The annual Arrane son Mannin competition held at the Masonic Hall in Peel attracted two entries this year in a bid to win £300 and represent the Isle of Man at the Pan Celtic Festival to be held in Carlow, Ireland, later this year.
The evening began with a selection of musical entertainment provided by local musicians and singers, with both of the Island’s Manx Gaelic choirs (Cliogaree Twoaie and Caarjyn Cooidjagh) performing a number of songs in the Island’s native tongue, followed by Laura and David Rowles (past winners of Arrane son Mannin) who gave a varied selection of songs accompanied by fiddle and guitar. This included their entry for a previous Pan Celtic Festival based on the tragedy of the Summerland disaster and one of Laura’s own compositions which featured at the opening ceremony of the festival in 2012.
Sponsored by the Manx Heritage Foundation and now in its eighth year, Arrane son Mannin attracted two sets of young musicians and singers, Banjagh presented Ny Jean Keayney (Don’t Cry) with Joney Fisher on vocals and David Kilgallon at the keyboard. The competition came at a busy time for joint composer Daniel Ntuibane, who at the age of 15 is currently sitting exams. The second entry introduced established singers Matt Creer and Ruth Keggin who sang Peeley Aile (Fire Tower) which will feature in English on Matt’s next CD.
Matt and Ruth then continued to entertain the audience with a couple of Matt’s own compositions whilst the judges, Bob Carswell and Dr Chloë Woolley, considered their decision. Bob commented on the wonderful diversity of new Manx songs and the difficulties experienced in choosing the winner which he duly announced was Banjagh.
The evening was brought to a close by both choirs joining forces to sing a resounding arrangement of Shiaull Ersooyl (Sail Away) a short, but wonderfully rhythmic tune collected by Mona Douglas from Margaret Quayle of Glen Auldyn, in 1925, and also by Joe Woods from Mary Ledley of Dalby in the same year.
© January 2013