posted on December 15th, 2017

Award-winning Tyrone Musician Releases His First Album

The release of his first album ‘Autumn Winds’, has thrust Niall Hanna from Derrytresk, County Tyrone, more into the public eye than ever before! The traditional folk singer and guitarist released the album as a part of his Young Musicians’ Platform Award- with five awards offered and only one award for musicians from a folk and traditional background, this artist development programme gives truly exceptional young musicians a chance to shine.

Offered by BBC Northern Ireland in collaboration with the Arts Council of Northern Ireland, the awards aim to support the development of young musicians by providing individual funding awards of £5,000, supported by the National Lottery. The funding can enable recipients to spend time learning from a master musician, mentor, teacher or composer either in Northern Ireland or abroad. Awardees will also receive two professional radio broadcast engagements, including one with the Ulster Orchestra and mentorship with the BBC. These performances will raise both the professional profile of the young musicians and also give a boost to their own performance experience.

Niall, whose background showcases a family with strong roots in traditional singing, has been heavily influenced by his late grandfather, Geordie Hanna and Geordie’s sister, Sarah Ann O’Neill. Claiming to have started planning the album with Producer Donal O’Connor as soon as he received his award, Niall also states that his BBC mentor Lynette Fay has been very supportive in promoting his music.

Ciaran Scullion, a member of the Arts Council of Northern Ireland, showed his own support stating how these awards allow talented young musicians to develop and can be vital for artists taking the next step in their career. He finished by saying he had confidence the current recipients would benefit greatly from the experience.

You can download the album at

Applications for the Young Musicians’ Platform Award will reopen in 2018.  Keep up to date at