Rathkeale singing bursary hits the high notes

Christopher Lynch.
The late Rathkeale tenor Christopher Lynch.

THE launch of the third Christopher Lynch Singing Bursary Award should prove sweet music to talented Limerick vocalists.

Singers who are keen to develop their talent further now have a chance of significant help with the launch of the bursary award, which is an initiative of Rathkeale Community Arts Group in honour of the late tenor Christopher Lynch, who was a native of the town.

Born in 1920, Christopher Lynch’s talent was evident from his youth when he was a member of St Mary’s Church choir. He went on to study in Dublin under Dr Vincent O’Brien, a renowned teacher. Successful tours of Ireland followed and he was soon spotted by Count John McCormack who took the young Limerick man under his wing.

A year later, Lynch performed in front of 3,000 people in New York’s Carnegie Hall in a concert that was broadcast coast to coast in the United States and a star was born.

In offering this bursary, the Rathkeale Community Arts Groups intends to help discover a new star while offering support to a singer, male or female, aged 15 upwards with a genuine talent and interest in formal, classical singing. The bursary, which has been increasd to €1,250 this year will be awarded for the purpose of facilitating further development and voice-training or study by the successful applicant.

“We are absolutely delighted to be in a position to offer this bursary again,” the chairperson of Rathkeale Community Arts Group, Norma Prendiville said at the launch.

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“Over many years, our group has worked to ensure that the talent and achievements of the late Christopher Lynch have not been forgotten. At the height of his career, he was a singing superstar here at home and in the US and we have organised concerts and produced material which recall and honour those achievements,” she explained.

The winner of the bursary will be announced in November. Applicants must be from Limerick or living in Limerick, city or county, and are asked to submit three copies of a CD/DVD of their singing along with a completed application form by the closing date of October 20.

For more information and application forms, email rathkealearts@gmail.com or go to Christopher Lynch Singing Bursary on Facebook.

by Alan Jacques