In December 2012, twenty-seven candidates from West Connemara were awarded

high grades and certificates, in the Royal Irish Academy of Music (RIAM) exams.

 Sitting the exams from Elementary Grade right up to Grade Seven, ten students

were awarded Distinctions (90% - 100%);  thirteen students Honours (80% - 90%);

  and four candidates received Merit Awards (75%-80%).  This is a wonderful

achievement for the young musicians of the area!



The Local Centre for this round of RIAM exams was

conducted, for the seventh year in succession, in the

Cleggan-Claddaghduff area.

It was the culmination of long hours of hard work on the

part both of the students and their patient teacher, Mrs

Breda O'Toole (right) - herself a skilled multi-instrumentalist

and well known also for her abilities with the organ, at

Church services in the locality.

Her abilities as a music teacher are well known

throughout Connemara.

The standards set by the RIAM are demanding!  The syllabus included three set

pieces, a wide consortium of scales, sight-reading, theory and a variety of aural and

observation tests based on memory, rhythm and sight-singing.  An examiner, Ms

Cora Clarke, appointed by the Academy travelled from Dublin for the occasion.



The RIAM, based in Dublin, has maintained the

highest standard of teaching and

performance for more than one hundred and

fifty-five years.  Countless numbers of

distinguished musicians have received their

training at the Academy, which offers a

full range of musical subjects, and speech and

drama, from beginner to diploma

standard and graduate and post-graduate level.


For a variety of reasons, the piano is arguably the

best instrument for getting to grips

Three graduates from the same family! (left)

with all aspects of music theory and practice.  A skilled pianist can either progress to

the highest levels on the piano itself, or can apply the knowledge gained in mastering

any other musical instrument.  So a good grounding in the piano can lead to an

extremely varied lifetime of musical performance.



Surely the long heritage of musical ability lives on, in the achievements of our young

musicians.  We may well have more than one budding musical star in our presence! 

Heartiest congratulations to all.



The full list of those who took the exams and gained these superb grades is as

follows (listed alphabetically by first name):

  • Aebhín Sheridan – Renvyle
  • Aileen Joyce – Clifden
  • Alice Hannon – O’Toole – Claddaghduff
  • Anna Shanahan – Cleggan
  • Ashley Flaherty – Clifden
  • Branwen O’Halloran – Ballinakill
  • Caroline Conneely – Aughrus
  • Céiti Daly – Claddaghduff
  • Clara Mongan – Roundstone
  • Hilary Joyce – Claddaghduff
  • Hugh Manley- Claddaghduff
  • Isabelle Ruddy – Ballyconneely
  • James Ruddy- Ballyconneely
  • Jennifer de Courcey – Cleggan
  • Katie Flaherty – Clifden
  • Leah Dyck – Claddaghduff
  • Maeve Vaughan – Clifden
  • Manon West – Claddaghduff
  • Michelle Craughwell – Galway
  • Millicent Marinot Wood – Streamstown
    Roisín Gavin – Kingstown
  • Muireann Mc Glynn - Clifden
  • Myles Ruddy – Ballyconneely
  • Niamh Shanahan – Cleggan
  • Orla Sealy Phelan – Moyard
  • Ríona Coyne – Renvyle
  • Saoirse Newman – Cleggan

Click HERE to return to the "2012 - Past Events" page.