Music centre concert a celebration of young talent
THE Mermaid Arts Centre was the venue for Bray Music Centre’s Annual Celebration of Talent which has now been going for 37 years. The winners from the BIFE Music Festival performed to enthusiastic applause from the audience.
New initiatives were the Junior Choir, who won the Junior Ensemble, and the BIFE String Quartet with Piano, who won the senior Ensemble Cup. The quartet is made up of Leo MacNally, MaryAnne Aherne, Sophie Delaney and Aislinn Nixon, with Freya Farrelly on piano. Both the Choir and the Ensemble group always welcome new members.
The following pianists won full scholarships for tuition in the coming year: Ada Mahon and Adam Hagan, who also won the Mirette Dowling Piano Trophy. Half piano scholarships were awarded to Ilona O’Keefe, Freya Farrelly, Oisin Drury, Emer Nolan and Genevieve Kelly, who was also named Student of the Year.
For the first time, cellists and viola players were entered for the String scholarships. Full scholarships were awarded to Sofia Isaic and Leo MacNally, violin, and Aislinn Nixon, cello. Rian Dunne and Maryanne Aherne, violin, and Tara Dunne, viola, all won half scholarships.
Oscar Conway was presented with the Davin Harrison Guitar Expression Prize; Little Jack Huang won the Under 10 Teachers’ Trophy; Joseph Aherne won the Under 14 Trophy and the Everest Music Shop Prize; Ava Hagan was also a winner in the Under 14 competition and performed on the flute.
Several teachers also contributed their performances. Tim Doyle called the audience in to their seats with a tribute to Liam O’Flynn on the uilleann pipes. He also performed Kreisler on the violin later in the concert. How’s that for versatility? Svetlana Rudenko was joined by past student Jack Byrne in two stunning piano duets. The highlight of the concert was arguably chamber music by Prokofiev played by Simonas Ciunka, clarinet; David O’Doherty, violin; Tim Doyle, violin; Tanya Plavans, viola; Moya O’Grady, cello and Artemis Kent, piano.
BIFE Junior Choir, winners of the Junior Ensemble Trophy: (from left) Paul O’Farrell, Molly Browne, Luke Sheil, Jack Gillespie, Alex Sheil and, holding the cup is Hugh Heffernan (Ilona O’Keefe is missing from photo).