Riverbank Arts Centre is pleased to announce the recipients of our 2022 Music Bursary. The primary objective of the Riverbank Arts Centre Music Bursary is to provide opportunities for Kildare-based professional musicians to develop their practice and/or to create and develop new work. Four bursaries are available as part of this programme – each comprising a cash bursary (€2500) and additional support-in-kind (space, mentorship etc) if required.
This year, as with previous years, the quality of applications was exceptionally strong. Our independent panel of assessors have made their decision and we are delighted that we can now announce that the successful applicants are Jack Colleran, Megan O’Neill, Carrie Haskins and Kasia Eliasz.
“Riverbank Arts Centre has a strong connection with music artists of all genres and this Music Bursary is designed to give some support to music artists to focus on their practice – whether that is composing, recording, devising or collaborating.” Venue Director Caroline Williams states “This is the second year of our Music Bursary and between the two years, there were over 50 applications received by Open Call from all genres – classical, contemporary, popular, traditional and more. Congratulations to the four recipients – we look forward to supporting their plans and ambitions.”
Jack Colleran is an Irish artist and composer. He has created scores for ensembles performing in the National Concert hall, Dublin and the Barbican, London and produced compositions for Simone Rocha amongst others. He most recently scored his first feature film — A Worm In The Heart, a film which highlights the injustices faced by the LGBTQ+ communities across Russia and has received strong critical acclaim from the international music press and film community.
In response to receiving the bursary Jack says: “I feel very grateful to receive this bursary which will enable me to develop new collaborative work with other Irish artists. Huge thank you to the Riverbank Arts Centre team for this opportunity.”
Kildare Singer – Songwriter Megan O’Neill has recently released her EP Time (Thought you were on my side). Named one of the Irish Examiner’s Ones to Watch in 2022, this EP features five songs written and recorded throughout 2021 with producer Richey McCourt. Both singles (Wildfire and Fail Better) became top 10 charting singles and were playlisted by RTE Radio 1, iRadio, Spin 1038 and more.
O’Neill’s sophomore studio album Getting Comfortable with Uncertainty was released in March 2021. Time in a Bottle, the bonus track, featured on episode one of hit Netflix TV Show Firefly Lane and one week later, O’Neill performed the song live on the RTE Late Late Show – reaching an audience of approximately 2 million and charting that same weekend in Ireland across all genres. Time in a Bottle was the highest new entry on the Irish Homegrown Charts and playlisted by RTE Radio.
“I am so thrilled to receive the Riverbank Arts Centre Music Bursary this year, which will allow me to focus on writing and composing new music over the coming months” Megan stated when she learned she had been awarded one of the bursaries, “I’m really grateful to be one of the recipients for 2022.”
Megan O’Neill image credit: Andy Teo
Carrie Haskins is a young singer, songwriter, and musician from Kildare who describes her musical style as ‘country crossover’. In 2012, Carrie donated her song, Mine to the Jack & Jill Children’s Foundation as the backing track for Jonathan Irwin’s story about his son Jack. This video reached over one million people during the first week after its release. During November 2016 Carrie and her writing partner travelled to Nashville where they spent a period of two weeks showcasing, co-writing and performing in a number of popular venues throughout the music city. In 2021, Carrie released her song The Lullaby, which was a song of love and devotion to her child Harry. The completed 10-track album titled Last Rites, was released on the 27th of September 2017 with a debut music video that was filmed in the historic Wicklow Gaol. Carries latest live performance video can be viewed from Session in the House, a UK recording studio where she and her guitarist Paul Costello, and fellow producer, Joe Murray can be seen performing Carries original song Don’t Wanna Dance, which has streamed over 16,000 views so far in within two weeks of its release.
Carrie explains her reaction to finding out her application had been successful: “When I received the email from Alex (Programme Manager, Riverbank Arts Centre) that I had been one of the four that was chosen for the bursary, I broke down in tears. I was so overwhelmed with joy that I would be given the opportunity to work on my music again. After a tough year of the loss of both my parents, I was proud that I could pursue the one thing they knew I loved to do and supported me throughout life.”
Originally from Poland, Kasia Eliasz is a professional musician, music teacher and Artistic Director of two projects for children: Ta Tum Tum!, a 4-piece music performance, designed for children to explore Brazilian samba music, and Tune In! – based on exploring the connection between a voice and a movement.
Kasia studied Jazz at Newpark Music Academy, Hindustani Vocal at Swanadi School of Indian Classical Music and Sound Healing. She holds a Diploma in Art Therapy and “Music for Wellness” from Berklee College. Kasia is also a certified Yoga Teacher.
Kasia’s creative work has been funded by the Arts Council, Creative Ireland and Kildare County Council.
Speaking about what the music bursary means to her Kasia says: “The Music Bursary will allow me to spend focused time on developing and facilitating music activities for children, exploring Brazilian culture. I am overjoyed – being recognised and acknowledged as an artist by Riverbank Arts Centre is extremely motivational and rewarding.”