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Midleton College student shines at 2021 Frank Maher Classical Music Awards
Article Uploaded : 03/11/2021 15:49:24 by Midleton College


Flautist Eimear Boyle, a sixth-year student at Midleton College in Cork, was one of only six finalists at the 2021 Top Security Frank Maher Classical Music Awards on Friday 29th October in the Mill Theatre, Dundrum, Dublin. With a €5,000 top prize for the winner, it is Ireland’s largest such competition for secondary schools.

Eimear performed two pieces on the night; First Movement, Sonata in E Flat Major, BWY 1031’ by Johann Sebastian Bach and ‘Allegretto Grazioso’ by Eldin Burton.

The €5,000 prize was won by 18-year-old pianist Stan O’Beirne, a sixth-year student at Gonzaga College in Dublin. 

Eimear was presented with a €300 bursary as were the other finalists, Sidi Bao, Sandford Park School, Dublin on violin; Anna Jansson (18), St. Angela’s College, Cork on piano; Claire O’Connor, Muckross Park College, Dublin on violin and Gerry Yang, Sandford Park School on piano.


The Awards were created in 2001 by Top Security chairman Emmet O’Rafferty to honour the memory of his late teacher, Fr Frank Maher, who taught music at Castleknock College in Dublin. Emmet said “ I am very pleased to welcome Eimear to the ranks of the very talented finalists who have taken part in this competition over the years.  Father Frank Maher was a mentor of talent in many areas of school life, but he was especially passionate about classical music. I know that he would have been delighted and proud of all the performances we heard tonight. I want to wish Eimear and her fellow competitors the very best of luck in wherever their talents take them.”

The Awards’ aim is to showcase outstanding young musical talent in Ireland and are open to sixth year post-primary students of strings, woodwind, brass and piano. The €5,000 top prize must be used 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.

Past winners have gone on to attend some of the world’s most prominent music colleges that includes the Juilliard School, Shenandoah University of Virginia, Conservatoire Nationale Superieur de Musique et de Danse Paris, Kronberg Academy in Germany, the Royal Academy of Music in London and MUK Vienna.

The judging panel this year was Dr Gerard Gillen, emeritus professor of music at NUI Maynooth, Dr Kerry Houston, head of academic studies at TU Dublin Conservatory of Music and Drama and classical pianist Veronica McSwiney