Arts in Action at NUI Galway will host its finale concert in The Cube at Áras na Mac Léinn on Wednesday, 4 April at 6.30pm.
This event will feature an ensemble of 20 musicians from the NUI Galway Medical Orchestra directed by traditional musicians, Máirtín O’Connor and Garry O’Briain, along with special guests, including Arts in Action Creative Director, Mary McPartlan, who was instrumental in establishing the Medical Orchestra in 2010.
The NUI Galway Medical Orchestra has become an important outlet for medical student expression and creativity and has had successful public performances in Ireland and overseas.
A choral ensemble was created in 2016. Participation in the Medical Orchestra is eligible for academic credit as a special study module in Years One and Four of the undergraduate medical programme.
Previous performances of the Orchestra at University Hospital Galway and in the regional Medical Academies in Donegal, Sligo and Mayo have highlighted the healing influence of music in the lives of patients and their care-givers.
There is a growing scholarship in medical humanities and NUI Galway recently established a medical humanities committee.
Its special study module in Medicine and the Arts, directed by Mary McPartlan and Dr Eva Flynn, Lecturer in General Practice, is very popular among the students.
This year saw the introduction of an additional special study module in Creativity, led by a local artist, Finbar McHugh.
Reflecting on the commitment of NUI Galway to the integration of the Arts in Medicine, Undergraduate Programme Director, Professor Gerard Flaherty, commented: “All aspects of artistic creativity and expression have a role to play in the recovery and rehabilitation of patients and in the personal development and self-care of medical students and doctors. Our university medical school is leading the way in embedding the Arts in its medical curriculum and we look forward to further exciting opportunities for collaboration with colleagues in the Arts community and in the College of Arts, Social Sciences and Celtic Studies at NUI Galway.”
Professor Maccon Keane, Consultant Medical Oncologist at University Hospital Galway and a member of the Board of the Galway International Arts Festival, said: “Recognising the role of music in oncology care where it creates solace and space to depart from the difficulties of treatment and a mental safety net in which normal life can exist.
“However this particular piece is unique in that it fuses the sounds of oncology care with music bringing the science and art of healing together.”