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Séamus Connolly and fellow Irish musician Jimmy Noonan perform for the guests at the banquet.

Séamus Connolly and fellow Irish musician Jimmy Noonan perform for the guests at the banquet. At the ceremony earlier that evening, NEA Deputy Chairman Joan Shigekawa said, "A master musician who by his mid-twenties had won ten Irish National Fiddle Championships, a feat unequalled to this day, Séamus Connolly is a repository of the unique fiddle technique and repertoire of County Clare, as well as a composer of new tunes of his own making. In addition, he is a teacher who has tirelessly trained numerous students in the beauty and value of Irish music and culture."