A County Offaly singer will be looking to achieve a lifelong dream and secure a recording contract when he participates in the final stages of the All-Ireland Music Competition on January 4-5th next, details of which were announced today.
Tony Cunningham from Tullamore will compete against 15 other acts from all over Ireland during the Semi-Final stage of the competition on January 4 at the West County Hotel, Ennis, Co Clare. The 24-year-old member of the award-winning Tullamore Gospel Choir will be seeking to reach the Final of the inaugural competition at the same venue on January 5th. Tony is one half of the double act, ‘By Chance’, which also includes Dubliner Alan Donnelly.
Alan and Tony walked into the All Ireland Music Competition as complete strangers to each other - but they’ll walk out of it as the most exciting new act around. Of course it could have been different. As individual artists, both men are hugely talented, and it was as individual artists that they dreamed of achieving success in this competition. During the bootcamp stage, however, it was suggested by the judging panel that Donnelly and Cunningham would make for a duo of considerable potential. It was to prove an inspired suggestion.
Donnelly and Cunningham knew almost instantly that they had stumbled upon something very special. With Cunningham’s range and Donnelly’s musical conscience, they had conjured up the intangible; an x-factor that sets special acts apart from the rest. By Chance was born.
As individuals, Donnelly and Cunningham bring infectious passion to the stage as well as undoubted talent. But as a double act they have pushed each other to the next level. Drawing from their combined influences over a vast array of genres - from rock to pop to country to blues - By Chance have cultivated a sound that is soulful in its depth, yet humbling in its raw honesty. By Chance have a vision for their sound, and they know that if it is to endure for years to come, versatility is the key. For that reason, they don’t identify with one genre exclusively; their music has too much depth and too many layers to simply be tied to ‘rock’ or ‘pop’ or anything else.
When you hear By Chance, you will of course hear rock and pop, but you will also hear soul, reggae and blues. You’ll hear country and folk. There’ll even be moments when you hear something that you can’t describe. By Chance have set out to take the music world by storm, and with their truly unique sound, the sky’s the limit.
Mercury Music Winner and Hot Press Best Female Artist Gemma Hayes and Eurovision winner Paul Harrington will judge the acts that emerged from regional heats to qualify for the latter stages of the competition. A recording contract and TMI representation awaits the winning act.
The competition, which is hosted by Talent Management International (TMI) Ireland and sponsored by Shannon Development and the Shannon Region Conference & Sports Bureau, has attracted significant interest since it was launched in April. Hundreds of acts participated in Regional Heats in Limerick, Dublin, Galway and Ennis with just 16 acts successfully making it through to next month’s Semi-Final stage.
The 16 remaining acts include Penny Wentworth (Tipperary), By Chance (Dublin/Laois), Deanie (Dublin), Thomas Dormer (Clare), Aobhin Pollard (Dublin), Niamh Brady (Cork), Katelyn Molloy (Galway), Shawn Mullen (Laois), Men in Slacks (Dublin), Double Fever (Meath/Tipperary), Elizabeth Cunningham (Kilkenny), Michelle Revins (Tipperary), Stephen Tallon (Wexford), Michelle O’Dwyer (Tipperary), Elaine Devoy (Cavan) and Kevin McCarthy (Limerick).
Darragh Galligan, Managing Director & Talent Manager with TMI Ireland explained: “The level of interest that this Competition has attracted from around Ireland during recent months has been exceptional. Furthermore, the numbers that participated in the regional heats has brought home to us the wealth of talent that exists in this country. We are confident that this Competition will produce a very successful music recording artist and we are happy to be able to play a supporting role in this.”
“We are delighted that music icons Paul Harrington and Gemma Hayes are part of the Judging Panel. Paul will also perform at the Semi-Final and Gemma will perform during the Final in Ennis. Their endorsement of and participation in this competition will no doubt help to inspire and instil confidence in our 16 finalists,” Mr Galligan added.
According to Paul Ryan, Tourism Marketing Manager, Shannon Development: “We are very excited to be involved with this competition, which showcases some of the country’s brightest up and coming musical talents. Along with the Shannon Region Conference & Sports Bureau, Shannon Development is delighted to be able to attract a high profile national event such as this to the Shannon Region. The All-Ireland Music Competition is one of 165 cultural and music events that take place in the Region each year accounting for over 300,000 visitors. We wish all the participants the very best of January 4th and 5th, 2013.”
For more on the All Ireland Music Competition and for details on tickets for the Semi-Final and Final, visit www.aimc.ie. Follow the progress of the 16 finalists on the AIMC Facebook site, www.facebook.com/AllIrelandMusicCompetition.