Pupils from Bunscoill Ghaelgagh were treated to a special visit from Davy Knowles, their prize for winning the Manx Folk Awards Island of Culture category with their five-minute multimedia presentation celebrating the school’s Manx music, dance, song and drama activities.
The Manx-born blues artist and Island of Culture 2014 ambassador judged the primary schools’ entries earlier this year and recently travelled from Chicago where he now lives and works as a professional musician to spend a few days in the Island.
The school turned out in force to meet Davy and perform some songs in Manx. In return he sang three numbers, including Roll Away for which head teacher Julie Matthews provided him with the translation ‘Rowl Ersooyl’.
Among pupils who entertained Davy were Tommy Skillicorn who played guitar and Fergus Cain, e-flat horn, while Felix Peake and Conyll Dillon played improvised ‘drums’ on school chairs and Oshin Kaighin demonstrated his handstand skills.
In a question-and-answer session the children learned that Davy began playing guitar aged 11, when he’s away he misses Manx music, (a subject about which he will be making a short film this year in support of Island of Culture), that he finds it ‘scary’ playing solo rather than with his band Back Door Slam and that one of his all-time musical heroes is Eric Clapton.
The visit ended with a hectic polo shirt signing session followed by a brief film clip being made by Dave Armstrong of MannIN Shorts of Davy with some of the children.
2014 is the third year of the Manx Folk Awards – Aundyryn Kiaull yn Theay Vannin. They are hosted by the Department of Education and Children, Culture Vannin and Manx National Heritage to celebrate the Island’s music, dance, poetry and song.