Ballyshannon Folk and Traditional Music Festival Showcase:
Ballyshannon Folk and Traditional Music Festival hosted its annual showcase final on Friday 19th July last. Entry was open under two categories, groups and solo artists. Competing for a total prize fund of €1,000, plus the winners in each category will be performing as part of the line-up to this year’s 42nd anniversary festival, live in the marquee, playing alongside names like the legendary Sharon Shannon, Luca Bloom and The Stunning. The competition was open to folk and traditional musical genres and styles and to all ages and nationalities and has always been an important aspect to the festival as a platform for new and emerging talent on the Folk and Traditional Music scene, past winners include Aoife Scott, The Jeremiahs, Cuig, Billow Wood and Celtic Heritage.
The 2019 winners of the group section were In Tune from North Mayo, Niamh O’Donnell, her brother Cian O’Donnell, Conor Maheady and Sean Murphy form part of a four piece traditional/ folk group, who first played as a group together four years ago when taking part in a Siansa Gael Linn group. They enjoy performing a wide repertoire, instruments include fiddle, banjo, mandolin, guitar, flute, whilst, low whistle, accordion, bodhrán. The solo section was split into two categories because of the level of talent; the traditional category winner brings an international flavor to our competition, Seamus O’Baoighill. Brought up on the Isle of Skye, Séamus was introduced to Scottish Traditional Music through the many sessions around the Gàidhealtachd. He furthered his music at Sgoil Chiùil na Gàidhealtachd under the tuition of Iain MacFadyen (pipes) and Iain MacFarlane (fiddle). Now Séamus studies Music, Irish and Mandarin at Queens University Belfast. Séamus was a finalist in the BBC Radio Young Traditional Musician of the Year award and has performed at the Hebridean Celtic Festival, Piping Live, Electric Picnic, Celtic Connections and Festival Interceltique de Lorient. The solo folk category was won by Tony Reidy. Tony was born and reared in Aughagower, near Westport, Co. Mayo; he started song writing in the late 80’s. He has gained a considerable reputation as a songwriter and his songs have been played on RTE radio 1, Rte Lyric fm, RnaG, Mid West Radio and BBC Radio. He has a compassionate eye for human frailty and his songs have a pungently poetic sense of place we are told from BBC Music Magazine.
This is their opportunity to be part of the longest running Folk & Traditional Music Festival in Ireland – the group will be the opening act on the Sunday night live at the Marquee with Coda, Dave Munnelly Band and The Stunning. The solo traditional winner will open Saturday night’s concert as part of the line-up including Backwest, Moxie and Brian Deady and the solo folk winner will open Friday night’s concert joining Seamie O’Dowd, Francie Lenehan, Georgie Gorman, Luca Bloom and Sharon Shannon.
Judges on the night were traditional musician Trudy O’Donnell, music lecturer Marc Geagan and music promoter Colin Gillen. Entries for our 2020 Showcase competition will open early in the New Year – keep an eye on our website, Facebook and Twitter for more information.
Ballyshannon ESB Donegal Stations Ballyshannon in conjunction with ESB Generation & Trading Community Relations are supporting the Ballyshannon Folk Festival once again in this its 42nd year.
Congratulations to the winners of the Ballyshannon Folk & Traditional Festival Showcase 2019.You can catch all the…