Glaswegian Charles Gallagher plays both fiddle and concertina. Having started out by playing Irish Traditional Music on the fiddle, a few year’s ago he was given a concertina on loan to try and since then he hasn’t looked back. After only six months of playing, he came third in the British Championships. At the age of 13, Charles is now the under 15 Scottish and British concertina champion and his tutor considers that he has potential to achieve so much more.
In 2003, Charles was a member of the under 12 Grupai Ceoil, part of the music society, Comhailtas, which brought back the All Ireland Championship cup for the first time in 47 years. As a result the group performed at a concert in Edinburgh hosted by Phil Cunningham and Ally McBain.
Charles oozes talent. He picks up tunes and technique very quickly, and his tutor struggles to find pieces that will continue to stretch and challenge him. Seemingly effortlessly, he shows a remarkable ability to pick up melodies by ear and come up with interesting arrangements for the school’s traditional music group to perform.
Charles is both technically outstanding and naturally musical, and demonstrates an affinity with the concertina rarely seen in one of his age.
How the Award Helped
The Dewar Arts Award enables Charles to purchase a professional concertina of his own.
Since the Award
Since obtaining his own concertina, Charles has been successful in a number of championships. In 2009 he won the Glasgow Feis, came second at the All Scotland Fleadh and third in the All Britain Championships. His ceilidh band won the All Britain Championships. He is currently teaching his younger sister to play the concertina.