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Fleadh success for Crossmaglen Comhaltas group

August 28, 2012

There are some Fleadhs you never forget and last weekend’s All-Ireland Fleadh in Cavan town is one that will live long in the hearts and minds of all of those associated with CCE An Bonnan Bui – a branch of Comhaltas encompassing South Armagh, North Louth, East Monaghan and even some of Down.

A year has yet to pass and the branch are delighted to have had two of their members in medal winning positions at competitions which took place on Saturday 15th in St. Patrick’s College. The young singing phenomenon that is Pearse Larkin secured a bronze medal in the U-12 Men’s English Ballads competition. His fellow branch member Ryan Duffy also sang extremely well, but narrowly missed out on a place in shake up. The standard of singing on the day was quite literally ‘out of this world’ according to Singing Coach Pearse Mc Mahon. “These two lads sang with a confidence and competence that some adults would be hard pressed to match. Their parents can take great pride in their achievement and be assured that they will continue to improve and grow in confidence as they build on their repertoire of songs. Pearse Larkin – who is only nine, I might add – has a very mature singing style, steeped in the Ulster tradition, and, to come to Cavan and take a bronze home in what is, effectively, the Olympics of Irish music and in a category dominated by other lads who are in their last year is no small feat. I anticipate great things ahead for this lad”.

Pearse Mc Mahon himself also featured in the medals in another competition. He took Bronze in the Senior Accompaniment Competition. Pearse, who played guitar for many years, has now switched his focus to the bouzouki which he played in the competition. According to Pearse, “The penny still hasn’t dropped yet. I’m just delighted that the Branch have done so well in a short space of time. My thanks, in no small part, go out to my good friends Barry Kieran who played fiddle for me in the competition and piper Brendan Mc Creanor. The two lads gave me great help with the arrangements on the tunes and were never lacking in their encouragement”.

Every member of the branch who attended the Fleadh was delighted with how it went. Tutors from the branch who attended the Fleadh were glowing in their praise of the weekend. Tracey Conway – banjo/mandolin tutor – commented, “The formation of this branch of Comhaltas has made a real difference in the lives of many local people, who, a year ago had perhaps never been to a Fleadh. As we continue to grow, there is no doubt that the quality of music will improve and improve”.

For now though, it brings an end to the run of competitions for another year and if the ‘post-Fleadh blues’ have already set in for those of you who attended, or you have an itch to discover what all the fuss is about, worry not! Tutors from the CCE An Bonnan Bui branch will be ‘In Session’ every Friday night in The Cross Square Hotel from 9pm til late. In addition to this, registration for new classes will be taking place in the coming weeks and An Bonnan Bui are delighted to announce that two new tutors have been secured to teach ‘Button Key Accordian’ and ‘Uilleann Pipes’. They are Barry Leonard and Brendan Mc Creanor. This will bring classes in nearly all instruments to the CCE An Bonnan Bui branch. So if you would like to play Tin Whistle, Flute, Banjo, Mandolin, Fiddle, Uilleann Pipes, Button Accordian, Bodhran, Concertina, Guitar or Ballad Singing in English and Irish, please watch out for information here in the Examiner or log onto facebook and ‘Like’ CCE An Bonnan Bui.

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