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Calling all young singers and musicians!

Birr Festival of music will return from the 29th of April. So now is the time to apply for the 9th annual Trench Award and a chance to win the accompanying bursary.

Named after Julia & Patrick Trench the annual award celebrates the couple’s abiding love of music. Both sang, played piano, organ, flute and harp and were noted for their musical evenings at their home at Sopwell Hall, North Tipperary.

Julia was also one of the many generous benefactors of the establishment of Birr Theatre & Arts Centre. The Trench was established in 2014 to help young musical talents develop their professional career through further study at home or abroad.

From all the applications received, six finalists will be selected and invited to attend Birr Festival of Music. They will each perform a 15-minute programme on our stage during the festival’s gala on the 1st of May before the winner is announced.

Deadline to apply is Thursday 24 February, 5pm, so hurry up!

Former winners of the Trench Award:

2021 Aoibhin Keogh Daly | Cello

2020 Ben Gannon | Oboe

2019 Aidan Chan | Piano

2018 Philip Keegan | Tenor

2017 Richard Thomas | Violin

2016 Sarah Brady | Soprano

2015 Carolyn Holt | Mezzo Soprano

2014 Heather Fogarty | Mezzo Soprano

For more details and how to apply please visit

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