Faculty

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Katharine MacMaghnuis

Director

Katharine has a starred 1st class honours degree in Music from NUI Maynooth and had trained for over three years as a Suzuki violin teacher. Katharine started teaching violin and academic music in 1992 and has enjoyed conducting many ensembles and orchestras. In 2007, Katharine founded the Athenry Youth Orchestra for whom she has composed many pieces including her first orchestra suite which was performed in the National Concert Hall in 2012. She is a three time recipient of the IAYO National Achievement Award for Youth Orchestra development. Katharine is a founder/director of the OURchestra residential camp with Coole Music Director Katharine Baker. She has lectured and performed in Europe and America including the European String Teachers Association Conference 2015, Edinburgh Suzuki Group 2007-9, Hamburg Music Teachers Conference 2003, Alsace Traditional Festival 2000 and with the trad rock band Tamlin, played support to The Boomtown Rats in Liechtenstein in 1999!

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Helen Farrell

Director

Helen has a Masters degree in Education (Music) and a 1st class honours Teaching Diploma from the University of Limerick. She received her B.A. Music degree from NUI Maynooth. She has over ten years experience as a Junior and Leaving Certificate Music, English and instrumental teacher and is a full time staff member of Presentation College, Athenry. Helen studied classical voice, piano and Speech level singing taking workshops with Andres Martorell, Spencer Welch, Julie Gossage, Richard Halton & Joshua Alamu. Helen has a keen interest in choral music and has taken choral conducting workshops with Colin Durant, Martin Barrett & Greg Beardsell. She attended the Association of Irish Choirs Choral conducting course in 2013 in the University of Limerick and tutored by Bernie Sherlock completed Level 3. An experienced musical director and choral director, she founded Athenry Youth Choir in 2012 & directs Cór le Chéile community choir.

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Úna Ní Fhlannagain

Teaches Harp, Tin whistle and traditional singing

An honours music graduate, Úna is a multiple prize-winner at the All-Ireland Fleadh Cheoil, Granard Harp Festival, Keadue Harp Festival, and the Carolan Harp Festival, and has performed all over the world. Though rooted in Irish traditional music, Úna loves to branch out into jazz, pop, and original composition. Collaborations include Grammy Award winner Bobby McFerrin, and BBC World Music nominee Tamara Obrovac. She is the first (and so far the only) person in the world to have qualified as a Suzuki teacher on Irish harp. Úna’s innovative harp programme in Athenry Music School has been featured on RTÉ, TG4, Sky Atlantic, and RTÉ Radio 1. She likes eating pineapple, and swimming in the sea!

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Ian Bascombe

Teaches Tin Whistle

Ian Bascombe is a tin whistle player who has performed and taught extensively in England and Ireland for many years. He holds a 1st class Honours Degree in Irish traditional music from the University of Limerick, where he specialised in tin whistle performance. He is continuing his research into the wonderful world of the tin whistle as part of a Masters Degree in Ethnomusicology.

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Sharon Connell

Teaches Accordion & Concertina

Sharon holds an honours B.A. degree in Irish Music and Dance and an honours Graduate Teaching Diploma (Music) from the University of Limerick. She has also completed the Comhaltas TTCT teaching diploma. Sharon has eleven years experience in instrumental tuition and ensemble direction. She has been victorious in the All- Ireland Fleadh Cheoil competition over the past decade, as too have some of her own pupils. Sharon is the current Chairperson of Lackagh Comhaltas.

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Péter Sebestyén

Teaches Cello

Péter Sebestyén graduated with a degree in classical cello from the Liszt Academy in Budapest, Hungary, as a performer and teacher in 2008. He has been a member of the St. Stephen Symphony Orchestra in Budapest and the principal cellist from 2005-2008. He is currently a member of the Concerto Malaga Chamber Orchestra in Spain. He has performed in many of the great concert halls of Hungary such as The Palace of Arts and the Great Hall of the Liszt Academy. Peter studied with Ferenc Szucs as part of the MA in Classical String Performance at the Irish World Academy, University of Limerick, from 2008-2010. He has been awarded the RTÉ Lyric FM Scholarship and also the Academos, Irish World Academy Strings Scholarship.

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Teresa Turner

Teaches Double Bass & Piano

Teresa graduated in 2005 with an Honours Bachelor of Music Degree from the Cork School of Music. A keen orchestra musician, she started playing first with Wexford Sinfonia, and then went on to join the National Youth Orchestra of Ireland. She is currently principal Double Bass with the Irish Symphonic Wind Orchestra. She has participated in many orchestra tours abroad including Germany, Holland, Denmark, and Finland. Teresa has been teaching individual  lessons and working as a grade exam accompanist for over 10 years. In 2011 she completed a three year training to become a fully certified teacher of the Alexander Technique.

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Méabh McKenna

Teaches Harp

Méabh McKenna is a harpist and singer currently pursuing a Bachelor of Music Performance specialising in Pedagogy at the DIT Conservatory of Music and Drama under the tutelage of Denise Kelly. She first began playing the harp at the age of nine, and has since performed solo in venues such as the Pepper Cannister Church, Maynooth Cathedral, Trinity College, and The Royal College of Physicians. A passionate orchestral player, she is a past member of the National Youth Orchestra, the Ulster Youth Orchestra, IYWE, as well as currently performing with the DIT Symphony Orchestra. She has also played with the City of Dublin Chamber Orchestra, with the Co-Orch in Smock Alley Theatre, as well as in the Concert for Paris event that took place in St Patrick’s Cathedral in 2015. As a member of the DIT Harp Ensemble she has had the opportunity to play for HRH the Prince of Wales in Hillsborough Castle, in the RDS Rising Stars concert and as part of the 1916 Reflecting the Rising events in Dublin. She also travelled to Edinburgh with the group to perform as part of the Edinburgh International Harp Festival. Méabh is also a proficient pianist, having received grade 8 with High Achiever Award from the Royal Irish Academy of Music. As a singer she received distinction from the ABRSM in grade 5 voice in 2011 and has continued her vocal studies, exploring both classical and contemporary music in both solo and choral contexts. A past member of the DIT Chamber Choir she performed in Dublin Castle for the televised RTÉ Christmas special,and also in the 3 Arena and Concert Hall for the Lord of The Rings screening and Symphony with the RTE Concert Orchestra.
> She also completed a jazz vocal course under Edel Meade, concluding in a final performance in the Bello Bar, Portobello.

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Daire MacMághnuis

Teaches Double Bass and Piano

Daire is an enthusiastic musician who will always try to maintain the energy and enjoyment in any performance. The groups Daire has performed in consist of a number of different genres, although the majority of his experience is as a classical musician. The groups in this field include orchestras like the National Youth Orchestra of Ireland, the Ulster Youth Orchestra and Camarata Ireland. As section leader Daire has performed extensively with the DIT Symphony Orchestra and the City of Dublin Chamber Orchestra. Chamber ensembles which Daire continues to play with include the Fishamble Sinfonia, the west cork chamber music festival’s ‘festival strings’ and the Orchestra of the Irish National Youth Ballet. Daire has also gained a lot of knowledge about large ensemble playing in two series of concerts with Academos, a group led and tutored by Catherine Hunka and section leaders of the Irish Chamber Orchestra. Daire performed a series of chamber music concerts including the music of Beethoven, Schubert and one solo performance of Bottesini’s Elegy in D and Vanhal’s Double bass concerto in D while tutoring on Sumer Music on the Shannon with members of the Oslo Symphony Orchestra and students from London. At the age of 17 Daire started performing blues and jazz and has since played in many venues and festivals around Ireland and aboard, most recently in Poland and Germany. Currently Daire is the conductor of the Horizons Orchestra in the Athenry Music School where he also teaches improvisation for piano and double bass. He is also working as a freelance musician and has just completed his undergraduate studies in the DIT Conservatory of Music and Drama receiving a first class honours in performance and an upper second class honours overall.

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Adam Scheck

Teaches Cello and Guitar

Adam began his musical studies on cello and piano and classical guitar in his native Hungary where he earned two diplomas with distinction (in Double Bass and Solfeggio & Chorus Master) the Tibor Varga Music Faculty at Istvan Szechenyi University, and subsequently a Masters Degree in Classical Performance. Adam played in the string and symphonic orchestras of the music school, the technical college and the University as well as brass and reed bands. With the orchestra and choir he performed in Japan, South-Korea, China, Brazil, Croatia, Germany, Austria and Finland.He then moved to Ireland in 2010 and was awarded a Masters Degree in classical string performance from the University of Limerick where he studied with Professor Michael Wolf of the Berlin Academy. He was awarded several scholarships including the RTE Lyric FM Scholarship and the 2010 Irish World Academy String Scholarship.

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Kevin Brett

Teaches Guitar

Kevin has a Masters Degree in Composition from Kingston University and an Honours Postgraduate Diploma in Education (Music) from the University of Limerick. He obtained his B.A. Music Degree from NUI Maynooth. He is an experienced teacher in numerous fields including Musical Theatre, Sound Engineering and is currently teaching FETAC/QQI with Galway Roscommon ETB. Kevin has been teaching Classical Guitar for seven years at Athenry Music School and is the founding Director of the schools Guitar Orchestra. Kevin has studied Composition under Martin O’ Leary, Ian Brabazon, Victor Lazzarini, Mick Parker and Micheal O’ Suilleabhain. He has composed for numerous genres including Modern Dance with Chrysalis Dance Company, Musical Theatre with Stagecoach Galway, a number of short films, animations and documentaries. He is also a song-writing workshop facilitator and recently spent a year as Artist in Residence with a Foróige targeted project for disadvantaged young people.

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Nicola Geddes

Teaches Cello

Nicola Geddes has been teaching cello in the West of Ireland since 1999.  She has worked with the GTI Music Scheme, the Limerick School of Music, Coole Music in Gort and the Galway Youth Orchestras.  She performs regularly with SoundPost Quartet, who are part of the Galway Music Residency, and has performed and featured on recordings with popular and traditional artisis, such as Damian Rice, the Saw Doctors and many more.

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Stephen Kenny

Teaches Violin

Stephen playing violin (and electric violin) has performed and recorded in the UK and Ireland with a number of bands and contemporary groups. His string pedagogical skills have been developed in Suzuki Violin training with Suzuki Education Institute of Ireland. He is a registered member of the SELi and of the European String Teachers Association. He has a violin teaching diploma from the London College of Music.

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Dr. Caren Hession

Teaches Voice and Special Needs Singing Classes

Caren’s PhD research investigated Rhythm and Beat Perception; an element characteristic of Equine Motion and Music. Her work, which focuses on time based stimuli and its role in promoting social, emotional, behavioural and cognitive development in children with Special Needs (Spiritus Studios), has been widely presented, in Ireland, Greece, the Netherlands, the UK, Taiwan, Poland, Germany and the USA. In addition to having over 10 years experience in various teaching capacities, Caren remains dedicated to her first love, singing. Over the past 8 years, Caren has studied with several internationally recognised vocal coaches including Greg Enriquez, Spencer Welch and Richard Halton in Ireland, Poland, the UK and Malta. Most influentially, Caren is currently training under Industry Vocal Coach and International Educator, Joshua Alamu; where the pair operate ‘Mad About The Voice Ireland’. Caren focuses her tuition sessions on vocal technique, vocal style, connection, performance and authentic artistic development, with a greater emphasis on Rhythm and Beat Perception and the understanding and expression of emotions when teaching children with Special Needs.

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Anna Falkenau

Teaches Fiddle

Fiddle teacher Anna Falkenau has been playing music since the age of five, training formally on violin and on classical guitar. She studied music at University College Cork, graduating with a First Class Honours and gaining distinction in 2002. She also holds a Master in Music from Wesleyan University in the US (2005). She has learned traditional music from Seamus Creagh, Liz Doherty, Connie O’Connell, Johnny McCarthy and many more during workshops. Teaching traditional fiddle privately since 1997, she has taught at University, Secondary and Primary School level. She is an avid performer herself, having toured extensively in the US and in Europe. Most recently she performed at The Galway Arts Festival 2011.

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Annie Marie Murphy

Director Cór le Kids and Creation Orchestra tutor

Annie Marie Murphy has a background in primary school teaching and has been involved with Athenry Music School since 2010. She tutors Creations Orchestra and is the founding director of Cór le Kids, the children’s choir.

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Carolina Ibagos

Teaches Violin

Carolina is from Colombia. She has qualified with a degree in music education in Colombia. She has studied in Paris where she obtained a Masters in education and Certificate in Violin.
She is a member of Suzuki association of the Americas and has a lot of experience as a music teacher, teaching all ages and abilities.

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Martina Flaherty

Teaches Voice

Martina is a qualified Speech Level Singing teacher. She has studied with vocal coaches like Wendy Parr, Greg Enriquez, Joshua Alamu (The Voice) and in London, Poland and Ireland. She is a highly experienced professional singer and has performed shows at home and abroad in the last few years including television and radio. You can find her performing in various clubs and hotels around Galway and Ireland. Martina focuses on vocal exercises, application to song, style, performance and preparation for vocal examinations. Martina also tutors guitar.

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Tara Dunne

Teaches Fiddle

Tara has been teaching fiddle for over five years with Athenry Music School. She is an experienced and accomplished musician and dancer who has won numerous All- Irelands in both fields. Tara holds a B.A. honours degree in Psychological studies and Geography from NUI Galway and is currently furthering her studies as a primary school teacher. Tara has also completed classical grades on piano and a violin teacher training course with the SELi.

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Tom Murphy

Teaches Violin and Viola

Tom graduated with a B. Mus. from University College Cork. He also holds Licentiate diplomas from The Associated Board, The Royal Irish Academy of Music and the London College of Music. He has studied with Una Kindlon of the NSO in Cork, Viola with Seamus O Grady also of the NSO. Tom really enjoys playing chamber music and regularly plays with the Corrib String Quartet and Yukatope String Quartet. He is a founding member of the Loughrea Music Club which presents free monthly concerts in Loughrea Library.

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Duncan Moore

Teaches Theory, Music Technology & Trombone

Duncan has a B.A. honours degree in Jazz Studies from Leeds College of Music and a PGCE in Music  from Goldsmiths College, London. He taught music in a London secondary school for 6 years where he  specialised in music technology and is now an examiner for AS Music Technology in the UK. Duncan  has over 20 years performing experience on the trombone and currently works as a full time  musician and teacher across Ireland.

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Gary Doherty

Teaches Cello

Donegal-born Gary Doherty studied violin with Frank McCarron and made the switch to cello at the age of 16. He auditioned and gained a place in the National Youth Symphony Orchestra of Ireland (NYSOI) and was a cellist with them for three years. He attained a Bachelor of Music Degree in cello performace (2008) studying with Rosemary Flannaghan and Orla Mhic Athlaioch from NUI Maynooth followed by a Masters Degree in Musicology (2009). He has toured extensively through orchestral performing including Switzerland, China, the United Kingdom, United States and Canada. An avid Chamber musician, Gary has been awarded scholarships to study at the Apple Hill Centre for Chamber Music in New Hampshire (2014 and 2015). He is currently a member of Dublin’s new Co-Orch and an occasional player with the Hibernian Orchestra. Along with the Athenry Music School, he is currently a member of the Music Department of Cistercian College Roscrea and the cello teacher for the Irish Chamber Orchestra’s Sing Out With Strings programme.

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Ruth Smith

Teaches Junior & Leaving Certificate theory & Piano

Ruth has a BA in Music, Drama & Theatre Studies as well as a 1st class H.Dip in Music from Trinity College, Dublin. After gaining an entrance scholarship to the Royal Irish Academy she studied classical piano under Deirdre Doyle for 10 years earning an Honours ARIAM Teachers Diploma. Ruth has also completed her TTCT Comhaltas teachers Diploma in Fiddle as well as a Masters in Traditional Performance from the Irish World Academy of Music & Dance, University of Limerick. With over 15 years experience as an academic and instrumental music teacher in The Institute of Education, St. Mary’s College Rathmines, Portumna Community School, Portumna National School and Clontarf School of Music. She has also worked as a music examiner for the Department of Education music practicals. An experienced MD, event manager and performer, Ruth is one third of the vocal and instrumental trio The Evertides. She is delighted to be joining the teaching staff of Athenry School of Music.

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Yuki Nishioka

Teaches Violin

Yuki Nishioka started playing violin at the early ago of three. She graduated with a B.A. from the Faculty of Music, Aichi Preferture University of fine Music and Arts. She has won many classical music competitions at National level in her home town of Japan. Yuki was also the lead violinist with the Aichi Chamber orchestra for over six years. She relocated to Ireland in 2008 to learn more about traditional Irish music. She currently teaches violin in Coole Music, Gort.

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Agnese Sakare

Teaches Piano

Agnese played piano from a young age. She qualified with a B.A. in Music Pedagogy from the Latvian Music Academy. She is a Suzuki piano teacher and has nine years piano teaching experience in Ireland. She previously taught music at both primary and secondary level in Latvia. Agnese is an accomplished pianist, accompanist and conductor and currently directs the Loughrea Cathedral Choir.

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Ana Carolina

Teaches Violin

A Suzuki child since she first encountered the violin at a concert in her hometown of Curitiba, Brazil, Ana progressed through the entire method while studying classical and operatic singing. She continued to play and study while completing a degree in Biology and Pedagogy at the federal university of Parana, before moving to Paris to study Baroque singing and violin at the Conservatoire Erik Satie. She has studied under Montserrat Figueras, Howard Crook and Pierre Hamon. While in Paris she was an intern at a music school teaching music theory and voice training. She came to Galway and happily soaked up the local musical culture, turning her violin into a fiddle with the help of the Kane sisters. These days she plays in trad sessions, and gigs playing traditional Irish music, jazz and Brazilian Choro and is one of the members of Irish folk metal band Na Cruithne.

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Colman Connolly

Teaches Uilleann Pipes and Tin Whistle

Colman grew up in London and at the age of six, he began learning the tin whistle. He soon started playing his whistle sideways, and eventually his parents got the hint and bought him a flute! When he was nine, he began the uilleann pipes. Colman has forged an illustrious career on all three instruments, winning “Uilleann Piper of the Year” in 2002, the title of All-Britain Champion on flute and uilleann pipes. He began teaching as a teenager in the London Pipers’ Club, and eventually became one of the senior tutors in the club, teaching all age-groups and technical levels. In 2007 he moved to Ireland to take up a position as principal whistle, flute and uilleann pipes teacher at the Irish Harp Centre. His students have a very high pass rate in the London College of Music instrumental examinations. His aim as a teacher is to share his passion for Irish traditional music, adapting his teaching style to the unique needs of each student, and thus bringing out the best in every child. Colman has a busy performance and teaching schedule, playing with ’The Blue Project’, working as a session recording musician, and running workshops and sessions all over Europe.