By Suzanne Pender
CARLOW College of Music enjoyed its biggest-ever Festival of Music last week with an incredible 151 talented young people taking part.
“It was fantastic,” enthused Majella Swan, director of Carlow College of Music. “It’s the biggest festival ever, so we had to have it over two days. It was so lovely to see the students out performing again.”
The festival was held in Gaelscoil Eoghain Uí Thuairisc and saw a steady stream of impressive musicians over both days, with everything from piano and violin to string instruments and woodwind on show.
The breadth of skill, talent and musicianship was evident in all participants, with categories from U8 right up to senior level. Adjudicators were Dr Dorothy Conaghan and Delia Lynch, who marvelled at the wonderful talent from Carlow College of Music.
“The adjudicators were very impressed with the high standards, and the high level of performance from all students was excellent,” said Majella.
Among the highlights were the wonderful ensembles in the junior, intermediate and senior categories, with students coming together to expertly blend their instruments and create a wonderful sound.
Student of the year awards were presented to two exceptional students for their impressive abilities and dedication to studies – Clodagh Kelly and Ryan McDonald.
Clodagh, who travels from Newbridge every Saturday to the college, plays the violin and is leader of the string section of the orchestra; while Ryan, a leaving cert student from Paulstown, is a singer, who has been attending the college for many years.
The prestigious McCullagh Cup was presented to another exceptional student, Claire Healy, who plays piano.
First, second and third places were awarded across each of the categories.
Carlow College of Music also offered a special thanks to office administrator Philippa Jennings, Bill McGrath, their accompanists Ailbhe Kehoe and Brian Kehoe and to all the wonderful teachers.