The first thing you need to know about Niamh is that she could grace any stage in the world (and indeed has graced most). When she left the Royal College of Music in London she was awarded the centenary Tagore Gold Medal for the most outstanding student at the College. She performed for Prince Charles who presented her with the award.
You can read more about her pedigree and achievements here, but my favourite thing about Niamh is that she chose to come back to Sligo. Not because of what Sligo gained (well maybe partly!), but because she is a great example of someone who knew firstly what success looked like for her, and then chased it. And what a generous path it was that she took.
You see I have no doubt that Niamh could have had a career touring the major concert halls of the world, but instead she chose to be successful in a different way, and established the Sligo Academy of Music, where she has been responsible for the musical education of a whole generation of students. A decision like this changed her life, but also the lives of many people who didn’t even know Niamh when she made it, including me.
And she isn’t just a classical player and teacher. She has as keen an ear as anyone I know and is always up for trying something new. Indeed through stepping out of her comfort zone Niamh has been responsible for many great theme night moments over the years – you can see two here and here.
But for all the time we have spent together arranging, rehearsing and performing, we have never played a full gig together. Next Sat 20th Oct we’re going to put that right – I’m really looking forward to sharing a stage with Niamh and bringing it back to basics – just the two of us, playing what we want, how we want to.
Well I lie, it won’t be the two of us all night. We will have the pleasure of welcoming to the stage for some very special numbers Mr. Michael Rooney, the legendary composer and harpist. Michael has not only written and performed music for Prince Charles, but for Queen Elizabeth too. I could write a whole blog on Michael and how he has been successful in a different way again, and hopefully some day I will do so.
PS If you feel like buying tickets there are some left here.