A young Portadown musician has joined an elite group that contains some of the best young guitar players in the world.
Tom Holland (15), from Battlehill Road, has become a member of the Brotherhood of the Guitar after he was spotted playing online by the group’s founder, legendary US rock photographer Robert Knight.
Mr Knight was tasked by guitar maker Fender and US company Guitar Center to find the best young guitarists in the world and sign them up for the brotherhood with a view to helping them on their way to a musical career.
Tom, who has been playing the guitar since he was 10, is the only musician from Northern Ireland to be admitted to the guitar group, which currently boasts about 50 of the most promising players on the planet.
The young guitarist, who is a pupil at Lismore school, Craigavon, lists his musical heroes as blues legends Stevie Ray Vaughan, Gary Moore and Joe Bonamassa.
Mr Knight has visited Ireland to interview and photograph Tom for the brotherhood’s website.
At the same time, the photographer, who has worked with the biggest names in rock, was checking the progress of emerging Wicklow band Children of the Son, whose guitarist Max Mathews is the only other Irish musician apart from Tom in the brotherhood’s ranks.
Tom told the Times, “It’s amazing to be part of such a select group of guitar players, and it’s great to have the support of Fender.”
Mr Knight said, “I want to shine the light on this fantastic pool of talent. Fender and Guitar Center gave me the funds to fly around the world looking for who I think, one is amazing on guitar, two looks great and has a chance to go all the way. “
Mr Knight has photographed musicians such as Slash, Stevie Ray Vaughan, Eric Clapton, Led Zeppelin, The Rolling Stones and Jimi Hendrix.
Tom has his own Facebook page – Tom Holland Blues Guitarist – and is currently looking for other young musicians to join him in a band.