Jonathan is in fine tune for championship laurels

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A young Larne accordionist has been successful at the 42nd All-Ireland Festival held in the Castle Arch Hotel, Trim, County Meath, recently.

Fourteen-year-old Jonathan Wilson became the first soloist from Northern Ireland to be awarded a first place at the championships winning the Intermediate Solo with 94 marks.

Emma Dunlop, from Carrickfergus, was also in fine tune gaining 90 marks, and 3rd place, in the Under-13 Solo.

They were the only competitors from Northern Ireland to make the journey south this year to the two-day musical extravaganza which attracted the cream of Irish accordionists and over 200 competitors. The adjudicator was Vietnamese virtuoso accordionist Phuong Nguyen.

Principal of East Antrim Accordion School Clyde Johnston said he was delighted with how Jonathan and Emma had played.

“The standard at the championships was very high and to win such prestigious acclaim was an excellent achievement. They performed to a very high standard and were great ambassadors for the East Antrim area,” he added.

Open to all ages, from five years upwards, East Antrim Accordion School is organised along similar lines to piano schools with pupils being taught to read music and play both the treble and bass keyboards of this very popular instrument.

They can also be prepared for examinations, as set by the British College of Accordionists, compete in various music festivals or simply play for fun.

In addition, the school runs music theory classes in the summer which is open to all music students’ not just accordionists.

Anyone interested in learning to play the accordion or learn music theory should contact Clyde at (028) 2827 2258.

For those who do not have an accordion, the school has a number of instruments that can be borrowed.