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Classical Music Awards - Wesley Finalist

Classical Music Awards - Wesley Finalist

Anna Mitchell (17) from Ballinteer was one of only seven finalists at the 2016 Top Security Fr Frank Maher Classical Music Awards, Ireland’s largest classical music competition for secondary schools with a €5,000 prize for the winner. A sixth year student at Wesley College in Ballinteer, she plays the violin and performed two pieces on the night. They were ‘Melodie’ by Piotr Ilych Tchaikovsky and ‘Perpetuum Mobile’ by Ottokar Novacek. Anna received a €250 bursary and winner was pianist Aidan Chan (17) from Scoil Dara in Kilcock, Co. Kildare.

The Awards were created in 2001 by Top Security chairman Emmet O’Rafferty to honour the memory of the late teacher, who taught music at his old school, Castleknock College.  Their aim is to showcase outstanding young musical talent in Ireland and are open to sixth year post-primary students of strings, woodwind, brass and piano. The €5,000 top prize must be used 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.

Previous winners have gone on to attend some of the world’s most prominent music colleges, which includes Shenandoah University of Virginia, Conservatoire Nationale Superieur de Musique et de Danse Paris, Kronberg Academy in Germany, the Meadows School of the Arts in Dallas, Texas, and the Royal Academy of Music in London to name a few.

Emmet O’Rafferty, chairman of Top Security, said Congratulations to Anna on reaching the final. Father Frank Maher was a mentor of talent in many areas of school life and was particularly passionate about classical music. I know that he would have been very proud of all the performances at this wonderful venue and I wish Anna the very best in her  future career.”

The judging panel were Dr Gerard Gillen, emeritus professor of music at NUI Maynooth, Dr Kerry Houston, head of academic studies at DIT Conservatory of Music and Drama and renowned concert pianist Veronica McSwiney.

Barbara Elliott

Touchstone Communications