Spink Comhaltas congratulates one of its senior musicians, Ciara Mackessy, as well as Senan Moran from Portarlington Comhaltas, on winning the Micheal O h’Eighinn Gold Medal for achieving Distinction Grade in the 2018 SCT music examinations.
The SCT (Scrúdu Ceol Tíre) programme is a graded series of exams in traditional Irish music, administered by Comhaltas Ceoltóirí Éireann, operating in Ireland & United States. The SCT syllabus develops young musician’s knowledge and performance expertise in traditional Irish repertoire, music theory as well as the history behind Irish music and musicians. It’s grading structure runs from Elementary level up to Grade 8 – a total of 11 grades. There is also a further Advanced Recital Grade open to candidates who have completed Grade 8 and achieved Honours or Distinction in this grade.
The Micheal O h’Eighinn Gold Medal is in honour of Michael O h’Eighinn who initiated the SCT syllabus over 20 years ago.
Introducing the awards, Jim McAllister, administrator of the SCT exams, noted that achieving a Distinction result in Grade 8 was probably a better overall indicator of musicianship than winning an All Ireland medal, and he congratulated all of the recipients from across the country present in Culturlann, Comhaltas head-quarters in Monkstown, at the award ceremony. The awards were presented by Vincent Jordan, Uachtaráin of Comhaltas along with Oisin MacDiarmada, the chief examiner on the SCT programme and a noted musician in his own right.
Spink Comhaltas has prepared students for the SCT music exams since 2014, and Ciara is the third Spink musician to be awarded a Gold medal over the last 3 years. In excess of 100 musicians have successfully completed earlier stages of the SCT exams, and Spink Comhaltas hopes to see more of its members completing the SCT exams out to the final stage over the next number of years.