Local musicians to be honoured

September 29, 2009

Two local musical personalities, each of the highest distinction in their own field, are to be specially honoured at the Tommy Makem festival of Song.

Billy Finnegan of Wood Road, Meigh and Joanne Quigley, a native of Camlough will be guests of honour at the event in the Armagh City Hotel next week.

Billy, of Wood Road, Meigh is the son of Eva and the late Tom Finnegan, and began his singing career in the late sixties.  He is renowned for his superb voice and communication skills as a performing artist in Ireland, Britain and the US.  Billy took on performing  Irish ballads in the early nineties and recently recorded a CD of songs created by Maura Erskine and John McCavitt commemorating the Flight of the Earls.

Joanne is the daughter of Joe and Kay Quigley, and one of Ireland’s outstanding violinists.  Four years ago she arranged some of the great songs of Armagh for string quartet. These included ‘The Bard of Armagh’, ‘Urchill an Chreagáin’, ‘The Boys of Mullaghbawn’, ‘Dobbin’s Flowery Vale’ and ‘The Granemore Hare’.  The superb arrangements have been performed in many places ever since, giving fresh insights and  into these Irish melodies.

Meanwhile, a formal cultural and commercial link  between Armagh and  Milwaukee, USA will  be created at the coming event and two of the senior Milwaukee Executives will be present.