Brookmans Park teenager follows in dad’s footsteps to win top Irish music award
PUBLISHED: 07:00 25 October 2018 | UPDATED: 08:58 25 October 2018
A Brookmans Park teenager is following in his father’s footsteps by winning an all-Ireland traditional Irish music competition.
Alex Morgan, a pupil at Dame Alice Owen’s School in Potters Bar, was awarded first place in the under-15 piano accordion competition in Drogheda, near Dublin.
His dad, Alan Morgan, first won the All-Ireland piano competition in Buncrana, County Donegal in 1980. Throughout the 80s, Alan won several All-Ireland titles in piano accordion, mouth organ and ‘trio’ categories.
Alex’s parents are from north London, but his grandparents come from County Mayo and County Sligo on the west coast of Ireland and it was always Alan’s wish to pass on his love of Irish music to his family. Alex’s younger sisters, 12-year-old Rhianna and eight-year-old Ava, also play the piano accordion, and Alan attributes the family’s success to the hard work and drive of his late mother Eileen.
Traditional Irish music competitions are known as fleadhs. The first round is the All-London Fleadh, in which Alex competed against other London competitors at Nichols Breakspear School in St Albans, achieving first place.
In the second round, the All-Britain Fleadh, the top three competitors from each British region compete against each other, with the top two progressing onto the next stage. Alex came first, making it his fourth time winning the event.
The final round is the All-Ireland Fleadh, where the top two British competitors go up against the top two competitors from each of the four provinces of Ireland, as well as the top two from east coast and central America.
Alex has come close to winning in the past few years, reaching both second and third places, but finally achieved his lifelong dream of first place this year.
Preparing for the competition requires a lot of concentration and effort, and Alex had to put in between four and five hours’ practice each day to give himself a change of the top spot.
He said: “I’d like to thank Eilish Byrne and her daughter Olivia from Feith an Cheoil music school in Enfield, my teachers at Dame Alice Owen’s School in Potters Bar, and last, but definitely not least, my Dad who has been my parent, teacher and mentor over this period.”