PHOTO GALLERY: Newbridge Vocal Academy sweep the boards at Kilcoole Music Festival

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Leinster Leader reporter

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Students of Newbridge Vocal Academy had every reason to celebrate recently after scooping five of the top vocal awards at the 62nd Kilcoole Music Festival in Wicklow.

Their singing teacher, well known Newbridge baritone and musician Owen C Lynch was over the moon with their fantastic achievements.

“I am extremely proud of them all. Learning to sing is not as easy as one might think especially classical singing. The development of a voice requires plenty of hard work, discipline and patience. Breath support, vocal placement, languages, interpretation, performance – there is so much to think about and consider. It certainly does not happen overnight and there is no fast track to becoming an accomplished vocalist. Each of the students performed to the best of their ability. As a teacher, that is all one can ask of a student. After that, it is down to the adjudicators decision”  

Fourteen year-old soprano Ruby Boland from Clane was the first to win gold. Ruby’s performance of the The Sally Gardens secured first place in the under 16 Vocal Solo winning the Chambers Cup & trophy.

Ruby then joined tenor David O Carroll from Prosperous to sing a duet arrangement of the popular Neapolitan song Parlami D’amore Mariu wining the Senior Duet competition and the Urell Cup.

Baritone Elliot Davis from Newhall, Naas and tenor David O Carroll were next to compete in the Senior Boys Solo. Their program of songs by Handel, Schubert, Quilter & Vaughan Williams won them joint first place the Fr. McAuliffe Cup.

The string of firsts continued with soprano Sophie O Carroll from Prosperous. Performing a program of music by Vivaldi and Quilter, Sophie was awarded first place in the Adult Solo competition winning the Lancia Paul’s Cup.

As winners of each of their competitions, the students were then eligible to compete for the overall festival prize, the prestigious Tom & Maura Kilbride Perpetual Cup & Trophy. Festival adjudicator, leading Irish soprano Niamh Murray awarded 19 year-old Elliot Davis with the overall prize.

“It was the perfect end to a fantastic weekend of music making. The Kilcoole Music Festival is undoubtedly one of the most important vocal competitions we have. It’s friendly and encouraging atmosphere is perfect for the young singer just starting out. The standard of singing is very high yet, it is always a most enjoyable and fun festival. It really is an absolute credit to the hard working and dedicated committee who work tirelessly to ensure its success each year. We look forward to 2018 already," said Owen.