Ballyhale student to be voice of Kilkenny in TY Talent finals

A STUDENT from Scoil Aireagail in Ballyhale will be the voice of Kilkenny in the TY Talent finals this September, with his own original composition.

A STUDENT from Scoil Aireagail in Ballyhale will be the voice of Kilkenny in the TY Talent finals this September, with his own original composition.

Ryan Thomas performed his song ‘I won’t let go’ live on stage in front of a judging panel, to see off stiff competition from fellow student musicians Oisín Ryan and Vivienne Wemyss. Ryan will now take part in September’s final with acts from schools around the country, where the overall winner will have a chance to work with professional musician Oisin and record material in-studio.

The TY Talent tour was born out of a project by Kilkenny singer-songwriter Oisin, who returned home from Switzerland last Christmas to visit his old alma mater, Castlecomer Community School.

He saw the level of enthusiasm that there was for Transition Year. He gave a commitment to come back and perform with a band, if the students would organise a concert, running and managing it themselves.

“It worked out so well that he started getting enquiries from other schools to speak about his experience while in TY, and to perform for them at their school,” says his father and publicist Joseph Kavanagh.

“The format he used was to encourage talent, and for the students to perform. When Oisin was in Transition Year, he went in not knowing what he wanted to do. But it was there he found his feet, and then he felt that TY was so pivotal.”

Oisin felt that there was no sufficient programme in Irish secondary schools that provided students with a platform showcase their own material through live performance. Thus, the TY Talent tour was born.

Unlike television’s ‘X-Factor’ or ‘Voice’ shows, Oisin’s emphasis is on original material composed by the students themselves.

He began a pilot project in a number of schools around the country, which had two essential conditions attached. The first was that the Transition Year students would gain the experience of event managing a concert - setting up, running the show themselves, liasing wiht Oisin. The second was that they would have to source the talent (three different acts) to perform their original material.

After a raft of enquiries, the competition was whittled down to ten schools, one of which is in Kilkenny - Scoil Aireagail.

A judging panel comprising Oisin and two others offered feedback on each act, eventually choosing a winner.

At the final event to be held in September, one of these chosen acts will be picked to have the opportunity to work with professional musicians and to go into studio to record some of their own material. Kilkenny’s Ryan Thomas will be up against acts from other schools all around Ireland.

“Congratulations to all the acts who are representing their schools in the TY Talent tour 2012,” said Oisin.

“These past three months have been a great journey of discovery. The young talent that our country has will ensure that we remain one of the most musically-creative forces in the world for years to come.

“We are looking forward to bringing you all together in September for the final stage of the tour, where one of the acts will be going into studio to record your own original work.”

It is hoped that the TY Talent tour project, the idea of which is to bring on and encourage the talent in young students, will be run again next year.