Riverdance composer Bill Whelan has helped secure a number of scholarships for Irish students to attend the prestigious Berklee College of Music in Boston.
The globally-renowned college will tomorrow begin auditioning up-and-coming Irish talent in Newpark, Blackrock in Dublin. Successful candidates will receive scholarships worth at least €10,000.
"I have noticed so many different nationalities in the graduation ceremonies and I have noticed the Irish are hugely under-represented and yet there is an awful lot of talent here," said Whelan,
He brought a proposal to college management to bring auditions to Ireland.
According to the composer, this is a huge chance for new Irish talent to get "onto the world stage". "It is all judged on a merit basis, and obviously this is a very expensive and well-known music college, so this is a massive opportunity for any talented Irish musician. There are some fantastic third-level institutions in Ireland, but none can deliver the level of support that Berklee does."
Applicants who are successful will also get the chance to work with Whelan throughout the year.