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Irish Heritage Newsletter September 2020
  • Start of Season Message from the Chairman
  • Irish Heritage Charity Golf Day on 2nd October
  • ICC Culture Hotline features Irish Heritage Bursary Recipients
  • Amy Gillen Awarded Gold Medal by RCM
  • Irish Heritage Bursaries 2020/21 – Update

Start of Season Message from the Chairman

I had hoped that this Newsletter would bring you details of Irish Heritage’s programme for 2020/21, our 46th season.  Unfortunately, like so many other performing arts organisations, we have to follow government guidance and accept that we cannot organise concerts and recitals with live audiences for the foreseeable future. 

We have had to cancel the events we had planned until December 31st including the popular “Christmas by Candlelight” concert.  We intend to offer a full programme between January and June 2021 subject to government guidance.

While that is the disappointing news, there is positive news to report.  IH is collaborating with the Irish Cultural Centre on its ICC Digital and ICC Culture Hotline activities as part of our outreach programme – further details are below. 

Thanks to tireless efforts of our trustee Tom Scanlon and his team and the support of our sponsor Falcon Green, the Irish Heritage Charity Golf Day is taking place on Friday 2nd October at Batchworth Golf Club, near Rickmansworth in Hertfordshire, see below.  This event generates valuable funds for our bursary programme and we’re grateful that it is able to take place within the current Covid-19 guidance.

We will offer four bursaries again this season, one for performance, one for composition, the Brackaville Bursary for Vocal Studies and  the special Accompanist’s Award – see below. 

Our collaborations with the RDS and Blackwater Valley Opera Festival are alive and well but frustrated for 2020.

With an eye towards the charity’s 50th anniversary in 2023/24, we have reviewed the current branding and website and are in the process of producing a new, fresh and modern approach to both that you will hear more about shortly.

In order to comply with Charity Commission guidelines and best practice, we are forming a Committee to be responsible for the day-to-day operation of the charity leaving the Trustees to fulfil the governance and supervision role expected of them.  We are seeking energetic and enthusiastic people to join the new Committee which we intend to have operational by 1st January 2021.  If you or anyone you know who has something to offer Irish Heritage and would like to be involved, please contact me.

Thanks you for your interest and support, take care and stay safe.

Patrick Lennon


Charity Golf Day at Batchworth Park Golf Club on Friday 2nd October

Irish Heritage’s annual Charity Golf Day will take place at the beautiful Batchworth Park Golf Club, near Rickmansworth on Friday 2nd October.  The main sponsor of the day is Falcon Green.

There is still time to enter a team of four at £125 per person including evening dinner; non-golfers are welcome to attend for dinner at £50 (including wine) per person. There are a number of sponsorship opportunities available including sponsoring a hole at £150 each.

Full details are available from Irish Heritage’s Director and Trustee, Tom Scanlon at or 07973 835542.

Second Season of the ICC Culture Hotline features Irish Heritage Bursary Recipients

Season Two of the Irish Cultural Centre’s “Culture Hotline” is the latest collaboration between the Hammersmith Centre and Irish Heritage.

From now until mid-December people who phone into the “hotline” can enjoy a series of recitals by a selection of Irish Heritage bursary recipients and friends.

The recitals which are part of the performing arts charity’s Outreach Programme, feature the recipients of the organisation’s bursary for performance from the past three years: pianist Adam Heron, flautist Amy Gillen and violinist Mollie Wrafter among other talented young musicians and singers. 

30th September              Justine Gormley  (Piano)
14th October                  Ellen Mahwinney (Soprano)                                       
28th October                  Tara Viscardi (Harp)                                                        
11th November               Mollie Wrafter (Violin) 
25th November              Adam Heron (Piano)    
9th December                Amy Gillen (Flute)    
15th December              Conall O’Neill (Bass)    

The recitals are available every second Wednesday afternoon and start at 2.00pm (UK time). Each virtual recital lasts 45 minutes and is easy to access from anywhere in the world by calling 020 3443 9152 from the UK or 0800 031 5925 (toll-free) from the rest of the world and using Conference ID:  135 144 590#. 

Commenting on the collaboration, Patrick Lennon, Chairman of Irish Heritage said, “We are pleased to work with our friends at the ICC again and provide these talented performers with a valuable opportunity to showcase their talents and bring the joy of live music to people who are unable to experience it at present.”


Amy Gillen Awarded Gold Medal by RCM

Amy Gillen, who received the Irish Heritage Music Bursary for Performance in 2018, has been awarded the prestigious Tagore Gold Medal by the Royal College of Music for her outstanding contribution musically and in other important ways to the life of the College.

The special award was announced by the Director of the RCM, Professor Colin Lawson CBE, at the College’s 2020 graduation ceremony which took place virtually on 23rd September from the new auditorium of the College’s campus in Kensington.  Amy will be presented with her award by HRH the Prince of Wales at the President’s Annual Visit to the RCM in 2021.

Earlier Amy was presented (virtually) with her Master of Music Performance in Flute degree in which she received a Distinction First Class Honours.

Commenting after she had heard the news of the medal, Amy said, “I would not have been able to do it without the invaluable and generous support of Irish Heritage and the friendship I’ve experienced from all involved while I was in London.”

Twenty-four-year-old Amy, who comes from Bridgetown in County Donegal, was awarded a first class honours BA of Music Performance in flute and a first class honours Licentiate Teaching Diploma in flute from the Royal Irish Academy of Music in 2018. She moved to London in September 2018 to study at the Royal College of Music.

Amy has performed with the RTE Concert Orchestra, the Ulster Orchestra and made her solo concerto debut with the RTE National Symphony Orchestra in April 2018 playing the Libermann Flute Concerto. She has also taken part in the BBC Symphony Orchestra Pathway Scheme.

Amy’s exceptional talent has already been recognised through the award of multiple prizes both in Ireland and further afield not least by Sir James Galway.

Irish Heritage was proud to provide Amy with her London debut in March 2019.

Irish Heritage Bursaries 2020/21 – Update

Irish Heritage will award three bursaries and one special award this season.  There will be: a Music Bursary for Performance valued at £5,000; a Music Bursary for Vocal Studies valued at £2,500; a Music Bursary for Composition valued at £3,000 and special Accompanist’s Award associated with the Blackwater Valley Opera Festival valued at £500.

In addition, there will be guaranteed performance opportunities both with the Festival and Irish Heritage including a world premiere of the successful composition.

Information and nomination forms for the three bursaries and the award have been circulated to colleges and conservatoires throughout the country.   If readers know of any first or second generation Irish music students that may be interested in the bursaries please advise them to contact the relevant department in their place of study before the closing date of 31st October.

The Friends of Irish Heritage

The Friends of Irish Heritage are a special community of people who are committed:

* to making the dreams of young Irish classical music performers and composers a reality and

* to helping maintain the high quality and breadth of Irish Heritage’s activities.

The annual subscription provides vital funding for the essential support and performance opportunities Irish Heritage is able to offer talented musicians, singers and composers that are awarded Bursaries or are identified by Irish Heritage’s artistic advisers.

In response to feedback from Friends, the subscriptions for the forthcoming season is
 now scheduled to start in January 2021.

Individual         £75
Couple             £100

The subscription includes admission to at least five concerts and recitals (normal individual ticket price £20 each) and a start of season event exclusively for Friends. 

Subscriptions qualify as Gift Aid for UK based tax payers.  For further information and an application form, please visit:  and click on the “Join Us” tab.

Without the generosity of our Friends, much that we do at Irish Heritage would be impossible.

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