Martin Doyle has just received some happy news from a young flute player who has been competing at this years Fleadh Cheoil na hÉireann (All Ireland Festival of Music) in Drogheda, County Louth. Conan Whitley sent Martin a message to say that he had just won the Under 18 Slow Air Flute Competition at the fleadh and he sent a photo of himself with the first place trophy in one hand and his Martin Doyle flute in the other.
Conan Whitley holding the Under 18 Slow Air Flute Competition first place trophy and his Martin Doyle flute.
The All Ireland competitions are loaded with talented young musicians, the best of the best one could say, and to win first place in any category requires great effort, focus and dedication. Our heartiest congratulations go to Conan and his family!
Edel Vaughan performing on tour with the Kilfenora Céilí Band. (Photo: Martin Connolly of Kincora Photography)
A little about Edel Vaughan …
Edel Vaughan is a native of the County Clare who has been playing music and participating in traditional and sean nós singing from an early age. She has won six All Ireland titles and has travelled the world with the renowned Brú Ború group. Edel has also travelled and worked with the dance show Ragús and has had the honour of being a member of the prestigious Clare Memory Orchestra for a specially commissioned millennium suite commemorating the death of Brian Ború in 1014 AD. Edel is also no stranger to the camera having performed on many television series including Abair Amhrán, Fleadh TV and Geantraí.
Currently touring with the renowned Kilfenora Céilí Band, Edel also teaches Irish and history at St. Flannans College in Ennis and traditional singing in many Comhaltas branches throughout Ireland. Edel released her debut album Spreagtha (Inspired) in April 2016 – here is a sample featuring several songs from the album.
The particular flute that Shardul is playing is a three keyed D-flat flute made from African Blackwood that was in fact originally made for Sri Chinmoy. It was commissioned by Maral Siegel of New York who is also a student of Sri Chinmoy, and was presented to Sri Chinmoy at the Royal Albert Hall in London by Martin himself after the Master’s peace concert there in 2003 at a post concert function. Unfortunately an injury to one of Sri Chinmoy’s hands prevented him from playing the flute for very long and it was returned to Maral who eventually gave it to Shardul as a gift a couple of years later.
Since that time, Shardul has played Sri Chinmoy’s music in a wide variety of public spaces including hospitals. Encouraged by Sri Chinmoy who once told him that soulful, meditative music would help to alleviate humanity’s sufferings, Shardul has played regularly in hospitals in Auckland and Christchurch – particularly in the large ten floor glass topped atrium in the central Auckland hospital where some of the documentary footage was shot.
We hope you enjoy the video clip and we would also like to offer everyone our best wishes for the New Year. May your hopes and dreams bear fruit and bring you joy, peace and fulfilment in 2017. Kind regards from Martin Doyle and his team.
The photo below is of Ellen O’Brien – a young flute player from County Cavan – playing a Martin Doyle flute at the Life of Reilly Festival in August 2013. Ellen played a selection of tunes at Flute Wednesday segment of the festival with Matt Molloy, Órlaith McAuliffe, Laurence Nugent and many others.
Ellen loves her Martin Doyle flute and feels that the tone of the flute is brilliant. She won the Ulster Flute Under 12 competition for dance tunes and slow airs, and then went on to the All-Ireland competitions and really enjoyed the whole experience.
Teen traditional musician Seamus Tierney won three titles at the All-Ireland Fleadh Cheoil finals at Derry in August, 2013 – two of them playing a Martin Doyle flute. Seamus, who hails from Lavey in County Derry, took first prize in the Flute 15-18 category and third prize in the Flute Slow Airs 15-18 category. He also collected first prize in the Tin Whistle 15-18 category.