Scrúdú Ceol Tíre

Traditional Irish Music Examinations - Change but No Change!!

After four years of being referred to as the RIAM exams the title for examinations in Irish Traditional Music has now changed to SCT. This has been introduced as a result of recent changes in the administration of the examinations.

The Irish Traditional Music examinations were introduced in 1999 and were run jointly by the RIAM and Comhaltas Ceoltóirí Eireann. Over 5,000 candidates have taken the examination in the last four years and the consensus has been that the project has been an unqualified success.

The examinations were run on the basis where the RIAM handled all administrative aspects (eg candidate registration, selection of venues, etc) while Comhaltas was responsible for all musical matters including standards (eg syllabus, selection of examiners, etc). Due to administrative difficulties it has been agreed that from now on, Comhaltas will assume responsibility for all aspects of the Traditional Examinations.

It must be stressed that the examinations will continue unchanged working to the existing syllabus and structures under the direction of Stiúrthóir, Mícheál Ó hEidhin and the Examination Board. The Examination Board is made up of highly respected exponents in the traditional music field, all of whom served on the original Syllabus Committee responsible for setting up and introducing the examinations. Members of the Board are as follows:

Dr Antóin MacGabhann, Dr Tomás Ó Canainn, Séamus Mac Mathúna, Mairtín de Paor, Mícheál Ó Briain, Mícheál Ó hAlmhain, Mary Nugent and Kathleen Nesbitt.

Adminsitration of the SCT examinations will be handled by a Steering Group consisting of:

Senator Labhrás Ó Murchú, Mícheál Ó hEidhin, Séamus Mac Mathúna, Jim McAllister, Caitríona Ní Laoire and Brian Prior.

Apart from the revised administrative arrangements, everything else will remain unchanged - If it works, don’t fix it!! However, it is proposed to consider some new innovations such as selecting a number of candidates each year who have excelled in the exams for a special award. Apart from the recognition this provides for these worthy candidates, the presentation ceremony can itself serve as a vehicle for the further promotion of the exams at local level.

In future Comhaltas will handle all matters concerned with the examination and correspondence and communication should be directed to Comhaltas Head Office at Cultúrlann na hÉireann, 32 Belgrave Square, Monkstown, Co Dublin - Tel 01 280 0295