(from September 09 Celtic Connection) The McPeake Family started playing music, in Ireland, in 1904. The family were at the forefront of the revival of Irish and folk music throughout the 1950″s and 1960″s. Francis McPeake I penned the folk anthem “Will Ye Go Lassie Go” aka “Wild Mountain Thyme” in the early 1950″s. With such a pedigree, the McPeakes were approached in 1977 to host tin whistle lessons for six weeks, to give the youth of Belfast a cultural alternative to the civil unrest that was a part of everyone”s life in Northern Ireland at that time. An amazing music school grew out of those lessons and thirty-two years later, the McPeakes are still teaching traditional music in Belfast. Throughout these 32 years, the McPeakes have inspired and taught to the highest standard in traditional music and produced the largest number of All-Ireland competitors, champions, and tutors and inspired many, many professional musicians. Currently run by Francis McPeake IV , the school unfortunately is under threat due to lack of funds and as such the “Mosaic of Support” has been created. Dancing legend Michael Flatley has lent his support to the campaign to secure the future of the school. Michael said, “I wish The Francis McPeake School of Music the very best of luck. The music of our heritage is a very important part of our lives; it influences us when we”re young and is invaluable as we get older.” Bill Wolsey, entrepreneur and owner of the most public houses in Ireland”s history, said “The McPeakes have taught all classes and creeds for four generations in Belfast. They have taught through good and bad times, through times of trouble and times of peace. To me The McPeakes represent everything that is good about Ireland.” Along with Michael and Bill other internationally acclaimed celebrities including The Pogues, Moya Brennan, Phil Coulter, Ash, Therapy, Brian Kennedy, and Sir James & Lady Galway, have come together to lead in supporting the future of the world renowned Francis McPeake School of Music by purchasing tiles in the “Mosaic of Support”. “The Mosaic Of Support” campaign calls on local, national and international artists, businesses and music lovers to purchase tiles within an original Mosaic art piece. The Mosaic will contain 3000 individual tiles. Each supporter that purchases a tile (or 2!) will have their logo or name put on the tile. Award Winning, London Designer, Jake Tilson is on board to create the art piece, which when completed will be exhibited to the public and on line on the school”s web site. The cost of one tile is $200 and will help to secure the financial future of the school. Francis McPeake IV is also producing a documentary called “Are ya goin” to McPeakes tonight?” the story of how the Francis McPeake School of Music has changed people, culture and Belfast since 1977 and the resulting social impact of it were to close. It will examine the extraordinary influence the school has had on the lives of the students, how Belfast has been changed through their music and highlight the many professional musicians and friends of the school and the professional traditional musicians the school has produced. The documentary will feature the fundraising journey and the creative development and recording of a musical score called the “Jam Piece”, the concept of which is when a artist, individual or business purchases a tile, they will be asked to record and video tape one note of music, 15 seconds long, which will then be orchestrated into a large piece of music ” “The Jam Piece”. “The Jam Piece” will be mixed by Tom Newman, engineer and producer of “Tubular Bells”, the theme from the Exorcist, forming the signature piece for the documentary. The documentary will have a premier screening in Belfast and we will hopefully get distribution for it here in the US. To become a supporter of the Francis McPeake School of Music simply log onto www.francismcpeake.com or call +44 (0)28 9024 4544 for further details.

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