Ballyshannon singer/songwriter Lorraine McCauley is this month celebrating winning an international music award.
Lorraine scooped the Amazing Voice Traditional Cover 2020 Female Award at the Red Carpet Award Show in Holland.
The piano teacher and country music artist was nominated for no less than eight awards in the international event.
Emerging as victor, she says, was a delight, privilege and honour.
Lorraine always had a great interest in music, having grown up listening to her father Adrian Mc Cauley sing in his own Country Music band.
“My father played in bands since the 1960’s until up to his passing four years ago. He played drums and guitar and when I was old enough he would take me with him to gigs around Ireland to the pubs and clubs on my school holidays. I was sent to Irish dancing, tin whistle lessons and piano lessons which I really enjoyed. It was not long before I was out playing keyboards in my father’s band on my school breaks,” she said.
That was a great experience for Lorraine, and she also enjoys playing the organ and singing at Mass in St Patrick’s Church with the local choir in Ballyshannon.
Many others may know Lorraine from her days working with the Donegal Democrat. She spent ten years with the paper, but when her father passed away, she decided to pursue her first passion and teach piano fulltime.
“My music is going from strength to strength thank God and it’s all thanks to the fabulous support of my friends and followers,” she said.
Lorraine had studied music in the University of Ulster, Derry in the past, but three years ago she decided to go back to education and obtained a Group and Community Music Teaching Diploma at the Royal Irish Academy of Music.
For Lorraine, it was good to be back at the academy where she had taken all her piano grades years ago.
Her first single release was I Really Think I’m Crying, originally released by Ireland’s Queen of Country Music Philomena Begley. After that came a cover of After All These Years, a beautiful song by Foster and Allen, which got good airplay.
Last November, Lorraine released a cover of Blanket on the Ground made famous by Billy Jo Spears and Philomena Begley.
“My cover of Blanket on the Ground made the No.1 spot in the Country Music charts for a while so I was absolutely delighted with that, she said.
Lorraine’s most special release so far is her current release A Tribute to Liz Gordon .
“Liz was a beautiful talented keyboard player in Philomena Begley’s band for many years. Liz sadly passed away last June. I had the honour of playing at a special concert in the Millbrook hotel Co Down last October. Liz’s brother Paddy Gordon kindly asked would I sing a few songs and play Liz’s keyboard on the night and I was honoured. When I came home, I wrote the song and brought it out on Liz’s first anniversary.
“My highlight musically, I would have to say is meeting Ireland’s Queen of Country music. What a woman. Fifty eight years in the music business and going strong. Brilliant, and many more to come. Philomena is my biggest musical influence and a lovely kind lady too.”
A more recent highlight came when Lorraine was nominated for eight awards at the Fairplay Country Music Red Carpet Music Awards in Holland.
Some of these nominations include Best Gospel music/cover, and Amazing Voice Traditional Cover 2020 Female.
The awards took place online earlier this month, where Lorraine was crowned the winner of the award for the Amazing Voice Traditional Cover 2020 Female.
“I was delighted, privileged and honoured to receive this award on behalf of my homeland of Co Donegal.
“I would like to thank the organisers Gaby and Peter Agrikola, the judges and all the team for putting such great work into making this award happen. They truly are an amazing couple.. Congratulations to all the nominees and winners of 2020. Please God I will get to meet Gaby and Peter at the 2021 awards. I know my two biggest inspirations would be smiling down at me and that is my father and Liz Gordon. Rest in peace. I know they would be proud of my achievement.”
“Thank you also to all my supporters and followers and the DJs who play my music throughout Ireland and indeed all over. They are a great motivation and I’m delighted they are enjoying my music and please God will continue to do so.”
“The enjoyable aspect of the music is learning and writing new songs and seeing the outcome but I suppose the difficult aspect of it is not being able to perform live and get out and sing and see people dancing and enjoying themselves. Please God we will in time.
“If I was to sum up my life as a female Country Artist it would be to say have fun, enjoy what you’re doing, don’t take things for granted. I have met some fine people on my musical journey who have all been so good and kind to me.”
Lorraine is this week celebrating the release of a new track, After All These Years, which was a big hit for Foster and Allen.
“If anyone would live to book me for guest spot appearances or festivals next year, you can find me on Facebook at Lorraine McCauley or my new page Lorraine Mc Cauley Country Music.”