Rebecca McCarthy Kent Wins Seán Ó Riada Gold Medal Competition
Rebecca McCarthy Kent, a student of the MA in Irish Traditional Music Performance at the University of Limerick, has won the 2019 Seán Ó Riada Bonn Óir (Gold Medal) competition.
McCarthy Kent, from Tramore, Co. Waterford, competed against 16 other finalists on Friday (1 February) at the Rochestown Hotel in Cork. She performed ‘Julia Clifford’s Hornpipe’ and the ‘The First Day of Spring’, a reel written by the late Tommy Peoples.
The Seán Ó Riada competition is now in its ninth year and focusses on a different Irish traditional music instrument every year. Previous winners include fiddle-players Aoife Ní Bhriain and Darragh Curtin, harpers Oisín Morrison and Úna Ní Fhlannagáin, uilleann pipers Tiarnán Ó Duinnchinn and Éanna Ó Cróinín, flute players Seán Gavin and Tim McHugh, concertina player Cormac Begley and accordion player Keelan McGrath. The winner receives a Seán Ó Riada medal made by goldsmith Pádraig Ó Mathúna and €2,000.
Rebecca McCarthy Kent has studied both classical and traditional violin and previously won the Feis Ceoil Rosebowl for strings, the Junior Fiddle of Dooney competition and the Fleadh Cheoil age 15–18 fiddle competition. She also performed in Michael Rooney’s Boroimhe Suite, and the Macalla 1916 Suite at the Barbican in London.
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