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Eight music students get prestigious scholarships


These include the Apple Hill Centre for Chamber Music in New Hampshire, Boston; The Willie Clancy Summer School in Milltown Malby, Co Clare, one of the largest traditional music schools in the country, Summer music in Galway, an international festival providing classical music tuition and performance skills; and the Donegal Summer School of Music in Letterkenny, catering for all music genres.

These awards reflect the breadth of musical activity and tuition taking place around the county through the Donegal Music Education Partnership and this is also reflected in the geographical spread of the recipients.

Current and former members of the Donegal Youth Orchestra and Donegal Chamber Orchestra – Sarah Walsh (violin) from Ballybofey, Aileen Brennan (violin) from Stranorlar, Jane Gormley (cello) from Letterkenny and Niall Kerr (viola) from Kinlough in Co Leitrim – will travel to New Hampshire in the US in July to the Apple Hill Centre for Chamber Music.

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Speaking at the announcement of these awards in the Regional Cultural Centre on Tuesday, cellist Jane Gormley said: “I look forward to being an ambassador for Donegal over the month long experience and I certainly will be promoting the ongoing work of our Music Education Partnership.

“I am most thankful to Co Donegal VEC and in particular to Angela McLaughlin, Music Development Manager and my cello tutor Mr Victor Yellamo for nurturing my interest and talents.”

These scholarships have been co-funded by the Donegal VEC Music Education Partnership and the Apple Hill Centre for Chamber Music.

Piano-Accordion player Katie Doohan from Gortahork and Fiddle player Eimear McColgan from Malin, have been awarded scholarships to attend the Willie Clancy Summer School in Clare. These two young traditional musicians will spend a week in Miltown Malbay from Juy 2 to 10.

These scholarships have been co-funded by the Donegal VEC Music Education Partnership and Donegal County Council’s Cultural Services.

Violinist Joanne Cuffe from Ramelton, who is set to take up the position of leader of the Donegal Youth Orchestra from September, will be attending the ever popular Donegal Summer School of Music in Letterkenny, also in July. Aside from instrumental tuition, this summer school provides a great opportunity to explore music technology, voice, dance, arts & crafts.

In August, Rebecca Cheatley from Creeslough will travel to Galway to take part in ‘Summer Music in Galway,’ a two week-long series of workshops and masterclasses in the Galway–Mayo Institute of Technology.

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Angela McLaughlin, Music Development Manager with the Donegal VEC Music Education Partnership, said: “The additional music tuition opportunities that these scholarships give our young students will be a fantastic addition to their musical, and indeed social development.”

The final scholarship to be announced was for the continuous professional development of one of the VEC’s music tutors. This was awarded to Victor Yélamo, conductor of the VEC’s Donegal Chamber Orchestra, to attend the Irish Association of Youth Orchestras’ conducting workshop in the Royal Irish Academy of Music in Dublin.

Donegal VEC Music Education Partnership offers instrumental and voice tuition in various centres across the County, email musiceducation@donegalvec.ie or telephone 0749176293.

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