completely new to me, I had never learned an instrument so I thought this was a great opportunity for me to finally actually learn one and I have enjoyed it very much."

Darcey Pancott who is also a student of Enniskillen Royal Grammar School said: "It's been really fun and I've met so many new people who are all really nice."

Commenting on her experience, Grainne Reynolds from Carrigallen Vocational School said: "Me and my family usually play Irish traditional music so I wouldn't have really played any of the songs that I have learnt today. It's been great because it's opened me up to a whole new genre of music that I never really would have thought of listening to and it's given me new favourite songs that if I'd heard them on the radio I wouldn't have actually stopped to listen to, which has been great."

She added: "I very much enjoyed the project, I have made so many new friends from Northern Ireland."

A great afternoon of live music was enjoyed by all in attendance.

Music Generation is Ireland’s National Music Education Programme which seeks to transform the lives of children and young people through access to high-quality, subsidised performance music education. Established in 2010 by Music Network, Music Generation is co-funded by U2, The Ireland Funds, the Department of Education and Skills and Local Music Education Partnerships. Leitrim was one of nine new Music Education Partnerships selected to participate in Music Generation in September 2017 and since then has successfully begun to develop new programmes for children and young people in the county. The lead partner for Music Generation Leitrim is Mayo, Sligo and Leitrim Education and Training Board, supported by Leitrim County Council.

Speaking at the launch of the project Therese McCartin, Music Generation Leitrim Development Officer said: "The children and young people of Leitrim are very lucky to have Music Generation in the county at last. It is already creating wonderful and exciting opportunities to learn an instrument and engage in ensemble work in the county."