Young Musician, Niall Hanna, launches first album of Traditional Folk Music
Traditional folk singer and guitarist, Niall Hanna, from Derrytresk, in County Tyrone has released his first album entitled, Autumn Winds, as part of his Young Musicians’ Platform Award, an artist development programme, for exceptional young musicians, offered by BBC Northern Ireland in collaboration with the Arts Council of Northern Ireland.
The biennial Young Musicians’ Platform Awards aim to showcase and support the development of young musicians from the region by providing individual funding awards of £5,000, supported by National Lottery. This funding enables the recipients to spend a sizeable amount of time learning from a master musician, mentor, teacher or composer either in Northern Ireland or abroad. Five awards are offered including three classical awards, one jazz award and one award for musicians from a folk and traditional background. As well as this training opportunity, awardees receive two professional radio broadcast engagements, including one with the Ulster Orchestra and mentorship with the BBC. Performances at this level raise not only the professional profile of the young musicians but also give a boost to their performance experience.
Niall who comes from a family with strong roots in traditional singing, has been strongly influenced by his late grandfather, Geordie Hanna and Geordie’s sister, Sarah Ann O’Neill.
Niall Hanna, said,
“As soon as I found I had got the Young Musicians’ Platform Award, I started to plan this album with my producer, Donal O’Connor. As part of the award I was also able to play a series of solo concerts, something new for me, and try out material before it was released. My BBC mentor, Lynette Fay, has also been wonderfully supportive in helping get the music out there and played on radio. ”
Ciaran Scullion, Arts Council of Northern Ireland, added,
“I couldn’t be more pleased for Niall Hanna as he launches his first album as part of his Young Musicians’ Platform Award. These important awards allow exceptionally talented young musicians to develop creatively over a two year period and can be a real game changer for artists in taking that vital next step in their career. All of the previous recipients of this award have gone on to have successful careers in