GLENGORMLEY School of Traditional Music is to be awarded a prestigious Gradam Ceoil Award.

The annual awards pay homage to musicians who have advanced, strengthened and preserved traditional music in Ireland. 

The awards ceremony now in its 24th year, will air on TG4 on October 31 to celebrate TG4’s 25th birthday, from the Whitla Hall in Queen’s University.

The Glengormley School of Traditional Music is awarded the ‘Outstanding Contribution Award’ for 2021. 

Over its twenty-year history, the North Belfast school has nurtured countless musicians, many of whom have gone on to work professionally. The summer courses in Donegal bond young people socially and musically and instils in them a deep passion for music-making.

Chairperson, Ray Morgan said he was delighted the school was to be recognised in this year’s awards.

“It is fantastic. I couldn’t believe it when I found it,” he said.

“We are very successful in what we do but I am very proud at the same time for everyone at Glengormley School of Traditional Music.

“It is a reflection of our excellence. It is an award that is not given out lightly. It is a tribute to the pupils and quality of our teaching as well as our volunteers and Committee.

“It is a great start to our celebrations for our 20th anniversary.”

The news comes as Glengormley School of Traditional Music prepares to begin a new year of teaching, with term beginning on Thursday, September 23. Before that they are holding an Open Day at Edmund Rice College on Sunday (September 19) between 2-4pm with everyone invited to come along.

“The Open Day will be a great opportunity for people to chat to staff, teachers and pupils about what we do and to get signed up to playing traditional music," said Ray.

“Covid affected us badly and we still have to have strict protocols and guidelines in place. We had online classes last year which went really well but we need to get back to face-to-face classes.

“We are hoping we will still get funding and support from Arts Council which helps keep the costs down and keeps teaching traditional music affordable.”

For 2021/2022, the school are providing tuition in the following instruments: Fiddle, Flute, Tin Whistle, Harp, Bodhran, Guitar (dadgad and standard tuning), Banjo/Mandolin, Button Accordian, Concertina, Uilleann Pipes and Ballad singing. Beginner tin whistle and beginner fiddle classes for adults will also be available.

For more information, visit their website here.