The Kilkenny Music Festival-State Street Gala Concert took place in the Watergate Theatre on Wednesday last. Months of preparations by the festival committee, music teachers, schools, parents and, most importantly, the singers and musicians themselves, culminated in 31 performances and a night of enjoyment for all.
Of the performances, 26 were competitive; especially chosen by the festival adjudicators from eighty winners of the festival’s competitions to compete
for the festival’s most prestigious prizes. The adjudicators for Wednesday evening were Dr. Albert Bradshaw and Mr. Niall Crowley, both of whom commented on the extraordinarily high level of excellence amongst the performers and commended the work and dedication displayed by the young players who took to the stage with confidence. The performers included: Millie Drennan (U-9 Violin), Éabha Murphy (U-9 Recorder), Síofra agus Sadhbh Ní Chasaide (U-11 Piano Duets), Georgia Shine (U-11 ‘Cello), Adam Walker (U-11 Violin), Liam Coughlan (Junior Vocal Solo), Aoibheann and Liam Smyth (U-13 Piano Duets), Daire Maher (Saxophone), Ruth Kent (U-13 Violin), Cór na Scoile Gaelscoil Osraí, Niall Brennan (U-16 Clarinet), Emma Bergin (U-13 Piano and Junior Recital), CBS
Senior Choir, Tom Jackson (Senior Piano Recital), Tiernan Shaw (Junior String Recital), Jana McCarthy Kent (Junior Wind Recital), Simply Strings (Senior Chamber Music), Ciaran Fennelly (Senior Vocal Solo), Alex Lawless ( U-17 ‘Cello), Aoife Brennan (Senior Vocal Solo), Marie Therese Boland (U-17
Piano), Jenna Ragget (U-16 Flute), Hilary Lennon (Senior Vocal Solo), Presentation Senior Choir, Laura Copeland (Senior Vocal Solo) and Aisling Douris (Senior String Recital). While the adjudicators adjourned to make their decisions the audience was entertained by Matt Murtagh White (Senior Vocal Solo), the Lace ‘Cello Quartet, Sarah Luttrell (Senior Vocal Solo), The Swingin’ Katz Saxophone quartet and Conor Brassil (Senior Vocal Solo). In the end the Rev. C.J. Sherin Perpetual Trophy for the most outstanding Choir in the festival went to the Presentation Senior Choir while the Millennium Cup for the adjudicator’s choice of most entertaining performance went to the CBS Senior Choir. The Rev. C.J. Sherin Perpetual Trophy for the most Outstanding Individual in the festival with the Meubles Bursary went to Aisling Douris and the Canon Brennan Memorial cup for emerging talent with the Bank of Ireland Bursary went to Adam Walker. The Kilkenny Music Festival Bursary award presented by the Kilkenny Music Festival Committee to enable further musical study went to Jana McCarthy Kent. This was also the first year that the Maureen O’Keeffe Founders Cup was awarded, and it was to the CBS Senior choir that this award went. Many thanks go to Mayor Seán Ó’hArgáin, Martin Brett of the Kilkenny Borough Council, Cathal Smyth of Statestreet, Deirdre Shine of the Bank of Ireland and Maureen O’Keeffe of Meubles who were on hand to present the bursaries which were so generously sponsored, thanks to these and also the Kilkenny Credit Union for all their continued support. Also thanks again to the festival accompanists, volunteers and venue providers without whom the festival would not be possible. The night and indeed the festival itself would have been redundant without the work and dedication of the teachers, conductors and performers who worked so hard to produce such an enjoyable concert let alone competition. Final thanks must go to the festival committee as without their ideas, dedication and organisation such musical talent would not have been showcased in such a friendly and encouraging environment.