MBNA Ireland to Sponsor International Classical Music Festival

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Amidst reduced funding from the state and other sponsors, the eighth annual ICO festival is to be partnered by MBNA Ireland.

MBNA sponsorship is most welcome in the light of reduced funding from city and county councils and sponsors.

The music festival is in it’s eighth year and will be held under a new name - the MBNA Limerick International Music Festival, having previously been called the MBNA Shannon Music Festival. MBNA Ireland have supported the orchestral weekend for the last 6 years and take pride in their involvement being a commitment to the community, not only providing low APR credit card deals, but actually giving something back.

The organisers, the Irish Chamber Orchestra (ICO) have this week revealed details of the programme for this year's MBNA Ireland backed festival, which will feature Mike Finn and budding violinists from the ICO's Sing Out with Strings project. But despite the successful staging of a number of concerts at the Franciscan Church on Henry Street, the ICO announced that this year the full festival would return to the UCH because it offered a larger capacity.

Speaking of the support from MBNA Ireland in the current economic climate, ICO chief executive John Kelly, said: “MBNA sponsorship is most welcome in the light of reduced funding from city and county councils and sponsors.”

Mr Kelly went on to acknowledge the importance of the maintained partnership with MBNA Ireland and the Arts Council: "It is important that we keep the festival, and there will always be a festival."

The event remains an important part of the credit card provider’s ‘Community Development’ programme with the Bank of America subsidiary keen to ensure that the festival caters for children as well as adults. This was highlighted by the presence of the Music Factory at last year’s event, which stages a music camp at the ICO studios.

In addition to the music camps, MBNA Ireland also supports the ICO’s outreach programme, which is an integral part of the international music festival. With the support of Europe’s largest credit card provider, the ICO last year introduced free creative music-making workshops for primary school children. The workshops ran throughout the week before the start of the festival and are scheduled to make an appearance again this year.

Aside from supporting the ICO international music festival, MBNA Ireland also commit resources and funding to a number of other activities in the community. One of their most successful has been the programme developed by Junior Achievement Ireland. This six week scheme helps 13-17 year olds get a grip on finances by equipping them with the skills to manage their money and fulfill their potential. Already in it’s 3rd year, over 1200 students from across Ireland have benefited from the programme.

Whatever your current opinion on lenders, seeing MBNA Ireland giving something back to the community and the country provides a reassuring feeling. Especially at a time when most financial outfits are struggling to give to their own customers.

For more information visit http://www.MBNA.ie.

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David Towers
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