Friday, September 18, 2009

Schoolboy crowned accordion champ

Don Frame

SEPTEMBER 18, 2009

FORGET chart-toppers like Little Boots, Dizzee Rascal and Kings of Leon.

The only music that matters to schoolboy Sean Scally is played on the Irish piano accordion.

And now he has been crowned under-12 world champion after taking on the best at the All-Ireland Fleadh Cheoil competition in Tullamore - Ireland's largest cultural and musical gathering.

Sean, from South Reddish, Stockport, began playing at five, encouraged by his Irish grandparents.

He quickly embraced the culture, and is also an accomplished Irish dancer and captain of a local Gaelic football team. Sean, who has been studying music at the St Wilfrid's branch of the Irish cultural movement Comhaltas, based at the Irish World Heritage Centre in Cheetham Hill, started his playing days on tin whistle.

Mum Collette said he found the piano difficult and instead tried the piano accordion.


His teacher Michelle O'Leary said: "He's incredibly talented. I knew he was going to be very good, but it's terrific to become a genuine world-beater."

Sean, a pupil at the local St Anne's RC School has made it to the finals of the Fleadh for the past three years.

"It was great to win it this year because everyone was really talented," he said. "I was ecstatic when I won it. It was a great feeling."

Mum Collette said: "I suppose it does seem a little strange to some that a lad of Sean's age is so much into Irish music, but his dad Pat and both sets of grandparents are Irish, so he grew up with that kind of influence.

"He really took to the piano accordion.

"For the last two years he's won the All Britain piano accordion championship for his age group, and it was wonderful that he got the world championship.

"His older brother, Donal, 15, is also a keen musician and they regularly play together. We were all over there in Tullamore to see Sean win, and it was particularly good for us because that's where his dad originally comes from."

No comments: