NUI Galway Student Named TG4 Young Musician Of The Year

Tuesday, 8 February 2011

An NUI Galway student has been named TG4 Young Musician of the Year at this year's TG4 Gradam Ceoil 2011 (Traditional Music Awards). Uilleann piper Pádraic Keane hails from Maree, Co Galway and was born into a great musical family in 1991. He is currently a second year student in NUI Galway pursuing a BA degree with Irish Studies. His father Tommy is a well known piper, originally from Waterford who was taught by the legendary piper Tommy Kearney. His mother Jacqueline McCarthy is a very respected concertina player and is the daughter of the late Tommy McCarthy from West Clare who was a multi-instrumentalist playing pipes, whistle and concertina. Jacqueline's sister Marion also plays pipes. Pádraic began learning the pipes at the age of eight under the guidance of his father. He also received tuition from many leading pipers at various summer schools including Robbie Hannan, Mick O'Brien, Emmett Gill, Jimmy O'Brien-Moran, Seán McKeon, Brian McNamara and Ronan Browne. His first pipes were a practice set borrowed from Na Píobairí Uilleann under their Pipes on Loan scheme. Since then Pádraic has inherited his grandfather's pipes – a concert pitch set made by Leo Rowsome. When playing solo he likes to perform on a flat set in C made by Geoff Wooff. He has performed at many events organised by Na Píobairí Uilleann, including recitals at Scoil Samhraidh Willie Clancy, NPU Annual Tionól, Session with the Pipers in The Cobblestone and Ceol sa Chlub, the latter in the company of his fiddle playing sisters – Siobhán and his twin Maisie-Kate. His music has been broadcast on Clare FM, Galway Bay FM, RTÉ Raidió na Gaeltachta and RTÉ Radio 1. He is a member of the traditional group Eamhain Mhacha – a group of musicians who became friends at Scoil Samhraidh Willie Clancy and Scoil Acla. They competed in the Gael Linn Siansa competition, have appeared on RTÉ Television, played support to The Chieftains and performed at the Cooley Collins Festival in Gort. His piping comes from the style of Willie Clancy but other influences such as Seán McKiernan and Séamus Ennis are also discernable in the playing of a young man who is acutely aware of the tradition from which he stems and who displays a musical maturity and understanding way beyond his years. He in turn is now passing on his love for piping and has a number of fledgling pipers coming to him for tuition.
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