Welcome to the Bennismusic site
I was born, Anita Deely, in Glenquin, a rural townland in West Limerick. It was here in the parish of Killeedy that I was taught traditional Irish music from a young age by fellow parishioner and lifelong friend, Neilus Herbert. He led me to my first All-Ireland Fleadh cheoil title as part of a trio when I was eleven years old.
In my youth, I also played classical piano and competed as a solo Irish dancer. I am delighted that I have managed to retain a lot of the skills and steps I learned at that time. Since then, I have had great enjoyment adding to them from other musicians and dancers I have met on my musical journey.
Since my early teens I have involved myself in the activities of Comhaltas Ceoltóirí Teampall a’ Ghleanntáin, competing at Fleadhanna and participating in successful Scóraíocht and Pléaracha groups as well as the weekly seisiún which takes places over the Summer at the Devon Hotel in Templeglantine.
My most memorable achievements include winning the under 18 Fiddle title at Fleadh Cheoil na Mumhan in 1988 and winning both the Senior fiddle fast and slow airs at Fleadh Cheoil na Mumhan 1994. I came 2nd in the Slow Air competition three times at All-Ireland level.
In the Winter of 1993/94, I had the privilege of joining the Ceol Chiarraí Tour group and I toured Singapore, Australia and North America playing the fiddle and harp with them.
I married John Bennis in 1996, and it was as a mother that I began to spend a lot of time whistling and I competed successfully at Fleadh Cheoil na hÉireann when my children were young . I have won the the All-Ireland whistling title five times, and in 2019, I recorded a 5-track E.P. which includes 3 tracks of whistling, one track of singing “An Ghaoth Aneas” with some simple harmonic melody and a new composition "Cluain Cheoil" which you can read more about under the compositions tab.
In my late teens, I had completed the Teastas Teagaisc Ceolta Tíre at Cultúrlann na hÉireann and taught fiddle locally for several years until I married. I have worked as a full-time primary-teacher since I qualified with a B.Ed in 1992, and I topped-off my B.Ed qualification when I achieved a first class honours MA in Irish Traditional music performance at the University of Limerick in 2009.
In recent years, I have been honoured to play piano accompaniment with Taylors Cross Céilí Band, and have travelled new roads, meeting wonderful musicians and dancers along the way.