Four acts from County Tipperary will be hoping to achieve a lifelong dream and secure a recording contract when they participate in the final stages of the All-Ireland Music Competition on January 4th and 5th.
The musicians and singers are amongst sixteen acts from all over Ireland who will compete in the semi-final of the competition on January 4th in the West County Hotel, Ennis. The acts will be seeking to reach the final of the inaugural competition at the same venue on January 5th.
Mercury Music Winner and Hot Press Best Female Artist Gemma Hayes from Ballyporeen, and Eurovision winner Paul Harrington will judge the acts that emerged from regional heats to qualify for the latter stages of the competition.
A recording contract and TMI representation awaits the winning act.
The competition is hosted by Talent Management International (TMI) Ireland and sponsored by Shannon Development and the Shannon Region Conference & Sports Bureau.
Among the Tipperary acts taking part are Michelle O’Dwyer (Clonoulty), Kate O’Toole and Michelle Revins (both Templemore) and Nenagh four-piece Penny Wentworth.
Darragh Galligan (Managing Director & Talent Manager with TMI Ireland) explained: “The level of interest that this competition has attracted from around Ireland during recent months has been exceptional. We are confident that this competition will produce a very successful music recording artist and we are delighted to announce that Paul Harrington will also perform at the semi-final and Gemma Hayes will perform during the final in Ennis”.
Michelle Revins, from Templemore, has been singing and performing since she was seven. She possesses a wealth of musical experience which consists of a strong musical theatre background having performed in local musical and drama societies from a young age. She says her main musical influences consist of jazz, blues, soul and contemporary folk. She is a student in Dublin’s newest contemporary music college, BIMM Dublin.
Michelle O’Dwyer, from Clonoulty, lives in Nenagh. She has one child, eight-year-old Oran. She works in a butcher’s part-time, but her true passion lies with music. She joined Royal Flush as a lead singer when she was twenty-one before joining a number of ABBA tribute bands. The singer-songwriter now performs solo gigs around Nenagh. Her musical influences include Sheryl Crow, Amy MacDonald and Nanci Griffith.
Penny Wentworth are a four-piece band from Nenagh founded by Tom Bán (guitar/vocals). Tom had been writing songs and poetry for many years, but always wanted to put a band together.
After a few line-up changes last September Tom and Patrick O’Meara (drummer/vocalist) teamed up with sisters Michelle Hennessy (bass/vocals) and Yvonne Richardson (keyboard/vocals). Penny Wentworth’s sound crosses over many music styles and they have supported acts such as Gemma Hayes, High Kings and up-and-coming Belfast band RunawayGo and with gigs in Whelan’s, The Mercantile, INEC Killarney along with many other venues around the country 2012 has been a very productive year for the band.
Kate O’Toole is one half of the duo Double Fever which also features Samantha Smith from Oldcastle in County Meath. The twelve other acts taking part include By Chance (Dublin/Laois), Deanie (Dublin), Thomas Dormer (Clare), Aobhin Pollard (Dublin), Niamh Brady (Cork), Katelyn Molloy (Galway), Shawn Mullen (Laois), Men in Slacks (Dublin), Elizabeth Cunningham (Kilkenny), Stephen Tallon (Wexford), Elaine Devoy (Cavan) and Kevin McCarthy (Limerick).
For details on tickets for the semi-final and final please visit www.aimc.ie.
You can follow the progress of the sixteen finalists on the AIMC Facebook page.