Music and Me 

by Grace Angland

Glenflesk CCÉ

My name is Grace Angland. I live in Glenflesk and I am a member of the Glenflesk Comhaltas Branch. I am 14 years old and a student at Scoil Phobal Sliabh Luachra in Rathmore.

Growing up with music in my home is where I got my love for music and dance. My mom, Martina, plays fiddle and piano and she has passed on her music to both myself and my sisters and brother Colleen, Olivia and Seán. Our home is a constant hive of activity, with music in every corner at times. Musicians, such as the box player Johnny Reidy play music in my home every week so I think I knew some tunes before I ever put my hands on an instrument. My uncle, Padraig O’Neill, plays box and has always encouraged my love of music.

Currently I play fiddle and piano. At 5 years old I began tin whistle and a year later I started fiddle with Nicky McAuliffe. Following this, I began classical piano. As time went I found myself continuously tinkling traditional music on piano and this continued!! I play concertina from time to time - my little sister Olivia keeps me on my toes with this!

I have many Kerry County Fleadh medals for both piano, fiddle and ceilí dancing. My proudest moment was in Drogheda, August 2018 where I won a silver All-Ireland medal for piano. Irish Dancing has also played a big part of my life since I was four and I have an All-Ireland medal for ceilí dancing from Fleadh Cheoil. I have also won numerous prizes from Feile Cheoils, Sult na nÓg, Ceol an Gheimhridh, The Rotary Club Young Musician of the Year Classical Music Awards, Feis Maitiú Cork, etc.

A big highlight for me was being invited to perform in Boston in 2018. My family and I, along with our friend Nóirín Healy, were invited to perform in Boston on 17 March 2018 as part of the St. Patrick’s Day celebrations. The event was televised live making it extra special and a memory that I will hold dear to my heart forever.

Another proud moment was when my family and I got the opportunity to represent Kerry CCÉ in the Christmas 2020 Video Message to people at home and abroad.

Comhaltas has been a big part of my life so far. I look forward to Fleadh Cheoil and Comhaltas events every year, not only to compete but to meet new and lifelong friends.

Looking to the future I hope for many more competitions, sessions, fun, friendships and travel throughout my musical life.