28 Nov 2021

Portarlington young musician Sarah Gillen has big plans to study abroad

Portarlington young musician Sarah Gillen has big plans to study abroad

Sophie Gillen from Coláiste Iosagáin in Portarlington

Coláiste Iosagáin student Sophie Gillen has musical talent at her fingertips, from fiddle to piano, and she and her school are now celebrating another prize for Sophie's accomplished piano playing.

Sophie has been awarded first place in the Piano Recital Competition, at the prestigious Kilcoole Music Festival last November.

She was proud to take the winning cup home to Portarlington. It is the latest in a list of achievements for the young musician.

Sophie has been playing piano for six years. Last year she was proud to receive the High Achiever award from the Royal Irish Academy of Music, when she performed for an appreciative audience at the Bernard Shaw Theatre.

More recently the talented teenager was successful in the audition for the Irish Midlands Youth Orchestra. She now spends some of her weekends playing with them.

Sophie is hoping to turn her passion into a career, and plans to study music abroad, as she told the Leinster Express.

“Playing piano and studying violin is my passion and I am currently on Grade 8 with piano,” she said.

“I play traditional music on the fiddle following in the footsteps of my All Ireland winning grandfather.
Having acheived a distinction in my grade 7 exams she is now eligible to apply for a music scholarship to the Royal Irish Academy of Music.

“This fits in with my ambitions to eventually study music in Vienna,” Sophie said.

Coláiste Iosagáin praised her for her award.

“A wonderful achievement, well done Sophie and her music teacher Ms Cahill,” they said.

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Below: Sophie with her First Place prize at the Kilcoole Music Festival

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