Ardee man Cathal Flanagan was awarded a High Achiever Award by the Royal Irish Academy of Music on Sunday evening – having received a distinction for outstanding performance in Grade 8 clarinet.
Cathal, who has performed for many years with Ardee Concert Band, was selected out of 180 musicians in the Dublin and Leinster region who received distinctions to perform at Sunday’s concert at O’Reilly Theatre at Belvedere College in Dublin, alongside 17 others – a very select few.
The 19-year-old, representing the highest standard of woodwind in the Leinster region, performed William Hurlestone’s Scherzo from Four Characteristics Pieces on clarinet, accompanied by Paul Campbell on piano.
Having began his journey in music with Ardee Concert Band, Cathal was taught and nurtured for many years by his uncle Tony Flanagan. Cathal’s current teacher Bernie Balfe was herself taught on the clarinet by Tony in her formative years at Ardee Concert Band.
Bernie was tutored Cathal for three years, watching him excel both musically and technically – during a period in which Cathal won Student of the Year for Music in 2016, on his graduation from Ardee Community School.
The teenager has also performed and played as part of Music Generation and last year he won the Under 18 Section of the Annual Irish Association of Brass & Concert Bands Solo and Ensemble competitions which were hosted close to home in the Bohemian Centre in Ardee.
“Cathal has just turned 19 and has a bright, musical future ahead of him. It is a great for the town of Ardee to encourage and support such wonderful talent,” coach Bernie Balfe told ThisIsArdee.ie.
Ardee Concert Band are supported by the Arts Council, music Network and the Department of Arts, Heritage and the Gaeltacht.