Sunday 21 January 2018

Former winner Maire launches competition

Award-winning concert pianist Maire Carroll from Malahide was at the launch of Top Security's Frank Maher Classical Music Awards for 2017, a competition she won herself eight years ago.

With a €5,000 top prize, the Awards are Ireland's biggest classical music competition for secondary schools.

Joining Maire at the launch in the grounds of Malahide Castle were sixth year music students Cian Riordan (17), Andrea Jones (17) and Nicole Cosgrave (18) from Malahide Community School.

The Frank Maher Classical Music Awards were created in 2001 by Emmet O'Rafferty, chairman of the Top Security Group, to showcase outstanding young talent in classical music.

Past winners have received national and international recognition for their achievement and used their prize money as a springboard towards a professional career by funding their studies at some of the world's most renowned music colleges and institutions.

Emmet said: 'I established the Awards to honour the memory of one of my late teachers, Frank Maher, who would have been delighted with the incredible young talent they have attracted over the years, as so ably demonstrated by former winners like Maire Carroll and Aidan Chan. I wish this year's prospective entrants the very best of luck.'

The Awards are open to sixth year post-primary students of string, woodwind, brass and piano.

The €5,000 top prize will be used by the winner to attend a recognised place of tuition, a course of study in Ireland or abroad or on a purchase necessary for the development of their talent. The finalists will each receive a €250 bursary.

Maire Carroll said: 'Winning the Frank Maher Award in 2009 was a great honour and privilege.

'I am incredibly grateful to have had that financial support at such a crucial stage in my career. It is a fantastic opportunity for sixth-year students and I would encourage all aspiring professional musicians to enter it.'

The closing date for entries is Thursday 12th October 2017. Seven finalists will be selected by an independent board of adjudicators to attend the competition night on Friday, November 10 7 at the Royal College of Physicians in Dublin to perform in front of an invited audience.

Full details, including rules and a copy of the application form for downloading, are on

Fingal Independent

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