€2,000 classical musical competition for Offaly teens

Damian Moran

Reporter:

Damian Moran

Sixth year Offaly students now have the chance to tune up and win a €2,000 bursary to develop their musical talent as the annual Fr Frank Maher Music Awards sponsored by Top Security is now looking for entries for 2013.

Sixth year Offaly students now have the chance to tune up and win a €2,000 bursary to develop their musical talent as the annual Fr Frank Maher Music Awards sponsored by Top Security is now looking for entries for 2013.

It is Ireland’s largest classical music competition for post-primary schools and closing date for entries is Monday 14th October with full details on www.topsecurity.ie

The Fr Frank Maher Music Awards were set up to showcase outstanding young musical talent in Ireland. They are open to sixth year post-primary students of strings, woodwind, brass and piano and a classical programme can only be entered.

Emmet O’Rafferty, chairman of Top Security, established the Awards several years ago in memory of the late priest who was a teacher at Castleknock College, his old school. Emmet said “Excellence is the ethos of this competition and last year’s winner, Sinead O’Halloran from Cork, is an outstanding example of the calibre of talent it has attracted over the years. Sinead has now won a two year scholarship to attend the Meadows School of the Arts in Texas and its alumni have won the Pulitzer Prize as well as the Tony, Emmy and Academy Awards. She will be a fantastic ambassador for Ireland and we wish her every success.”

Seven finalists will be selected from the entries received by the independent adjudication panel to attend a competition night on Friday 15 November 2013 in Castleknock College, Dublin where they will perform in front of an invited audience.

The top prize of a €2,000 bursary is to be used by the winner to attend a recognised place of tuition, a course of study in Ireland or abroad or on a purchase deemed necessary for the development of their talent. The remaining finalists will each receive a bursary of €150.

The 2009 winner was pianist Maire Carroll from Clontarf in Dublin, who is now studying at the Royal Academy of Music in London. Maire said, “Winning The Father Frank Maher Scholarship Prize was a fantastic experience. , this bursary gave me the opportunity to take numerous master classes, allowing me first-hand insight into some of the most prestigious schools in the world including The Juilliard School, Peabody Conservatory and the Royal Academy of Music, London. These experiences were invaluable as they allowed me to make an informed decision as to what school would suit me best. It is a huge honour to have been a recipient of this bursary and I would encourage any young music student eager to pursue a career in music to participate.”

Mary McFadden chairperson of the Post-Primary Music Teachers’ Association welcomed the awards which honoured the late Fr Frank Maher and his great love of classical music. “These awards are a very positive incentive in encouraging second level student musicians to strive for excellence in their performance. It is a very affirming support for the recipients.”