Chris Jones, rugby union correspondent of BBC Radio Sport, was named as “Guinness-London Irish Rugby Union Journalist of the Season” at a ceremony in Diageo headquarters in London yesterday evening (21st May).
Jones came top in a nomination and adjudication process that involved the 12 clubs in the Aviva Premiership, Premiership Rugby and the Rugby Football Union.
The award citation praised Jones for “being really positive” and how he “reports fairly on the sport.” His weekly podcast was singled out for how it “allows players to show a bit more personality away from the standard rugby topics.”
The award, which has been presented annually for the past 15 years, recognises the contribution of rugby union broadcasters and journalists to the development of the game in this country.
Ian Robertson, the BBC Radio’s rugby correspondent who is retiring at the end of the year, received a special award for outstanding service to rugby union in a media context for his contribution to the game at club and community level in his 46 year career with the national broadcaster, including the time and energy he has invested in assisting rugby charities among them the Wooden Spoon Society.
Guinness is an official partner of London Irish in a relationship that goes back to the amateur era of the mid-1980s.
Irish Heritage is pleased to announce that Patrick Lennon has been appointed Chairman of its Board of Directors with effect from the 1st April 2018.
Mr Lennon originally joined the organisation’s Board in November 2017 to oversee the preparation and implementation of a new marketing and communications strategy. He owns and manages a marketing and public relations consultancy based in south-west London that is known for its work with Irish business and community organisations including Aer Lingus, London Irish RFC and The Irish Times in particular.
Commenting on the appointment, Mary Connolly, Interim Chair of Irish Heritage, said: “We are pleased that Paddy Lennon has accepted our invitation to become our Chairman. Although he only joined the Board last year, his support of Irish Heritage over the last 20 plus years has been valuable and his contribution since joining the Board is considerable. His interest in music and the arts combined with his work and contacts among the Irish community and his international business experience will help to realise our ambitions over coming years.”
“I am honoured to have been asked to take over as Chairman of Irish Heritage in succession to Mary Connolly who has contributed so much over the years,” said Mr Lennon. “In the short time I’ve been on its Board, I’ve seen at first hand the valuable work the organisation is doing in helping young Irish musicians develop and perform in Britain. While there are immediate challenges to be addressed, the opportunities for the organisation to play a wider role in promoting Irish music and culture in this country in co-operation with like-minded organisations are immense.”
Mr Lennon is also an advisor to the Kingston Academy of Music in Dalkey in Dublin.
Irish Heritage and The Blackwater Valley Opera Festival have announced a new collaboration that enhances the benefits of the former’s annual Music Bursary with the inauguration of the Blackwater Valley Festival Recital Award.
The first recipients of the Award will be the winner and two runners-up of the Irish Heritage Bursary auditions that took place in the Wigmore Hall in London in November last. The three young musicians will share a special debut recital in the 2018 Blackwater Valley Festival that will give them the opportunity to showcase their individual talents. The three students concerned will be guests of the Festival and will receive performance fees and travel expenses as part of their award.
The Blackwater Valley Opera Festival builds on the legacy of Lismore Opera Festival, which since 2010 has provided a celebration of classical music and opera that takes place in the County Waterford town each June. The newly expanded Festival features three opera nights performed in the stable yard of Lismore Castle as well as concerts and recitals in venues such as the town’s Cathedral, Salterbridge House and Cappoquin House. The festival is a keenly anticipated, annual event on the European festivals calendar attracting music lovers and visitors to the region. This year’s festival takes place from 29th May to 3rd June.
The first students to benefit from the collaboration will be pianist Adam Heron, recipient of the Irish Heritage Music Bursary for 2017 and the two runners-up, soprano Rebecca Murphy and harpist Maria McNamee.
Commenting on the new collaboration, Katie Rowan, joint artistic director of Irish Heritage said, “The Blackwater Valley Festival Award really enhances the work of our Bursary and increases the range of the support and opportunity we give to young, emerging Irish musicians studying in this country. We are enormously grateful to Michael Alen-Buckley and the Board of Blackwater Valley Opera for their generous support in making this possible.”
Michael Alen-Buckley of Blackwater Valley Opera Festival said, “The Blackwater Valley Festival and Irish Heritage share a common commitment to support and showcase the best of young Irish musical talent. We were impressed by the calibre of all those young musicians who took part in last year’s Bursary auditions. We look forward to working with Irish Heritage over coming years.”
The Recital Award will be presented annually for the next three years.
Adam Heron, a student at Royal Academy of Music (RAM in London), is the recipient of the Irish Heritage Music Bursary for 2017. The prestigious Bursary is an important part of the arts organisation’s annual programme of activities, concerts and recitals.
Adam was chosen for the award after a day of auditions conducted before a panel of expert adjudicators under the Chairmanship of John Gilhooly OBE in the Wigmore Hall in London on 3rd November. The bursary, worth £5,000, is awarded to an Irish student studying in Britain. This year students were nominated by this country’s seven major conservatoires and the National Opera Studios.
Adam (18) was born in Hong Kong and adopted at birth by his mother Ann Heron, who comes from Dublin. Ann, who was teaching in the former colony at the time, returned to this country and settled in Cheltenham in 2003. Adam went to a local junior school from where he was awarded a scholarship at the age of seven to study with Adrian Partington, Director of Music at Gloucester Cathedral. From 2012 until 2017 Adam studied piano at Wells Cathedral School with Hilary Coates and Richard Ormrod from where he was awarded a scholarship to undertake a Bachelor of Music course at the RAM. He was nominated for the Bursary by Christopher Elton, Professor Emeritus of Piano at the RAM.
Adam has already enjoyed numerous successes in both national and international piano competitions and has performed in venues from Cheltenham to Kiev and Hong Kong as well as participating in masterclasses with distinguished musicians such as Stephen Hough, John Lill and Imogen Cooper.
Adam’s mother is a great granddaughter of James Connolly, the Irish patriot. Both Adam and his mother are regular visitors to Dublin and to Spiddal in County Galway, the home of his late grandparents. Adam can speak a little Irish.
Commenting on the award of the bursary to Adam Heron, John Gilhooly, Chairman of the adjudicators said, “Adam is a very engaging young musician and we are very pleased that Irish Heritage can help him at such a pivotal point in his studies.”
Speaking about the bursary, Adam Heron said, “It is both an honour and a delight to have been awarded the Irish Heritage Music Bursary. An opportunity to perform in the main auditorium at the Wigmore Hall was very a special privilege, and I know that it will be a great pleasure to work with Irish Heritage during the years to come. Its outstanding work in supporting Irish artists both in Ireland and the UK is quite simply remarkable.”
Irish Heritage has invited Adam to give a cameo performance as part of its “Christmas by Candlelight” concert in St George’s Hanover Square, London on Monday 18th December. He will give a full recital at the organisation’s bursary winner’s concert in Leighton House Museum, London W14 on Tuesday 12th June 2018. for tickets and further information please visit www.irishheritage.co.uk
Adam will also perform at the Lismore Opera Festival on 1st June 2018 together with the two highly commended contestants for this year’s Bursary soprano Rebecca Murphy from the Royal Conservatoire of Scotland, and harpist Maria McNamee from Trinity Laban Conservatoire of Music and Dance.
Note about Irish Heritage
Irish Heritage is a voluntary arts organisation established in London in 1974 to promote the appreciation and understanding of classical music (broadly defined) and music composed by Irish composers, performed by young Irish musicians in Britain to a wide audience. It is the only Irish arts organisation in Britain dedicated to helping young Irish musicians through their continuing education and the early part of their careers.
Irish Heritage is pleased to announce that Patrick Lennon has joined its Board of Directors.
A long-standing supporter of Irish Heritage, Mr Lennon will oversee the preparation and implementation of a new marketing and communications strategy for the organisation that will draw on his experience of working with leading companies and organisations over the past 35 years.
Mr Lennon owns and manages a marketing and public relations consultancy based at Shepperton Studios in south-west London that is known for its work with Irish business and community organisations including Aer Lingus, London Irish RFC and The Irish Times.
Commenting on the appointment, Mary Connolly, Chair of Irish Heritage, said: “We are pleased that Paddy Lennon has accepted our invitation to join the Board. His extensive, international marketing and communications experience will help us to realise our ambitions for Irish Heritage over coming years.”
“I am delighted to have been asked to contribute to the development of Irish Heritage,” said Mr Lennon. “I’ve long admired its role in helping young Irish musicians develop and perform in Britain. I’m looking forward to working with the other communications professionals that are helping the organisation to raise its profile and generate interest in its events and programmes.”
Mr Lennon is also an advisor to the Kingston Academy of Music in Dalkey in Dublin.
Note about Irish Heritage
Irish Heritage is a voluntary arts organisation established in London in 1974 to promote the appreciation and understanding of classical music (broadly defined) and music composed by Irish composers, performed by young Irish musicians in Britain to a wide audience.
It is the only Irish arts organisation in Britain dedicated to helping young Irish musicians through their continuing education and the early part of their careers.
The Irish Heritage Music Bursary is an important part of the organisation’s annual programme of activities, concerts and recitals. For further information please visit: www.irishheritage.co.uk