She may be only 12 years-old, but Derry girl Rebecca Doherty has just made local history, having set the record for winning the highest number of gold medals and trophies ever won at both the Feis Dhoire Cholmcílle and Londonderry Feis.
Now in her 2nd year at Lumen Christi College, Rebecca is a star pupil of the McGinley School of Music and Healy School of Music.
With a natural gift for music and performance, she regularly competes in local competitions. This year’s Feis, which took place over Easter, saw Rebecca walk away with a staggering 20 gold medals and six trophies.
Her mother, Toni, takes little credit for Rebecca’s musical abilities. “I’m absolutely delighted for Rebecca, she has achieved an awful lot for her young age and seems to have a real natural ability,” she told the ‘Journal’. “Her talents don’t come from me, or from her Daddy, though - but from our extended family I’m told. So I’m thrilled that she has a joy for music and we thoroughly enjoy listening to her and all her nine instruments!”
Rebecca herself is understandably proud of her most recent achievements. “I feel so overjoyed,” she gushes.
“I did put a lot of hard work into all my competitions but I never imagined I would come out with so many firsts. I do practice constantly and I suppose it took a lot of hard work, but it all paid off. My piano teacher Ray McGinley is absolutely delighted, as are my other teachers Tanya McGinley, Kevin Healey, Orla and Rionach McGinley of McGinley School of Music, and my teacher Mrs McGillion at Lumen Christi.”
In all, Rebecca won the Edward Henry O’Doherty Shield for the Best Individual Feis Competitor under 17, the Don McCafferty Cup for the Most Promising Instrumentalist under 16, the Rita Toland Cup and Bursary Age 12-14, Piano Own Choice Age 12-14, Viola Under 14, Violin Aged 12-14, Sight Reading for Strings Under 16, Treble Recorder Age 12-14, Descant Recorder Under 13, Woodwind Under 13, Any Other Orchestral Instrument, Piano Duet Under 13, String Duet Under 13, Girls and Boys Irish Song Age 12-14, Irish Verse Age 12-13, The George Hamill Cup Under 14 for Original Poetry, The Feis Cup Under 14 for Public Speaking, Folk Tale Over 11, Group Drama Feis Cup Over 11, Instrumental Ensemble Under 13, Instrumental Ensemble Open and the Instrumental Ensemble Anna McCauley Cup.
Rebecca, from Culmore in the city, began studying drama aged just 4 years-old and has never looked back. At school, she currently takes lessons in flute and last year attained the highest grade score in Northern Ireland, Scotland and Wales in graded flute, receiving an award for Outstanding Achievement from WELB. She is also a member of the Civic Choir, leader of the WELB Strings Orchestra, and is also involved in the school orchestra and the choir at Lumen Christi.
Having achieved so much at a young age, Rebecca’s future certainly looks promising.
“I’m only 12 but I know already that music is going to be a big part of my life. Because I play so many instruments, I can go into orchestras and choirs and I suppose I’ll have a few choices of careers for when I’m older,” she said.
TOP OF THE CLASS!. . . Rebecca Doherty, (12), McGinley School of Music, Healy School of Music and Lumen Christi College who won the highest number of gold medals by any individual in both Feis Dhoire Cholmcille and Londonderry Feis, pictured with a selection of her trophies and medals this week. (1704JM05)