Singer of the Year
She is a native of Ballymacahill near Frosses in South West Donegal and now lives in Crossroads, Killygordon in the east of that county, an area where there is still a vibrant tradition of music and song.
Upon hearing this distinctive traditional singer, one is immediately aware one is listening to a vocalist of incredible ability. Her mastery of tone, breath, and ornamentation, coupled with her extensive knowledge and understanding of songs, from her native South Donegal and beyond, leave one in no doubt that one is truly in the presence of greatness. A three-time winner of the Comhaltas All-Ireland title for female singing in English, her extensive repertoire contains many exceptionally challenging songs, all of which she makes sound effortless.
Small wonder then that there were no less than 37 songs on her 2010 release The May Morning Dew which garnered much praise, and an award from LiveIreland.com
Her humility belies a serious talent, and through her generosity of spirit she has been a great influence on many singers, both through her recordings, and her popular singing workshops at festivals around the country.
This year’s Gradam for Amhránaí na Bliana (Singer of the Year) goes to RITA GALLAGHER
She is a native of Ballymacahill near Frosses in South West Donegal and now lives in Crossroads, Killygordon in the east of that county, an area where there is a vibrant tradition of music and song.
Rita grew up in a musical family of singing parents and siblings, and she took naturally to singing although it was only in her 20’s that she began to take a deep interest in traditional singing. She got to know many fine local singers and was particularly influenced by the late Paddy Tunney, and this is reflected in her broad repertoire which includes many big and complex songs.
Singers often refer to Rita as a hidden treasure, and she is highly regarded as one of Ireland’s most accomplished and inspirational singers whose vocal mastery and technique allow her to tackle the most challenging songs with ease.
A three-time winner at Fleadh Cheoil na hÉireann, Rita is a popular figure at festivals, singing weekends and workshops where her easy, gentle style draws people into the songs.
In 2010, Rita released a CD called The May Morning Dew, and this contains 20 songs in English plus a further 17 songs that she had released some years previously in 1997 on cassette called Easter Snow.