Wednesday 16 October 2019

Aoife drums to a big world title

Aoife Bissett celebrates her win at the World Solo Drumming Championships in Scotland
Aoife Bissett celebrates her win at the World Solo Drumming Championships in Scotland

Ken Phelan

A Rush schoolgirl has taken home a first prize win in the World Solo Drumming Championships 2018 held recently in Glasgow.

Rush's new world champion is 16-year-old Aoife Bissett, who attends St. Joseph's school in Rush.

Aoife won first prize in the Juvenile Solo Tenor section of the competition , held in Scotland, recently.

Aoife plays with St. Laurence O'Toole Pipe Band, and formerly played with the local St. Maurs Pipe Band in Rush.

Speaking of her big win, Aoife says: 'I was quite shocked because there was quite a lot of well-know solo players in the category, so it was great, and it was my first time entering too.

'My family and friends were shocked as well because I wasn't going to go over originally, but I had a change of heart at the last minute, so they were all really happy.'

She adds: 'I had a successful year when I won the Leinster, Ulster and All Ireland competition earlier in the year, so I thought I'd go ahead and take part in Glasgow. I originally started on snare, and did that for five years, then two or three years ago I went to tenor.'

Aoife said: 'My dad went to Glasgow with me, along with some other members of the band.

'I think there were three other entrants in the adults drumming, and then there was myself and another boy in my band competing. So, there were 16 altogether competing in my category. I hope to go back over for the competition next year.'

According to Aoife, she practices 'at least' two hours per day. Playing tenor, she says, is 'definitely' something she intends to keep up, and says that when she's older, she'd love to travel to other countries and teach drums.

She says: 'I was originally with St. Maurs Pipe Band in Rush for six or seven years, and then I progressed onto St. Laurence O' Toole Pipe Band last year.

Aoife plays football for St. Laurence O'Toole GAA Club and played with St. Maurs GAA before joining St. Laurence's.

She says she's not sure if the club know about her win yet, but that the coach rang her dad and was thrilled.

St. Laurence O'Toole Pipe Band was set up in 1910 during a meeting organised by the St. Laurence O'Toole Gaelic Athletic Association Club in the CBS school, Seville Place in Dublin.

The band took part at the funerals of many of the leaders of the nationalist movement of the time including Thomas Ashe, O'Donovan Rossa, Arthur Griffith and Michael Collins

It was Aoife's debut in the worldwide competition which makes her win all the more impressive.

She was presented with a trophy, medal and a certificate, proclaiming her fantastic achievement and no doubt, the awards will now have pride of place in her Rush home.

With provincial, national and now world titles under her belt, who knows where Aoife could go next.

Rush has a habit of turning out talent in all kinds of fields of endeavour and Aoife continues that fine tradition.

Well done, Aoife. Keep on drumming.

Fingal Independent