Mairéad Hickey had to audition in Germany in June, in the middle of sitting her Leaving Cert at Mount Mercy College in Cork, before being notified she had secured a place in July at the Kronberg Academy near Frankfurt.
“Each student receives a huge amount of support and individual attention and there are also many master-classes throughout the year with famous musicians, which I am really looking forward to attending,” said Mairéad, who is from The Lough in Cork City.
“I had to travel to Germany right in the middle of my Leaving Cert exams to audition for a place at the academy, but it was worth it,” she said.
The ability to take up the place will be boosted by Mairéad receiving the Fr Frank Maher Music Award late last year, a €2,000 bursary sponsored by Top Security which will now go towards her fees.
A student of violinist Adrian Petcu at CIT Cork School of Music, she is no stranger to success, having been National concert Hall Young Musician of the Year 2010 to 2012.
Karen’s classmate, Ailbhe O’Connell, was also celebrating on Wednesday, with a remarkable seven higher level A1s — one of just 50 out of almost 57,000 Leaving Certificate students with that many — and an A2.
Conor Gallagher, of St Michael’s College in Ballsbridge, had nine higher level A1s, and three Cork students — Kevin Ryan of Coláiste an Chroí Naofa, Carraig na bhFear, and Christians Brothers College duo Jack Hartnett and Tim Fannon — were among 12 students with eight.