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Celebrating sea eagles in song

THE closing date is fast approaching for those looking to enter the Wings Over Mountshannon Song Competition, held in conjunction with the Mountshannon Traditional Music Festival, which takes place from September 27 to 29.

The competition closes to entries on September 6 and songwriters are being encouraged to enter. It has been organised to celebrate the white-tailed sea eagles’ successful breeding and hatched chicks at a nest on Bushy Island.

The eaglets were the first to be hatched in the wild in Ireland in more than 110 years and the winning entry to this competition will become the official celebration song for the white-tailed eagles.

Entries should narrate the eagles’ return through music and song and the winning song will be chosen on September 29. It will be a signature feature to celebrate the return of the birds to the Mountshannon lakeside region. The song will be tying in with the celebration of traditional music song and dance at the Mountshannon Traditional Music Festival.

The rules of the competition require that the lyrics must be the original work of the songwriter. The melody can be original but does not have to be. The lyrics should include reference to eagles and Mountshannon.

There will be two contest categories: one for those aged 16 to 18 years and one for those 18 years and over.

Songs must be traditional in character and may be entered in either English or Irish. All songwriters entering are reminded to retain a copy of their submission.

Finalists will be notified by September 13, with the provisional adjudication carried out on the basis of the CD submitted or mp3 recordings, from which 10 finalists will be chosen. Two finalists from the 16 to 18 years category will be selected and eight from the adult section.

Each of the 10 finalists and/or their chosen performer must be available to attend the final concert adjudication on Saturday, September 28.

All postal entries should be sent to Cliodhna Donnellan, co-ordinator Mountshannon Trad Festival. Further details are available on the festival’s website.

This year’s festival will include a host of performances, workshops, sessions, a book launch and a photographic exhibition.

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