A local singer has been honoured with one of Mullingar Town Council’s last-ever addresses of recognition. A civic function was held on Monday April 7 to honour classical singer Cian Brennan Gavin for his contribution to the arts and his many accomplishments to date.
Cian lived in Mullingar until he left for college in 2005, and was educated at St Kenny’s National School, Ballinea and at St Joseph’s Secondary School, Rochfortbridge.
He is best known for his membership of Welsh singing group Only Men Aloud, which won the BBC competition Last Choir Standing in 2008 and the Classical Brit Award in 2010.
His solo career has included several roles in musicals, as well as performing with The Tenors on their European tour. He is currently a member of the Viva Voce Chamber Choir in Sheffield, and is preparing for his homecoming concert Walk Hand in Hand, to take place in All Saints Church in Mullingar on May 10 in association with the Mullingar Charity Variety Group.
Recalling his achievements, mayor of Mullingar Pat Collins spoke of the beginnings of Cian’s musical career in his hometown.
Cian made his debut on stage in Mullingar Arts Centre at the age of 12 when he played the role of Kurt in a production of The Sound of Music with Mullingar Youth Players. In 2004, he played the role of Javert in the arts centre’s production of Les Miserables under the direction of Sean Lynch.
He later studied at the Royal Welsh College of Music and Drama in Cardiff and the Guildford School of Acting GSA, London.
Cian’s first choir teacher in Ballinea National School, Ann Caulfield, recognised his potential and suggested he join the Cathedral Choristers under the directorship of Br Frank Crummy. He later joined the Mullingar Adult Cathedral Choir under director Gerard Lillis, and also joined the Mullingar Choral Society alongside musical director Fergus O’Carroll. Cian’s voice coach from the age of 12 was Dearbhla Conlon in Mullingar.
At the age of 15, Cian became the youngest choir member and one of the first from County Westmeath to be invited to join the National Youth Choir.
Speaking at Monday’s function, Cllr Collins said, “We wish Cian continued success in the future and hope that your career continues to lead you in many more exciting directions in the years to come”.