Donegal native, Amy Gillen, has been selected as the 2023 London Rose of Tralee.
The 27 year old currently resides in the vibrant heart of Central London.
The daughter of Aisling and Billy Gillen, Amy is a talented musician who currently works as a freelance musician and teacher.
Amy’s musical journey began with her pursuit of a Bachelor’s degree in Flute Performance and Licentiate Teaching Diploma at Trinity College Dublin and the Royal Irish Academy of Music.
Her dedication to her craft and exceptional talent led her to further her studies at the prestigious Royal College of Music in London, where she earned a Master’s degree in Classical and Jazz Flute with distinction.
Amy’s remarkable musical achievements have been acknowledged by receiving the Tagore Gold Medal for her significant musical contributions and her impact on the Royal College of Music community.
Amy represented her sponsor Falcon Green, who were out in force to support her on the night.
On the 26th of May, the talented musician was selected from 15 other hopefuls at the annual London Rose of Tralee selection ball at the Clayton Hotel Chiswick. She wowed the judges with a flute performance of the famous song by Phil Coulter, the Town I Loved So Well.
She impressed the 200 strong audience with stories from her musical career and her excitement at recording her first solo album which is set to be released this year.
Amy was presented her sash by outgoing 2022 London Rose Hayley Reynolds after Chairman Noel O’Sullivan announced her as the winner.
The judges had a difficult decision to make with 16 strong ladies interviewed and assessed from early that afternoon.
Over the last two weeks, the finalists were treated to a replica Rose of Tralee mini tour to give them a taste of the Tralee experience where they were treated to a reception with Ambassador Martin Fraser at the Irish Embassy, a wellbeing session that focus on self-worth and resilience, a visit to a variety of Irish owned establishments such as Hercules Bar on Holloway Rd, Homeboys Bar in Islington and Ye Olde Monken Holt in High Barnet.
A delighted Amy said “I am in shock but utterly delighted to have been chosen as the 2023 London Rose. I’m ready to give it my all and I am deeply grateful for the wonderful opportunity. Thank you to the London Rose Centre for placing your faith in me! It is an honour and a privilege to be chosen to participate in one of Ireland’s most iconic, internationally recognised festivals.”
Amy went on to describe her experience of the process.
She added “The whole selection process was fantastic. It started with the London Rose Tour with 15 other wonderful ladies at the Ye Olde Monken Holt. On the first night, we were taken in the most amazing cars to get photographs taken.
“I was in an Aston Martin with our lovely driver Noel and fellow London Rose Finalists. We had a wonderful event also at The Claddagh Ring, an empowerment talk with the lovely Laura Phelan and our last official stop with the Rose Tour was at the Embassy of Ireland where we had the opportunity to meet Ambassador, Martin Fraser.
“The London Rose selection night, in the Clayton Hotel Chiswick, was a wonderful memorable occasion. The London Rose Centre did a fantastic job of organising it all!”
Amy continued, “I am hugely excited and looking forward to a year of building connections with all those associated with the London Rose Centre and the Rose of Tralee Festival. I am particularly looking forward to the Rose of Tralee Festival in August and to meeting and spending time with all the incredible ladies from all parts who will be participating in the festival. Tralee here we come!”
Amy will go on to represent London at the Rose of Tralee festival in August. London has been selected as one of the Rose centres that will go straight to Tralee to participate in the competition in 2023.