Thursday, September 21, 2023

18-times All-Ireland champion Ademar warms up for Fleadh concert in St Paul’s

By Claire Corrigan

A young man from just over the Westmeath border in Kildare, Ademar O’Connor, is an 18-times All-Ireland Champion and is all set to play at this year’s Fleadh.

Ademar is a multi-instrumentalist who has won All-Irelands in fiddle, button accordion, banjo, piano, melodeon and miscellaneous. He has performed in concerts and sessions all over Ireland and in France, America and Canada with his two brothers Arthur and Theodore and also won the junior Fiddler of Dooney in 2016 and the junior Ed Reavy Competition in 2017.

At a young age he played on The Late Late Toy Show along with his two brothers and has also been a guest performer with Sharon Shannon on some of her concerts with Imelda May, Francis Black and Mary Coughlan.

Along with his brothers Theodore and Arthur, Ademar appeared on the toy show in 2010 to provide the traditional Irish Music for the Irish Dancing segment.

He received banjo lessons from none other than Joe Connaire who has performed on TG4 a number of times, as recently as last weekend where he performed with MacDara Ó Raghallaigh for the Fleadh programme as well as the Ashling Murphy group.

He has also performed with Sharon Shannon several times and even completed his work experience with the star, performing in a number of concerts just before Covid-19 arrived, along with Mary Coughlan and Frances Black.

All three brothers joined the Edenderry branch of Comhaltas Ceoltóirí Éireann at a young age and all are accomplished musicians.

Ademar first took up the tin whistle at four years old and then progressed to playing the button accordion, then fiddle and then banjo.

When he was seven, he attended the Fleadh in Ennis and a group of local musicians were playing in the foyer. Sharon Shannon and Imelda Maye came in and stood looking at him before Sharon asked Ademar if he would like to play a few tunes with her.

Ademar has an incredible 43 solo medals between first, second and third and one for a duet while Theodore has won All-Ireland medals and Arthur won two Seniors himself.

While Ademar went to St Mary’s in Edenderry, Theodore attended St Finian’s in Mullingar after being accepted into the Schola Cantorum which operates as a miniature music conservatoire at the secondary school.

He has had a number of famous tutors and even attended classes facilitated by Nathan Carter. He’s gone to workshops with Darren Breslin, MacDara Ó Raghallaigh, Pádraig King, Elaine Reilly, James Harvey and James Hogan.

Over the years he has performed in céilí bands and groups alongside the late Ashling Murphy.

• Ademar will be performing at a concert at 8pm on Thursday night, August 4 in St Paul’s Church.

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