Mayo based musicians; you are invited to share your views on February 02nd. 

Brought to you by First Music Contact, Mayo County Council and Ballina Arts Centre, the aim of this project is to develop a way of offering equal access to professional development services to musicians all around Ireland and to help Arts Officers to develop programs and supports for musicians locally.    

About this Workshop: 

The workshop will take place on Zoom on Wednesday February 02nd. The workshop will focus on supports available to musicians at a local level. Facilitated by First Music Contact and Mayo County Council Arts Service, we will look at what supports are already available locally and what supports you would like to see made available to musicians. A panel of industry experts will be joining the workshop and will be available to answer any questions you might have.  

Booking information: 

 To receive your zoom link to this meeting please email [email protected]  

 After registering, you will receive a confirmation email containing information about joining the meeting. 

Meet the Team: 

Angela Dorgan is the CEO of (FMC). Angela is also the current chair of the National Campaign for the Arts, who lobby government for increased support, funding and recognition of artists, arts workers and arts organisations in Ireland. Angela was recently elected Vice President of EMEE, the European Music Exporters Exchange, where she was part of a group that devised a global music export strategy for European Music for the European Commission.  

Jim Carroll is a music industry journalist. He writes about music and the music business for The Ticket , the weekly entertainment supplement with The Irish Times, and has been doing so since it was launched in November 2000. On The Record is the blog of the column which he writes for The Ticket. 

He has worked for several UK labels including Go! Discs, Warner Music and Dedicated Records and has worked as a press officer for London Records. He is the co-founder of the Choice Music Prize, the Irish Album of the Year event. 

About First Music Contact: 

First Music Contact (FMC) is the Arts Council-funded resource organisation for the popular music sector in Ireland with local, national and international impact. For the past 24 years they have supported and showcased the careers of Ireland’s popular musicians and professionals. They take a long-term developmental approach to Ireland’s popular music sector and help write the soundtrack to Ireland’s future. Through a strategic talent development pipeline, their careers and creative output, they provide popular music artists in Ireland with the resources, training, skills development and showcase platforms needed to advance. 

This programme is strategically funded by Mayo County Council in partnership with the Arts Council with support from Creative Ireland 

New members induction session Saturday February 5th at 10am

Please click here to register

In order to become a member of The Core and avail of this wonderful resource for youth musicians / performers / music producers, prospective members must fully attend a live induction session at The Core.  This is required to activate membership and gain access to the service.  Advance booking is required. Please contact Philip on 0877485954 to book a place. The session lasts approx. 90 minutes – 2 hours. More info on membership benefits below.

Members of The Core…

  • Have access to the rehearsal space and recording facility.
  • Are first to hear about our upcoming industry workshops and performance opportunities.
  • Get added to our private members only WhatsApp group where they can interact with members from all over the county.
  • Get special discounts on workshops and tuition.
  • Get free mentoring and feedback sessions from an experienced touring, recording artist.
  • Can book free advice clinics.
  • Can participate in our frequent open mic evenings, camps & workshops without the sign up procedure.
  • Get help in organising and preparing for a live performance
  • Get help in organising and preparing for recording and releasing their music.
  • Have a say in what we programme at The Core. After all it is YOUR music space.
  • Members also get concession tickets to shows at the Ballina Arts Centre. This a exciting way to see professional touring artists at a fraction of the price.

Membership fee is only €60 for 6 months or €100 for 12 months.  The fee is payable at induction. Induction sessions are ongoing. You will be contacted about upcoming induction sessions after the application form is submitted. Philip is happy to take a call on 087-7485954 if you need any assistance.

If you would like a tour , come along to our next Open Mic (See events page) or contact [email protected] or call 087-7485954 to make an appointment.

Western Pic


“My 13 year old son attended a Core camp this summer for the first time. He loved it so much he signed up for a second camp and has now joined as a member of The Core. His experiences have infused him with confidence and has grown him in branching out from classical piano to try other musical styles as well to his great delight. Philip’s great experience and encouraging style has had a tremendous impact on my sons’s music and his person. The new friends my son now has to jam with are an added bonus!”
-Brendan Meyerink, Ballina.

“I like The Core because it is an accessible, informal and non-competitive space for young people where their love of music is nurtured. It’s very well organised and a place where each student is encouraged to express themselves and try out different styles of music. Each student is valued as an individual and supported in their journey to build on their ability and follow their dream”
-Kathleen Collins, Cooneal.

“Ben has been a member of The Core since it began. He attends the open mic sessions throughout the year and The Core music stage lunchtime concerts during the Ballina Salmon Festival. Even though he doesn’t perform on stage, he prefers to concentrate on the sound/equipment offstage. Philip also runs music workshops throughout the year where they write, perform, record and produce songs, which Ben really enjoys as he gets tips and advice on sound engineering/production from fellow Core members and Philip. On the whole I find Philip very encouraging and approachable. He involves all Core members in all their musical interests and I know Ben is enjoying being a member.”
Ann Lynott, Crossmolina.

“My Daughter was diagnosed with higher functioning Autism when she was 13,she felt very lonely and different from anyone else she knew. Her one love was music. We were told about Music Generation by Western Care ,she started out going to Jam Bands in Claremorris and then onto The Core in Ballina where she has thrived ! She has lots of friends who accept her for who she is and tutors /musicians who treat her as an equal and give her and every member all the support and encouragement she could ever need. She has performed in front of small crowds and in front of crowded streets in Ballina. Her confidence has soared and looks forward to every minute she spends with everyone in The Core. Joining was the best thing we’ve done for her.”

“The Core is a great outlet for young musicians to develop their talent with recording facilities provided and added opportunities for performing. It’s wonderful!”
Aine Bashford, Carrowteige.