Holly beats mobility problems to win musical tuition honour

Holly Keery with her French Horn. INLM26-128gc
Holly Keery with her French Horn. INLM26-128gc

A Craigavon schoolgirl has fought off a physical adversity to be awarded a £500 Robert Lewin scholarship towards music tuition.

Holly Keery (13) of Parkmore is one of 65 winners of the scholarship, awarded through the AYM (Awards for Young Musicians).

Holly has been playing the French Horn since the age of six. She was introduced to the instrument through learning the recorder while in Drumgor Primary School and now has big plans for the future.

“My music teacher said I was good and my dad said I should try the French Horn,” Holly explained. “It’s a very interesting instrument and fun to play. It’s my favourite instrument.“

Holly is now a grade 5 in the French Horn. She has been trained by Mrs Kenny of the SELB School of Music at Bann House, Portadown.

That’s where she got the French Horn; “I’ve had it for five years“, she said.

Holly has had to overcome adversity to play music. She suffers from hypermobilty problems in her arms and hands which cause regular pain. Nevertheless, she’s undeterred. “Sometimes my arms would get sore but I would sit down and play.” she said, “Music helps take my mind off it.“

Holly is something of a maestro. She attends Killicomaine Junior High School in Portadown where she is a choir and orchestra member and has played solo for her school on numerous occasions.

She also plays in the South Ulster Youth Orchestra and has an opportunity this year to audition to be a part of the National Youth Orchestra, the UK’s biggest, completely teenage orchestra. “My music teacher recommended it and the other orchestras.“

She has recently been focusing on learning piano. She started piano five years ago, but has just recently achieved grade 1. Piano is something she intends to focus on; “I would like to get the highest grades I can.“

Holly spoke of her aspirations for the future. “I would like to get higher grades in music and become a music teacher. I’d also maybe like to be a doctor. I like helping people.”