Dónal Lunny's Atlantic Arc

Wexford, Co. Wexford

SoundWaves invites young musicians to take part in a three day residential visit by 10 members of Dónal Lunny’s Atlantic Arc. It will comprise a two-day masterclass followed by a concert in National Opera House where participants will join the band on stage.

The theme of the masterclass is ‘Composition and Arrangements in the Irish Tradition’ and is aimed at young composers who are cultivating their own unique process of openness and curiosity towards the tradition. 

As established composers in their own rights the 10 members of Atlantic Arc have pioneered new sounds in Irish music and redefined traditional forms. Lead by musical director Dónal Lunny; popularly regarded as having spearheaded the renaissance of Irish traditional music over the last three decades, the project will support the young musicians to express their own unique sounds and encourage them to explore new musical collaborations across genres and instrumentation.

This project is ideal for any young musician at a transitional stage in their music making and who has a passion for creativity and composition.

About Atlantic Arc  ›


Day 1: Masterclass
Friday 19th November 202117:00 - 21:00 @ National Opera House

Day 2: Masterclass cont.
Saturday 20th November 202110:00 - 18:00 @ National Opera House

Day 3: Rehearsal & Concert
Sunday 21st November 202115:00 - 21:00 @ National Opera House

What You Will Learn

As established composers in their own rights, the 10 members of Atlantic Arc will offer the participants an opportunity for accelerated learning through the group's range of instrumentation and vocals, breadth of musical genres and their technology  skills, that will provide a broad capacity to respond to each participant's interests and enquiries.  The masterclass will support the young musicians with their musical expressions, guiding them through a process that respects their creative emotions and encouraging them to evolve their own unique creative language.

The programme offers a range of quality learning experiences including:

  • Compositional techniques including two part melodies
  • Arranging for ensembles
  • Arranging for traditional song

Participants will perform two compositions that will be learned during the masterclass on stage with Atlantic Arc.

Fees & Additional Information


  • Masterclass Fees: €20  (special Music Generation discounted rate)
  • Fee includes the concert ticket
  • The fee will be payable to Music Generation Wexford on confirmation of application acceptance

Consent Forms

  • The masterclass and concert will be documented through photography and video, media consent forms will be made available

Schedules and Materials

  • Participants will receive pre-masterclass preparation notes

How To Apply

Application Deadline

  • midnight, Sunday 31st October 2021

Who can apply / application criteria:

  • Young musicians aged 14-18
  • Any instrumentation
  • Be experienced traditional musicians
  • Be competent in at least one musical instrument and/or vocal area
  • Have portfolio of at least three self-composed or arranged instrumental pieces of music/song
  • Be from the locale, rather than specifically resident in a particular area.
  • Participation is open Music Generation learners as well as young members of the public who are not associated with a Music Generation programme

Application Procedure

  • Applications along with audio/video submission closing date: Sunday 31st October 2021
  • Selection: Applications will be assessed by Music Generation Wexford & Waterford and an external advisor.
  • Participants: Up to 20 participants will be accepted
  • Fee: €20 (includes free concert ticket) 

This event is proudly supported by

logo arts councildownloadWEXFORDWATERFORD


Day 1: Masterclass
Friday 19th November 202117:00 - 21:00 @ National Opera House

Day 2: Masterclass cont.
Saturday 20th November 202110:00 - 18:00 @ National Opera House

Day 3: Rehearsal & Concert
Sunday 21st November 202115:00 - 21:00 @ National Opera House

Atlantic Arc

Atlantic Arc

Atlantic Arc is a collaborative ensemble of renowned traditional musicians and singers from Ireland, Northern Ireland and Scotland, under the musical direction of Dónal Lunny, one of Ireland's most accomplished performers, composers and producers.

Having formed in 2016 for a series of one-off collaborations, the members of Atlantic Arc discovered they shared a deep interest in exploring and cultivating contemporary expressions of traditional music. This connection set Atlantic Arc on a course of openness and curiosity which over the past 5 years has led to a powerful live repertoire drawn from their own musical ancestry.  In 2021 their debut single, 'My Son David', was released to “outstanding” (Folk Radio UK) media response.   

"Dónal Lunny’s musical curiosity is indefatigable. He’s the ultimate collaborator: always exploring new territories, and well-worn paths too, where he inevitably unearths sparkling new possibilities in old sounds".  The Irish Times

Dónal Lunny headshot

Dónal Lunny

bouzouki, guitar & Music Director

A gifted guitar and bouzouki player, composer and producer, Dónal Lunny is the figurehead of Irish traditional music and a house-hold name in the Celtic music scene. He has been at the forefront of the evolution of the tradition for more than 35 years and is popularly regarded as having spearheaded its renaissance over the last three decades. Since the seventies, Dónal has founded legendary seminal Irish bands Planxty, The Bothy Band, Moving Hearts, Coolfin and recently Mozaik. Much sought after in studio, he has produced albums for artists such as Kate Bush, Baaba Maal, Paul Brady, Elvis Costello, Mark Knopfler, Rod Steward, Fairground Attraction, Indigo Girls and Clannad. 

Jarlath Henderson headshot

Jarlath Henderson

uilleann pipes, whistles, guitar, vocals

The youngest-ever winner of the BBC Young Folk Award, back in 2003, Tyrone-born multi-instrumentalist and singer Jarlath Henderson is popularly known for his firebrand duo with Scottish piper and whistle player Ross Ainslie. Renowned primarily for his extraordinary prowess on uilleann pipes and whistles, while fast emerging as an equally gifted vocalist, Henderson has performed and recorded in such illustrious company as Lau, Capercaillie, Paddy Keenan, Phil Cunningham and Michael McGoldrick. His hotly-anticipated solo debut, Hearts Broken, Heads Turned, was launched to critical acclaim at Celtic Connections 2016.

Pauline Scanlon headshot

Pauline Scanlon


With a voice described as “a superb mix of china cup fragility and steely strength” (Irish Times), Pauline Scanlon is one of Ireland’s most cherished traditional singers and one half of the celebrated duo Lumiere. Hailing from the Irish tradition yet equally versed in contemporary music, Scanlon has a gift of making the oldest ballads sound fresh while gracing a timeless resonance to newer material. 2016 saw the release of her fifth album Gossamer, produced by long time collaborator John Reynolds (Sinéad O’Connor, Seun Kuti, Herbie Hancock, Damien Dempsey).

Pádraig Rynne (Atlantic Arc) headshot

Pádraig Rynne (Atlantic Arc)


Described as "one of the freshest sounds in Irish music" by Froots, Pádraig Rynne is a virtuoso musician, prolific composer and is regarded as the finest concertina player in Irish music today. Having studied music, media and performance technology and with a passion for experimenting with diverse genres Pádraig is recognized for his refreshing explorations into the Irish tradition and for his ground-breaking band Notify, described by the New York Echo as "cinematic in scope". Pádraig has also taught at festivals and workshops all over the world from the Alps to the Catskills in New York. With a real desire for delivering education to the next generation of aspiring musicians, Pádraig was appointed MDO of Music Generation Clare in 2018 designing and delivering programmes to help children and young people receive the best possible education in music.

Tara Breen2 headshot

Tara Breen2


A highly talented multi-instrumentalist from Co. Clare, Tara has achieved All-Ireland titles on fiddle in every age category over the years, culminating with the senior Oireachtas fiddle title in 2011 and the All-Ireland Senior Fiddle Title in 2012. She achieved her Dip. ABRSM in 2007 in classical flute, and also qualified as a Traditional Irish Music teacher with Comhaltas Ceoltóirí Éireann, achieving her TTCT in 2011. Tara's live work started as an original member of Ciorras. She then went on to join the Galician piper Carlos Núñez and in 2014 she joined the Chieftains. One of the most in demand session musicians in music at the moment, Tara regularly tours as a member of the Chieftains and has recently toured with the well known dance show, Heartbeat of home. In 2011 Tara was one of the musicians chosen to perform the Queen of England's visit to Ireland.

Graham Henderson headshot

Graham Henderson


Graham is a multi-instrumentalist and experienced producer and composer. He began his professional career playing the accordion, guitar, piano & mandolin with Fairground Attraction which brought international touring and 2 Brit Awards. Graham joined Coolfin in 1996 and since then has continued to work with a wide array of Irish artists such as Iarla O’Lionaird, Paul Brady and Declan O’Rourke, as well as being a member of the legendary Moving Hearts and was Sinead O’Connor’s keyboard player and MD for over five years. In 2019 Graham produced the latest album 'The Great Irish Songbook' by Dervish (recipients of the 2019 'lifetime achievement award' / BBC Folk Awards) featuring guest vocalists David Gray, Steve Earle, Vince Gill, Imelda May, Abigail Washburn & Rhiannon Giddens.

Paul Moore headshot

Paul Moore


Paul is Head of Bass at BIMM Institute Dublin and has been playing professionally for over 30 years.  He has been a member of the Van Morrison band for 14 years and has recorded 5 albums with them. He has also performed live with Paul Brady, Moving Hearts, Sinead O' Connor, Gilbert O Sullivan, Chrissy Hynde, Georgie Fame, Imelda May, Elvis Costello, Glen Hansard, Tom Jones and Vince Mendoza amongst others and has recorded with such artists as The Chieftains, Mark Knopfler, Bobby Womack, Mavis Staples, Gregory Porter, Steve Winwood, Natalie Cole, Joss Stone and Taj Mahal. He’s recorded movie soundtracks with Mike Batt, Frank Patterson, Conor McPherson and the Irish Film Orchestra, and has performed in numerous musicals including West Side Story, Jesus Christ Superstar and Les Miserables. He is first call Bassist for the RTE Concert Orchestra and Electric Bassist for the National Symphony Orchestra of Ireland. He is currently studying Education Law at The Law Society of Ireland.

Ewen Vernal headshot

Ewen Vernal


Scotland's Ewen Vernal has enjoyed an eclectic global music career. From worldwide success with Deacon Blue (4m album sales, 12 UK Top 40 singles, 2 No.1 albums) to joining ground-breaking folk band Capercaillie, with whom he remains an influential member. Ewen has worked with Scottish progressive-rock singer Fish to English folk star Kate Rusby and has appeared with Lou Reed, Michael Brecker, Chris Rea, and many more.

Davie Ryan headshot

Davie Ryan


Davie is a graduate of both UCC and of Cork School of Music. He has extensive experience both nationally and internationally as a touring and recording musician in a range of diverse genres including, jazz, folk, pop, rock, world and traditional music. Davie's impressive reputation has led to high profile collaborations with renowned studio producers, including Grammy award-winning Jay Joyce (Tragedy Tragedy Studios, Nashville), Kieran Byrne (Cauldron Studios, Dublin), Christian Best, and John Fitzgerald.

Sharon Howley headshot

Sharon Howley


Sharon Howley is a multi-instrumentalist from Kilfenora, Co. Clare working both as a performer and educator. Sharon began playing the cello at the age of 10 and is now one of the pioneers of cello within Irish traditional music, receiving the 2020 Young Musician of the Year Award (Gradam Ceoil). A member of the Kilfenora Ceili Band, she credits her unique style of traditional cello playing to her deep immersion in Irish music growing up, drawing on techniques from other Irish traditional instrumentalists to create an authentic ‘traditional’ sound. A primary teacher, with two first-class honours Masters degrees in Music, Sharon works with a variety of musicians, groups and organisations as a performer, tutor, composer and arranger. She is currently recording her debut solo traditional cello album.

Alan Doherty headshot

Alan Doherty

flute / whistle

Alan is one of the most identifiable and respected flute-players in Irish music. He is widely recognized as a lead soloist on the “Lord of the Rings” soundtrack. His freewheeling, soaring style of flute-playing was a major part of both of his co-founding groups Gráda and Aldoc. There is an improvisation element to Alan’s playing that has also earned him fans in other genres, including jazz and bluegrass. As a leading Irish traditional instrumentalist Alan regularly records and makes guest appearances with many other great musicians and he has given workshops and master classes all over the world. Alan has also managed a studio and has recorded and produced many albums including Skellig, Four Men and a Dog, Julie Fowlis, Gerry O’Connor, Thom Moore, Colin Farrell, Daoirí Farrell and others. Alan is now an established video producer, making short films and music videos under his production company Aldoc.