Manx musicians and singers, with the financial support of the Isle of Man Arts Council, made a big impact at the 40th Irish Pan Celtic Festival this year, providing a strong challenge against their Celtic cousins and enjoying the sweet taste of success in some of the competitions.
Local trio ‘Falga’, comprising Clare Kilgallon, Margaid Bird and Fiona McArdle, set the pace by taking first place in the group traditional singing competition. All members of northern based Manx Gaelic choir ‘Cliogaree Twoaie’ they caught the judges attention by singing ‘My Chaillin Veg Dhone’ (Little Brown Girl) arranged by Frank Woolley and ‘Cadlee ny Moidyn Moirrey’ (Lullaby of the Virgin Mary) incorporating a new arrangement in close harmony by David Kilgallon, which the inter-Celtic audience particularly enjoyed. Members of ‘Falga’ were then invited to perform live on Raidió na Gaeltachta the following day and a podcast was made by Mazz O’Flaherty of the Dingle Record Shop which will be available later this year.
But there was more to come on the following evening as Manx group ‘Ny Jinnyn’ represented the Isle of Man in the prestigious New Song Contest. Winners of the local heat Arrane son Mannin held in Peel at the end of last year, ‘Ny Jinnyn’ sang a jointly composed song entitled ‘Sy Ghrianane’ which focused on the tragic events of the Summerland disaster and one family’s agony as the drama unfolded. Voting was very tight and by the end of the evening the Welsh entry snatched victory from the Manx group by just one mark! All of the Manx competitors, however, will feature on a special Pan Celtic CD which will be issued towards the end of 2011.
Valerie Caine © May 2011