Kerry School of Music’s Spring Music Festival End-of-Term Ensemble Day workshops and concert took place yesterday, Sunday, May27th in the Rose Hotel, Tralee. Musicians and singers gathered from all over the county to participate in rehearsals and workshops culminating in the End of-of-Year Concert which took place at 6.30pm in a packed function room. Kerry School of Music Senior and Junior orchestras, Flute Choir, Children’s Choir, Junior and Senior Music Theatre groups and Adult Sing Circle all contributed items to the concert.
Also included in the concert is the final of the Musician of the Year Competition, now in its 35th year. Eight finalists have been chosen from an initial two hundred entrants who submitted performances for adjudication at the end of last month. Twenty performances went through to the semi-final stage on Saturday, April 28th in the School of Music’s Fleischmann Studio when eight performers were selected to go through to the grand final.
Although it was the first ever all-female final in the competition’s 35-year history, the geographic spread of the finalists vividly illustrated the county-wide reach of the school.
11-year-old Dingle Pianist Ava Duffy was declared overall winner- the youngest winner ever in the competition’s 35-year history. Ava studies piano with School of Music Director Aidan O’ Caroll. Listowel Flautist Eva Munnelly, Spa/Fenit Violinist Clodagh Gaynor, Tarbert Soprano Caitriona Fitzmaurice, Castlegregory Pianist Katarina Roberts and Killorglin Traditional Pianist Orlaith O’ Sullivan were declared joint runners-up while Tralee Pianist Jolin Weng and Killarney Violinist Cliona Lynch came in as second runners-up.
This is the second time in as many months that Ava has come out on top in competition. She was also the youngest ever winner of the coveted Rotary Club of Killarney Young Musician of the Year in March.
Kerry School of Music also announced Caitriona Fitzmaurice from Tarbert as Student of the Year. Caitriona is a multi-award-winning Soprano, Pianist and Violinist who has for many years been a member of the School’s Senior Orchestra, Kerry Chamber Choir and Light Opera Society of Tralee. She is also a past winner of the Musician of the Year competition.