Ríl Óg: Setanta Flood, Tómas Mulligan and Dylan Hanley outside the Longford Leader office last week Picture: Shelley Corcoran
The Royal Irish Academy of Music is Ireland’s oldest conservatoire, ranked in the top 50 institutions in the world for the performing arts. So to receive the position and title of RIAM Young Artist at the age of 17 is no mean feat.
For talented musician, Dylan Hanly, however, the position is well-earned and greatly deserved.
A Lanesboro native, Dylan has been playing music from the age of four and is well known for his part in popular local trad band, Ríl Óg, who won first place in the Longford Superstars talent competition last autumn.
As well as his exceptional skills on the accordian alongside band mates Tomás Mulligan (banjo and fiddle) and Setanta Flood (guitar and bodhrán), Dylan is a talented classical pianist and is currently studying at the Royal Irish Academy of Music under the mentorship of Maria McGarry.
In fact, the fifth year student at Mercy Secondary School Ballymahon, is one of the few pianists to receive Distinction in his RIAM Grade VIII piano exam.
Other accolades to his name include National Piano Academy of Ireland Solo U18 Champion, third place in the RIAM ‘PianoFest’, not to mention numerous titles at the Fleadh Cheoil.
Later this year, Dylan will compete at the RDS Feis Ceoil National Piano Academy of Ireland Awards as well as a number of other competitions, with a hope of adding to his list of achievements.
The son of Lewis and Martina Hanly, Dylan is the eldest of five siblings - himself, his sister Laoise, brothers Diarmuid and Maitiú, and sister Mairéad.
“I expressed a unique interest in music from a young age,” Dylan told the Longford Leader.
“I began playing piano at the age of four. My mam thought it would be a good idea to send me to lessons and I haven’t looked back since.
“My biggest inspirations include my teacher Maria McGarry, my favourite classical composer Fréderic Chopin, and Pádraig Lynch,” he added.
“I have been supported from day one by my parents and family.”
RIAM’s Young Artist Programme supports especially gifted school age children like Dylan through bursaries, international exchanges, masterclasses and mentoring.
The Royal Irish Academy of Music Young Artist Programme is an immersive programme that nurtures high potential pre-college talents aspiring to professional training.
The programme targets secondary school students aged approximately 15-18 years who have already completed their Grade VII exams. Places are allocated by audition and are limited to 25 students at any one time.
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