Sweet sound of success as 5,000 head for Feis Ceoil
IT PROMISES to be the biggest and best Feis Ceoil yet.
Up to 5,000 young classical musicians from the 32 counties will compete in over 180 individual music competitions at the RDS, Dublin until April 11.
The ESB Feis Ceoil kicked off with battles in the ladies' choirs category, the mixed voice choirs, piano accompanists and a sight-reading competition for under-17s.
Over half-a-million musicians have competed at Ireland's top classical music competition since it began in 1896.
Today will see dozens of the best school choirs from around Ireland competing for the coveted title of ESB Feis Ceoil Choir of the Year.
"As always we are hoping that this year will be the biggest and best yet. The numbers of competitors continue to increase year on year," Laura Gilsenan, CEO of the Feis Ceoil, told the Irish Independent. "We are getting a really good representation geographically of competitors from all around Ireland."
This year will see the first Orchestral Conducting Competition, held in association with the RTE Concert Orchestra, for aspiring Irish conductors.
Feis Ceoil was founded under the guidance of organist Dr Annie Patterson, to protect and sustain music development in Ireland.
Past competitors at the Feis Ceoil include James Joyce, Count John McCormack, pianist John O'Conor, Cara O'Sullivan, Celine Byrne and comedian Risteard Cooper.