Wednesday, 24th June, 2015




HMV announced today that it will be the main sponsor of this year’s The Soloist talent competition, organised by the Cross Border Orchestra of Ireland (CBOI).

HMV will be working closely with the CBOI, a full symphony orchestra comprised solely of young people, to find Ireland’s next big amateur singer, musician or dancer. The Soloist is open to performers between the ages of 12 and 30, and all music genres, from pop to classical to jazz, will be welcomed.

The Soloist 2015 will offer the lucky winner the chance to join the CBOI and perform with them to over 30,000 people nationwide in some of Ireland’s most iconic venues, including the RDS in Dublin and the Odyssey Arena in Belfast. The winner will also receive a €1,000 cash prize.

The registration fee is just €10, with entrants required to upload a video clip of themselves showcasing their talent. The closing date for entries is Friday 24th July, and you can apply at The lucky semi finalists will then be invited to perform live for a panel of judges on Saturday 8th August, with the final taking place the following day.

Paul McGowan, CEO of HMV owners Hilco Capital, said: “HMV has always been a strong supporter of Irish music, and The Soloist is the ultimate showcase of young Irish talent. Through this unique competition, which HMV are proudly sponsoring this year, we’re confident that we can uncover Ireland’s next big musician. There’s so much talent in Ireland, and we encourage everyone out there, whether a singer, dancer or musician, to enter The Soloist and show us what you can do!”

Sharon Treacy-Dunne, CEO, Cross Border Orchestra of Ireland, added: “The CBOI is absolutely thrilled that HMV has come on board as lead sponsors for The Soloist 2015 and we are so thrilled to partner with them.  Last year’s competition got off to a great start, but with HMV on board this year, The Soloist competition has the potential to develop into Ireland’s most exciting talent search. Paul McGowan, CEO of Hilco Capital, has been a huge supporter of the CBOI for many years and we are delighted to have the backing of HMV and Paul once again.”

This is the second year The Soloist has taken place, and the first year HMV have sponsored it. Last year’s competition was a rousing success, culminating with 17-year-old singer Megan Ruby Walsh from Navan, Co Meath winning the coveted prize.

Speaking about her experience since last year’s stunning victory, Ms Walsh said: “The past year has been incredible. There are not enough words to describe my time with the CBOI. From performing in the biggest venues around Ireland to walking out onto the Carnegie Hall stage last October, it has all been incredible. To perform to huge audiences in the RDS Dublin and the Odyssey Belfast was an experience that cannot be described. I grew enormously in both experience and confidence. Both the orchestra and the people who work with them are so welcoming and amazing. I’ve had the best year of my life.”

About Cross Border Orchestra of Ireland:

The Cross Border Orchestra of Ireland (CBOI) was set up in 1995 as a peace initiative shortly after the end of violence in Northern Ireland. The orchestra encouraged young musicians from North and South of the border to integrate regardless of political or religious background, and since then they have gained international recognition for encouraging peace and reconciliation throughout the island of Ireland.

In 2004 the orchestra shifted focus to supporting the arts by establishing an all-island choral programme. The programme, called Peace Proms, gives young choirs the chance to perform with a full symphony orchestra in a wide variety of styles and genres. Peace Proms has grown considerably since it was set up, with over 17,000 children from 500 schools participating in Peace Proms each year.

Today, the orchestra has over 100 dedicated and talented young musicians from all over the island. Along with performing in front of thousands of people at the country’s top venues, the orchestra has also performed for Queen Elizabeth II at Hillsborough Castle. They have also performed at several international venues such as Carnegie Hall, New York; the Royal Albert Hall, London; the Oriental Arts Centre, Shanghai; the Boston Symphony Hall and the Chicago Symphony Hall.

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For more information, please contact:

Cian Murray / Clodagh Egan, O’Leary PR
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