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44th Annual Malahide Young Musician of the Year Competition


On the weekend of April 27th & 28th, over 70 young performers competed in 11 categories, to win a place in the Final Concert on the Sunday afternoon. Over the two days the audience of parents, family, teachers and music tutors were treated to a fabulous variety of musical performance, ranging from junior strings to ensemble groups. Our guest adjudicator, Ms. Ailbhe McDonagh was joined by our professional accompanist, Ms. Máire Carroll, and together they guided the children through their performances. In the end, junior vocalist Sarah Louise Jones, a student at Portmarnock Community School was crowned the Malahide Young Musician of the Year for 2024. Junior vocalist Maeve Farrelly from Malahide was awarded the Most Promising Young Musician of the Year, and Michael Moriarty, senior vocalist from Malahide Community School, was awarded the special committee award for Spirit of the Malahide Young Musician of the Year.


Founded by Derek and Rhona Keogh in Malahide in 1981, the Young Musician of the Year continues to be an important calendar event for young performers in the Malahide, Portmarnock and Kinsealy areas. Entrants must live locally, or go to school or take music lessons in the area, and over those four decades many of our competitors have gone on to successful careers in the performing arts, both as musicians, teachers and other roles in the industry. Indeed both Ailbhe and Máire are past winners of the competition and both are now renowned and celebrated performers both nationally and internationally.

This year saw a record entry, with a wide range of categories, including traditional strengths in piano and strings, but also both classical and electric guitar, wind instruments, junior and senior vocals, and the largest groups entry in many a year. The assembled audience of parents, grand-parents, siblings, friends and teachers, were treated to a wonderful display of talent, with everything from the classics of the baroque and romantic eras, to jazz, rock, musical theatre and contemporary pop. For some it was their first time to play in front an audience of any type, a chance to experience that feeling of bringing a piece of music long practiced in the privacy of a bedroom or dining room, to life and to hear the applause of congratulations at having shown the courage to get up and play. For others it was an opportunity to showcase their talent in front of not just a live audience, but in front of an expert adjudicator that would provide personal and focused critique to help them improve their craft. The experience of practicing and playing alongside a professional accompanist, and receiving expert feedback from an experienced and generous adjudicator, is one of the unique features of the Malahide Young Musician of the Year that resonates with our competitors long after they walk out onto our stage.


This event cannot take place without the generous support of our sponsors and benefactors. This year we were delighted to have local developers Quintain Ireland join us as principal sponsor. We are grateful to local man Michael Hynes, CEO of Quintain for seeing the potential in our festival of musical performance, and we hope we will enjoy many years of association with them as they continue to develop much needed housing in the Portmarnock and wider Dublin areas.

Earlier this year we were approached by local music legend, Marion Hayden-Doherty, founder of Enchiriadis Treis choir and now Chair of the Malahide Active Retirement Association (MARA). Marion has a long association with the MYMY event, being a long time committee member and often accompanist to the event, and her own son Cormac having been a former winner of the competition. She very kindly offered to promote our event to the membership of MARA and to our delight we that the older generations in Malahide were very willing to support the youth of the area, and a very special bond has been formed. We wish to express our heartfelt gratitude to Marion and everyone in MARA; your contribution was a powerful endorsement of the legacy that we are humbled to continue, and we hope we can build on this new relationship long into the future.


The 45th Malahide Young Musician of the Year festival will take place again in St. Andrew’s School in Malahide on the weekend of April 5th & 6th 2025. We look forward to seeing all of our competitors return and we hope that we will continue to enjoy the support of all our generous sponsors and donors.


Thank you,


Committee of the MYMY Festival.

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