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A musician from Glenn, Newry is one of five exceptionally talented young musicians who have been awarded the Young Musicians’ Platform Award by Arts Council NI and BBC NI.

Former Our Lady's pupil Martha Guiney received the award worth £5000 for her traditional flute playing.

Ms Guiney received her first All Ireland Medal at Fleadh Cheoil na hÉireann whe she was just 12. As well as touring in Brazil, South Korea, Norway and the USA Martha has played at many fleadhs and festivals closer to home including Iúr Cinn Fleadh and is scheduled to play at Temple Bar Tradfest in January. As well as the flute Martha also plays the tin whistle.

The biennial awards which are run by the Arts Council in collaboration with BBC NI, aim to showcase and support the development of young musicians from the region by providing individual funding awards of £5,000. This funding enables the recipients to spend a sizeable amount of time learning from a master musician, mentor, teacher or composer either in Northern Ireland or abroad.  For the third time, the awards have been extended beyond the classical music arena, reaching out to musicians from traditional folk and jazz music backgrounds.

Pictured announcing the awards are from left: Lynette Fay, BBC NI traditional music mentor; Linley Hamilton, BBC NI jazz mentor; Andrew Douglas, Martha Guiney, Katharine Timoney, William Curran, Ciaran Scullion, Arts Council and John Toal, BBC NI classical mentor.
Pictured announcing the awards are from left: Lynette Fay, BBC NI traditional music mentor; Linley Hamilton, BBC NI jazz mentor; Andrew Douglas, Martha Guiney, Katharine Timoney, William Curran, Ciaran Scullion, Arts Council and John Toal, BBC NI classical mentor.

As well as this training opportunity, the awardees will receive two professional radio broadcast engagements, including one with the Ulster Orchestra, between January and December 2019. Performances at this level raise not only the professional profile of the young musicians but also give a boost to their performance experience.

The other winners were William Curran, clarinet; Andrew Douglas, flute; Brian McAlea, baritone and Katharine Timoney, jazz singer.

Two BBC presenters will mentor the new awardees in helping them prepare for their upcoming performances with the Ulster Orchestra which will be broadcast on BBC Radio Ulster/Foyle.  John Toal, a classical pianist and presenter of Classical Connections will mentor the three classical musicians while Folk Club presenter, Lynette Fay, will mentor the folk musician and jazz musician, Linley Hamilton, will mentor the jazz awardee.

Ciaran Scullion, Head of Music, at the Arts Council, commented “The Arts Council is committed to providing valuable, meaningful development for our artists.  Congratulations to all five musicians on receiving this award which offers a unique opportunity for outstanding musicians to develop their musical skills, learn from the best and perform live with a professional orchestra.  All of the previous recipients of this award have gone on to have successful careers in music and I’ve every confidence that the new recipients will benefit greatly from this experience.”

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