Musicians win double world titles in Austria
Irish accordion players are celebrating winning two world championship titles.
The adult and youth members of the Accora Accordion Orchestras became world champions when they competed at the World Music Festival in Innsbruck, Austria.
They represented Ireland against leading accordion orchestras from 10 other European countries.
The Accora Orchestra is based in the village of Mullagh, Co Cavan, and includes musicians from Cavan, Meath, Kildare and Dublin.
"Our main rivals were the Germans. Accordion playing in Germany is like the GAA as they have 2,500 local accordion orchestras," said a delighted Yvonne Chilton, who conducted the Accora Youth Orchestra to victory in its category.
Yvonne's husband John was the musical director of the Accora Senior Orchestra which won the world title in the adults' advanced level competition.
The husband-and-wife team live at Whitegates, Virginia, in Cavan, and together they run the Chilton School of Music. They first met when Dubliner Yvonne was competing in the All-Ireland Accordion Festival in 1987 and John arrived from England to adjudicate.
The Accora Accordion Orchestras consist of five different groups. There is a beginners' orchestra, a preparatory orchestra and a junior orchestra for different age groups of children.
Added to that are the intermediate orchestra for teenagers and the adult orchestra.
The young musicians are provided with the use of accordions so parents don't have to spend a lot of money buying instruments.