What followed was an incredible music education at the WIT School of Music, in too many instruments (all to varying degrees of success), and years in the school’s esteemed choral programme. I moved to Cork in 2013 to study the bachelor-of-music degree at the Cork School of Music and haven’t made it home to Waterford since!
Since then, I’ve been working extensively in music education and also as a conductor and musical director.
Vocal tuition is probably where I feel most comfortable and get the most enjoyment. I’ve facilitated schemes with Sing Ireland, IMRO, and the Arts Council and this year have tutored with the Irish Youth Training Choir.
I get huge satisfaction from seeing students moving along to better things and I’m proud that several students have gone on to study performing arts full time in the UK and Ireland, perform with some of the national ensembles, and a few have appeared on all the recognisable music and talent shows you can find on telly at the moment, too.
My interest in music is diverse and I try to be active in as many different disciplines as possible. For example, in the space of a week late last year, I penned some new arrangements for John Spillane’s upcoming album, orchestrated a film soundtrack for recording in Budapest, and performed in a few concerts, all while keeping up with my daily teaching and conducting engagements. In a way, I treat these projects as hobbies, and I suppose it keeps me sane.
I’ve also come on board as a vocal coach for summerSING!, an amazing children’s singing and music festival that’s happening this July 11 – 15. It’s definitely one to check out for any parents reading!
An ideal Friday is out to meet a few friends and catch up on the week gone by, although I’d never say ‘no’ to a nice dinner and a film if the offer is there.
Each weekend is different, but if there are no plans, it’s a lie-in for me!
Invariably so, be it rehearsals, workshops, or performances, weekends usually fill up across the year. I’m learning to take a break from the ‘admin’ and boring stuff across my weekends, slowly but surely.
I love cities with history and good architecture. If I’m hopping on a plane, I’d probably aim for somewhere with a bit of sun, too. Maybe Barcelona or Dubrovnik, for the best of both worlds!
Any time spent by the Blackwater River is time well spent.
Nearly every visit home to family In Waterford involves a trip to Tramore, for a walk on the beach or a coffee in the town.
Each and every chance possible.
Watching sport is probably my favourite thing to do. If I had a clear run at a rainy weekend, I could watch every single football game possible on a Saturday (Arsenal fan), before topping up with GAA and golf on the Sunday. My own sporting career was cut short early in my teens, but I’m occasionally found playing five-a-side these days.
I’d pick being entertained every time. In terms of hosting, I’ve only just about managed to prep dinner for groups of four people, so I won’t be entering Come Dine With Me any time soon.
Sunday night is always spent in, usually with a nice takeaway trying to catch a breather before we do it all again come Monday.
Embarrassingly, there’s no set routine. Each day is scheduled differently and particularly with other projects and deadlines thrown into the mix, things can get a bit laissez faire.
Besides prepping for summerSING! with its incredible artistic team and staff, I’m trying to take it easier for the summer months. I have a few dates booked in for the UK and further afield for some performances and educational masterclasses.
I’ll be spending a bit more time writing music across July, too: Finishing up a suite of orchestral arrangements of Billie Eilish songs, a set of choral works for children’s choir, as well as some other small bits I’ve been putting off from finishing over the past months.
- For more on summerSING!, see summersing.ie