11-year-old piano player wins Irish music award

DACULA - Liam Butler-Lawrence's grandfather immigrated to the United States from Ireland, and through music, the Dacula youth has kept his Irish roots alive.

The 11-year-old was recently awarded one of the first Bernard Lane Irish Music Awards, presented by Irish Music Traditions, the Atlanta branch of a global organization that promotes Irish music, dance and culture.

The awards are named in honor of Lane, who hailed from Dublin and was instrumental in establishing Irish music in Atlanta in the 1980s.

Butler-Lawrence was recognized for his accomplishments playing the Irish piano. He also plays the Irish whistle and recently began learning to play the Irish flute. He is a member of the Atlanta Junior Ceili Band.

"It's really fun and bouncy," Butler-Lawrence said of Irish music.

Along with the award, Butler-Lawrence received $500, which he plans to use to attend a piano workshop this summer in West Virginia given by master Irish musicians.

Liam is the son of Julia Butler and David Lawrence.