Date: 02 Mar 2023
Category: Culture and arts
Belfast Lord Mayor Councillor Christina Black met with three St Mary’s University College students today, ahead of their trip Nashville, USA next week.
Molly Walls, Maeve O’Donnell and Rosie McElroy have been selected to perform in the St Patrick’s Day celebration ‘Music City Irish Fest’ in Belfast’s Sister City, and to promote Belfast’s Unesco City of Music Status.
Lord Mayor Cllr Christina Black said: “I’d like to wish these very talented students a successful, rewarding, and fun trip to our Sister City of Nashville. Belfast really values the Sister City relationship we have with Nashville – it was founded over 25 years ago on our cities’ shared love of music and culture. Today, it encompasses economic, tourism and of course educational, collaborations. This visit will allow Belfast to promote our new UNESCO City Of Music status to America’s Music City – Nashville. St Mary’s is renowned for the role that music plays in the college and performing at Nashville’s Music City Irish Fest provides a wonderful opportunity to showcase both the college and the city. These students are the perfect Belfast ambassadors.”
Brenda Willis Founder and CEO of Music City Irish Fest added: “Music is a universal bridge that connects people and cultures. This St Patrick’s Day, Music City Irish Fest in Nashville is delighted to welcome students from St Mary’s University College to collaborate on music performances that will continue to build the Sister Cities relationship between these two musical cities - Belfast - UNESCO City of Music and Nashville - Music City, USA.”
College Principal, Professor Peter Finn KSG, said: “St Mary’s University College is delighted to welcome the Lord Mayor of Belfast, Counsellor Christina Black, to our campus today to celebrate the forthcoming visit of three student teachers to the Nashville Music City for St Patrick’s Day.
“Molly Walls, Maeve O’Donnell and Rosie McElroy are a talented trio of traditional musicians, representing both St Mary’s University College and the city of Belfast. St Mary’s has been involved in international outreach since the early 1990s and this new venture builds on an extensive portfolio of travel and learning opportunities for our students.”
The invitation to the St Mary’s students came from the Nashville Sister Cities President after a visit to the college. During the week-long trip the students will perform at the Grand Ole Opry Plaza, learn about the Nashville music industry and visit both the Blair School of Music at Vanderbilt University and the College of Music and Performing Arts at Belmont University.
They will also take in Nashville’s Schermerhorn Symphony Center, Nashville City Hall and will be hosted by the Nashville Vice-Mayor at a Nashville Predators Ice Hockey game. And they’ll have the chance to record at the world-famous BMI studio, currently the largest music rights organisation in the US.