I studied singing at the RIAM and TU Dublin while also studying engineering at University College Dublin. I qualified and worked as an engineer for many years while singing in Galway Baroque Singers and Súnus Chamber Choir. I returned to music teaching in 2010, but it wasn’t until I met Owen Gilhooly at a Sing Ireland choral conducting summer school in Limerick in 2015 that I returned to weekly vocal studies.
Studying outside the conservatory system, performance opportunities needed to be created. St Mary’s Cathedral Limerick were incredibly supportive and invited me to sing many times in their lunchtime series. Through my voluntary work with the Coole Music Orchestra Festival over the years, I have been mentored in PR and marketing and have amassed skills which come in very useful when organizing my own concerts.
I always aim to connect with my audience by explaining the background to the music in an engaging way. For me it is a win when an audience member tells me afterwards that their understanding of the background of a song or aria completely changed their enjoyment of it and that they would come again!
I really enjoy planning concert programs and linking the material thematically. To me a concert is a journey for the performers, one that they must bring the audience on with them. There is nothing like live music and feeding on the energy in the room. I particularly enjoy performing in historical venues like The Yeats Tower, Thoor Ballylee in Galway where WB Yeats himself lived.
My singing journey has demanded huge levels of determination, focus and self-belief but is the most significant thing I have ever done for myself. Owen Gilhooly believed in me from the start and his teaching and encouragement has been central to my success. The Abingdon Summer School for Solo Singers in the UK in 2018 and 2019 also brought huge benefits: there I met Nigel Foster whom I have subsequently worked with on a number of occasions. I also met my fantastic singing teacher Christine Cairns with whom I have been working continuously since 2019.
My last live performance before the pandemic was at Rathfarnham Castle in March 2020 with Mark Keane. I was very fortunate to be offered a number of virtual performance opportunities during the pandemic: one of which was in Rathfarnham Castle with pedal harpist Anne-Marie O’Farrell.
Rathfarnham Castle have kindly invited Mark and I to open the concert season in the Castle for 2022. Our concerts are like bookends either side of a pandemic! Looking forward to many live performances ahead.
I am extremely grateful to Galway County Arts Office for an Artist Bursary in 2021 and to The Arts Council of Ireland for an Agility Award in 2022.
Galway Early Music Festival 2021 Virtual lunchtime concert Love, Sorrow and Seduction. Filmed at the Mick Lally Theatre with Yonit Kosovske harpsichord, Anita Vedres violin and Sarah Groser Viola de gamba, with financial assistance from Galway County County Artist Bursary