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David Dwane is a well-known figure in the music industry in the North West of Ireland. David is from Ballina, County Mayo, and has been active in promoting new musical talent in the area since 2000. From his teenage days in Ballyhaunis the talent began to show. He excelled in playing the piano and the (friary) church organ, introducing a whole new and welcome dimension to the 'religious' world of a town in South East Mayo.
In the late 1970s - as a young man in his early twenties - he headed up the first Ballina Music Festival. He was responsible for the debut performance in Ballina by the RTÉ Light Orchestra, later to become the RTÉ Concert Orchestra. The concert in Ballina Town Hall included a guest appearance by an up-and-coming Irish tenor called Frank Patterson, who later featured in John Huston's final film The Dead and Michael Collins by Neil Jordan. Also in the 1970s David was musical director of the award-winning Mayo-based innovative musical group the Moy Theatre Group, founded by Padraic Mitchell. Among the shows David was involved with were the first Mayo production of Jesus Christ Superstar, as well as Oliver! and West Side Story. The group also participated in the national Tops of the Town competition over a number of years, frequently taking awards at regional level. David organised the annual summer Band Showcase in Mayo during the 2000s, aimed at providing new bands with an opportunity to showcase their talent to an audience of their peers. He also ran the nationwide Premier Band Challenge in 2002 and 2003. David also owns and runs David Dwane Recording Studio (formerly known as DwanSound Recording Studio) in Ballina where he has engineered and produced music for bands and solo artists from around the west and beyond. He has played on the pub and hotel circuit during the 1980s and 1990s in County Mayo and County Sligo as a member of local bands and as a solo artist. In the 1990s he did a stint as pianist in Frogs Piano Bar at Downhill Hotel, Ballina.
David is a member of the Irish Music Rights Organisation (IMRO), and has written a number of songs, including "Gentle Moy", "To Mary Robinson", "Ballina Beat", "The Old Schoolhouse", and "Feeling Lonely". David co-wrote two songs with Meath lyricist Eddie Maguire that featured on the 1996 album Songs for Meath, released to celebrate the achievements of Meath's Gaelic football team. One song from that album - "The Lovely Hill of Tara" was performed live by Sean O'Farrell on the RTÉ One television show Up for the Match. The second song on the Song for Meath album was "Shannon River", sung by Joe Murray.
David was involved with the Scout movement in Mayo for many years. He was Scout Leader in the 5th Mayo Scout Unit, Ballina for five years in the late 1970s. Prior to this he was Cub Leader in the 4th Mayo Scout Unit, Ballyhaunis.
David is also property and business writer with the Western People, and is a director of the newspaper. He is also a director of MidWest Radio, which holds the independent local radio franchise for County Mayo. He wrote the weekly Entertainment news for the Western People, a leading west of Ireland newspaper, from 1984 to 2007, one of the longest-running weekly entertainment columns by the same writer of any Irish regional newspaper. His grandfather, also called David Dwane, was a writer. Dwane snr. wrote the first biography of his schoolfriend Éamon de Valera, called The Early Life of Éamon de Valera, as well as the fantasy novel Gypsy Merlini in Redgate, and was a regular contributor to national newspapers.
Text from this biography licensed under creative commons license