Third year percussion student Kieran Leonard will feature in a BBC Northern Ireland documentary celebrating Ireland's music festival, the Fleadh Cheoil na hÉireann ("Festival of Music in Ireland"). Kieran won the Fleadh in 2011 with one of the best records of all competitors, and has subsequently returned to the competition as a judge. The documentary will showcase his wide ranging musical interests and include footage of him rehearsing with the Symphonic Brass Ensemble at Trinity Laban Conservatoire of Music and Dance.
Originally from Enniskillen, Kieran is currently studying Orchestral Percussion and Timpani at Trinity Laban. He is skilled across a range of musical genres including classical and Irish music repertoires, and has won several all-Ireland championships. Kieran recently took part in the Comhaltas tours of Britain and North America in 2012, performing with the finest musicians and dancers from around Britain and Ireland to promote Irish music. As well as winning the Fleadh in 2011, he has also been back subsequently as a judge.
The Fleadh Cheoil is an Irish music competition run by Comhaltas Ceoltóirí Éireann (CCÉ, Gathering of Musicians of Ireland), which attracts over 250,000 visitors and over 20,000 competitors. Developed to establish standards in Irish traditional music, the Fleadh also includes concerts, céilithe, parades, pageants and street sessions.
"It's hard for people to understand the feeling of winning at the Fleadh unless you've done it. The event itself is just incredible; so many people from all over the world drop everything for 10 days and come to the Fleadh."
When asked about his cross-genre musical interests, he added:
"It's not easy balancing the classical and traditional worlds, but luckily for me everyone at Trinity Laban has been incredible at helping me progress in both disciplines, allowing me time off to tour with groups, and providing constant encouragement."
The BBC's Sean McGuire said:
"Kieran is an exceptional talent, with such a wide range of musical experience and gifts. One of the great things about Kieran is that he expresses himself, not just through traditional music, but in other forms too, and his experience at Trinity Laban is obviously a big part of that."