Robert Close receives 'Contribution to Music' Award

22 August 2011
Congratulations to Robert Close on receiving the 'Contribution to Music' award at The Gig’n the Bann Festival 2011.
Robert was born in Larne and began learning the fiddle at six years of age from the nuns at the Glenville convent in Cushendall. He never misses a Fleadh and vividly remembers his first Fleadh in 1956 in Boyle when the accommodation for the night cost just one and sixpence! Throughout his musical career Robert has been a member of the Roddy McCorley Céilí Band; the Green Cross Céilí Band and the Crosskeys Céilí Band. He appeared on Ulster Television on the Tommy James show, `Tea Time with Tommy' and more recently played music on the set of the film `The Great Céilí War'. Robert is at ease playing alongside musicians of all ages. He is a dedicated member of the Portglenone branch of Comhaltas Ceoltóirí Éireann and enjoys playing tunes alongside the junior members of the branch in addition to travelling to various seisiúns in the locality and much further afield. Robert has played music in Scotland, England, Wales and the Shetland Islands. He enjoys playing Scottish slow airs and indeed one of his favourite tunes is `The Caledonian' which he says is beautiful played as a slow air and then into a march tempo. Robert currently resides in Portglenone but prior to that he spent fifty one years in Ahoghill where he sang and played the fiddle in the St. Mary's chapel choir. Visitors to the music seisiúns at the festival will no doubt meet Robert who will be more than delighted to join them for a few tunes!
During the Sunday evening event of the 'Gig'n the Bann' Festival (doors open at 7.30pm), the 'Ann O'Brien Tribute Stage', Robert will be receiving his 'Contribution To Music Award'.