DkIT Graduate Receives Prestigious Young Musicians’ Platform Award

30 November 2018

 DkIT Applied Music graduate, Martha Guiney from Glen, County Down has been selected alongside four other exceptionally talented young musicians from Northern Ireland (NI) to receive the Young Musicians’ Platform Award by the Arts Council of Northern Ireland and BBC Northern Ireland

Martha plays traditional flute and is a former pupil of Our Lady’s Grammar School, Newry. She graduated from DkIT in 2017 and recently completed a Masters in Irish World Academy of Music and Dance, University of Limerick. As part of the award, Martha will receive £5,000 in funding towards her continued training. This will allow her to spend a sizeable amount of time learning from a master musician, mentor, teacher or composer either in NI or abroad. 

As well as this training opportunity, Martha 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.

Highlighting BBC Radio Ulster’s continuing commitment to specialist music and to developing new musical talent, two presenters from the station 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.  Folk Club presenter, Lynette Fay, will mentor Martha.

Speaking about the announcement, Martha said

"Four years undertaking a music degree at Dundalk Institute of Technology has played a significant role in the development of my playing and has shaped the musician I am today. I met so many great musicians during my time in Dundalk and I was provided with so many opportunities to perform internationally, ranging from Brazil to Scotland. My tutors and lecturers, including banjo player Dr Daithí Kearney and flute and piano player Eamonn de Barra are experts in their field and encouraged me so much throughout my journey there and it's so nice that this support has continued after graduation. Not only did I leave with a much greater knowledge of performance, but also with valuable research that I carried out on renowned flute player Seamus Tansey, under the direction of my supervisor, Paul McGettrick."

Matha is an accomplished musician and has previously been shortlisted for the BBC Radio Ulster Young Musician of the Year. She was also nominated for the DkIT President’s Prize for her outstanding contribution to the cultural life of the Institute.

Dr. Adele Commins, Head of Department of Creative Arts, Media and Music congratulated Martha on her achievement. Speaking on behalf of the Institute, she commented.

“Martha was an exceptional student academically and excelled in her studies on the BA (Hons) Applied Music. She contributed to a range of performance activities within the Department and Institute and was an integral part of the performance group which represented DkIT at the International Society for Music Education Conferences in Brazil (2014) and Scotland (2016). It was heartening to follow Martha’s development as a musician throughout her studies and we congratulate her on this outstanding achievement.”

The BBC NI & Arts Council Young Musicians’ Platform Awards take place annually and aim to showcase and support the development of young musicians from Northern Ireland who are ready to enter the professional world as artists. The award is a significant achievement and an important stepping stone in the careers of emerging international artists. Previous recipients of the Young Musicians’ Platform Award include acclaimed classical pianist, Michael McHale, soprano, Laura Sheerin, harpist, Richard Allen, violinist, Michael Trainor, folk artists, Conor Mallon and Niall Hanna and jazz drummer, Ed Dunlop, among others.

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