Sharon Shannon to open NUI Galway Arts in Action programme

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Sharon Shannon and guitarist Jim Murray will open NUI Galway’s 2021 Arts in Action programme with a free online concert to launch her new partnership with the university’s Music degree.

The concert will be presented on Wednesday 17 February at 1pm as the 2021 Jean Ritchie Lecture, and will celebrate the future potential from Sharon Shannon’s engagement with NUI Galway’s Music students.

Along with her long-time collaborator, Irish-American fiddle player, Win Horan, Sharon will deliver a series of masterclasses that look at different facets of the creation, performance and production of traditional Irish music.

These masterclasses will be used as part of the teaching of traditional music modules within the new BA in Music.

Sharon and Win will follow up the masterclasses with six live workshops per year, in which they will discuss traditional Irish music directly with the students.

This will also be the first Arts in Action programme to be presented following the death of the programme’s founding director and curator, Mary McPartlan, the accomplished folk singer and educator, in spring 2020.

galway daily news sharon shannon nuig arts music ba

In celebration of McPartlan, the theme of this limited 2021 programme is ‘art as legacy’, and it features traditional and classical music, drama, performance and literary-focused events.

The entire programme will be presented online free of charge providing viewers nationally and internationally a chance to share in this unique Arts in Action programme.

“I’m delighted to be involved with the Music Department, and am really excited about sharing my music with the students at NUI Galway via the online masterclass series we have developed,” said Sharon Shannon.

“It’s also a great honour to perform along with Jim Murray in celebrating Arts in Action in 2021 and to help re-launch the late Mary McPartlan’s great series.”

Head of Music at NUI Galway Dr Aidan Thomson said that he is thrilled that Music students will have the opportunity to work with a musician of the calibre of Sharon Shannon.

“Galway has a rich history of traditional music, and it is wonderful that one of its greatest exponents should be able to share her expertise with our students, and in turn greatly enhance their learning,” he said.

“The next three years will be a very exciting time for the BA in Music.”

To learn about the Bachelor of Arts in Music at NUI Galway, visit

To attend free live streamed Arts in Action events register here: