Eimear Noone, the award-winning composer and conductor from Ballinasloe, has lent her support to the 2023 Top Security/Frank Maher Classical Music Awards for talented teens.
With a €5,000 prize for the winner, this is Ireland’s largest classic music competition for secondary schools, and closing date for entries is October 6, 2023.
Eimear, who became the first woman to conduct at the Academy Awards (Oscars) in 2020, launched the call for entries to the competition by taking part in a photocall with last year’s winner, violinist Daimee Ng.
“Support for young artists and creative professionals is something we need more of in Ireland. Congratulations to the team behind the Frank Maher Awards for making a positive impact on young musicians both professionally and psychologically,” said Eimear.
Last year’s winner, 18-year-old Daimee Ng from The High School in Dublin achieved top honours in her Leaving Cert and has decided to forgo her university offers to pursue a career in music.
Daimee said, “It was wonderful to meet and play for Eimear Noone, she was incredibly supportive and gave me a lot of advice and encouragement.
“I’m now taking a gap year to attend masterclasses and explore the opportunities that the wider musical world has to offer before I audition for several renowned music colleges in Europe to start the next stage of my musical journey.”
The Top Security/Frank Maher Classical Music Awards were created in 2001 by Emmet O’Rafferty, chairman of the Top Security Group, to honour the memory of his late teacher, Fr Frank Maher, a pioneer in the nurturing of musical talent in secondary schools.
The awards went nationwide in 2012, and past winners include pianists Kevin Jansson and Aidan Chan, violinists Julieanne Forrest and Mairead Hickey and cellists Killian White and Sinead O’Halloran.
The awards are open to sixth year post-primary students of string, woodwind, brass and piano.
The €5,000 top prize will be used by the winner 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. The remaining finalists will each receive a €300 bursary.
Further information, rules and a copy of the application form for downloading can be found at: www.frankmaherclassicalmusicawards.com