Michéal strikes gold...twice!
From the Meitheal Music School and recitals at the Willie Clancy Music Festival in Clare, all the way to the big All-Ireland stage in Derry on August 18th, young Farranfore musician, Mícheál Ó Sé really has had a great summer - and indeed a great year. When one considers his success at the Seán O'Riada Bonn Óir Medal Competition in January and his appearances on TG4 programme 'Scór Encore' in March.
Micheal's equally talented sister, Brid sent the following report of the whirlwind of events since his remarkable achievement on August 18.
"Mícheál is an energetic 16 year old from Killeagh, Farranfore. Looking back on an amazing year of achievement Micheal reflected on the sense of enjoyment this period of time in his young life has brought to him and his family.
"I have just finished transition year at Castleisland Community College. It was a fantastic year for me as I was able to immerse myself in music for eight or nine months and I didn't have to worry about my academics,'' he said.
Mícheál managed to link music into many of his transition year assignments, releasing his own CD entitled 'Mo Chéad Ghrá' last Christmas as part of the Young Entrepreneur's Project at his school during the year.
Míchéal has always had fantastic music teachers to support him in his music endeavours down through the years. T.P. McNamara, Mary Culloty O'Sullivan and Adolf Pakeizer were among his first teachers. He became a student of the Killarney School of Music in 2011 with Michael Kelliher teaching him the Mouth Organ and Tadhg Buckley teaching him the Flute, Whistle and Uilleann Pipes.
The journey started last June in Ballybunion, at the County Fleadh, with Mícheál topping his entries in Mouth Organ, Uilleann Pipes, Flute, Whistle, Céilí Band, Grúpa Ceoil, Duet with Seán Burke (local fiddle player) and, Trio with locals Robert Fell and Megan O'Connor.
The Munster Fleadh was next at the University in Limerick! The competitions were 'serious and stiff'.
Mícheál soldiered on however with his uilleann pipes and mouth organ and the whole family got ready for the All-Ireland Fleadh Cheoil in Derry!
A long journey but it was worth it!! Míchéal and his sister Bríd spent the week in Derry playing and singing in various sessions and 'gatherings' in bars or pubs and on the streets of course when it wasn't raining!
The competitions were held at the weekend and on Sunday, August 18th Mícheál was crowned 2013 All Ireland U-18 Champion on Uilleann Pipes and All Ireland U-18 Champion on Mouth Organ.
He was absolutely ecstatic at the win! Suddenly text messages and phone calls were flying back and forth from Derry between Mícheál and his family and friends. 'When can we see the cups/trophies,' was the abounding question and so a party had to be planned!
Great celebrations were held at his house on Sunday. Family, friends and neighbours all came to congratulate Mícheál on his achievements in Derry and of course to admire his fantastic trophies. Bean a Tí Bríd O'Shea led a mighty session of music and song with 'young and old' as the evening went on.
In a 'sort of' procession, John Power and T.J. Palmer from Firies Youth Folk Group presented Míchéal with both of his trophies and Pádraig Buckley, one of Mícheál's music teachers presented him with a fantastic cake.
The highlights of the evening were when Mícheál played his 'home-coming tunes' with his teachers. He was joined on the Uilleann Pipes by his teachers, Pádráig and Tadhg Buckley from Killarney School of Music and joined by Michael Kelliher also from Killarney School of Music on the mouth organ.
A great evening was had by all who attended and as one man said 'Being the best in your own country at anything is something to be very proud of!'
Fair play Míchéal, we're certainly very proud of you and we wish you every success in your future music career."