On Friday 5 February, 15 traditional flute and whistle players will compete for the Seán Ó Riada Gold Medal in a final to be broadcast live on RTÉ Raidió na Gaeltachta, and this year for the first time a Musicians’ Convention will be held on Saturday as part of the weekend’s events, intended to help and advise traditional musicians on a host of subjects. The events will take place in the Rochestown Park Hotel in Cork.
Munster musicians are to the fore in this year’s final, with four competitors from Cork, two from Clare, one from Kerry and one from Tipperary. The youngest competitor is Eimhear Flannery from Rockchapel in Mallow, Co. Cork, who is just 11 years old, and Seán Gavin will be the musician who will travel the furthest to compete, all the way from Chicago.
This year’s judges are esteemed musicians Mary Bergin, Patsy Hanly and Mick O’Connor, and the final will be broadcast live on RTÉ Raidió na Gaeltachta from 7 pm on Friday 5 February.
The Musicians’ Convention on Saturday will run from 2 pm to 5 pm, with speakers from the music industry giving talks on funding opportunities, publicity, insurance, copyright, marketing and publishing, amongst other topics. Speakers will include representatives from IMRO, the Arts Council and Gael Linn, and entry is €5. Musicians interested should register by emailing ei.lioecnuhchdaeriuc@uralc .
There is a full schedule of speakers for the Convention at www.rte.ie/rnag
Saturday evening’s events will be completed by a free concert at 8 pm with several of the past winners of the Seán Ó Riada Gold Medal, as well as this year’s winner.
The weekend’s event have been sponsored by RTÉ Raidió na Gaeltachta, Iontaobhas Fódhla, Gael Linn, Rochestown Park Hotel, Comhaltas Ceoltóirí Éireann, IMRO, Ealaín na Gaeltachta and GaelTaca.