People

National Development Office

Rosaleen Molloy - National Director read more

Rosaleen Molloy was appointed the National Director of Music Generation in 2010 and has over 20 years’ experience of working in the field of music education in Ireland - as a secondary school teacher, a vocal and instrumental teacher, a choral and orchestral conductor, a workshop leader, a facilitator and trainer, and director of a wide range of ambitious music development programmes.

Previous strategic leadership roles include Project Director Arts in the Classroom Initiative (1996-1997), Founder/Director of County Wexford Children’s Choir Programme (1997-2002) and County Arts Officer, Wexford County Council (2002-2010).

A former student of Wexford School of Music and honours graduate of the Music and Education Departments of University College Cork, Rosaleen is also a skilled choral music education specialist and holds an Artist Teacher Diploma and Master Teacher Certificate from the Choral Music Experience Institute, USA. She was recently awarded a prestigious Fellowship from the Harvard Business School Alumni Club of Ireland to complete Harvard Business School Strategic Perspectives in Non-Profit Leadership programme.

A passionate advocate and dynamic leader for music education, she has pioneered, strategically designed and led numerous groundbreaking initiatives in music education and music development, which have combined innovative and unique approaches to performance, participation and partnership.

Cathriona Grange - Operations Manager read more

Cathriona is an experienced project and office manager with many years management experience in a variety of voluntary and private sector positions, including afterschool programmes, nursery services, child and family centres, and facilities management.  

Cathriona spent almost 20 years working in Social Care, roles which have included all age groups of children and young people.

Cathriona’s qualifications include a Diploma in Social Care from the DIT (now known as TU Dublin), a Post Grad Diploma in Management (for Pastoral and Voluntary Services) from All Hallows College, in conjunction with DCU and DePaul University, Chicago, a NEBOSH certificate in Health & Safety Management, and a QQI Certificate in Project Management.

Cathriona is a member of Diva Voces choir, an award winning four-part female voice choir based in Dublin city, who now regularly perform on Culture Night, as well as in various concerts and choral festivals.

Cathriona is also an amateur piano and guitar player, who started piano lessons at a young age, and completed her grade 8 piano with RIAM . Cathriona has a love of a variety of musical genres, in particular of musical theatre.

Helen Grant - Finance Manager read more

Helen Grant as Finance Manager is responsible for developing, maintaining effective accounting/budgeting procedures and producing management accounts/reports. Helen, who is CPA qualified has over ten years experience in Finance. Prior to joining Music Generation, Helen worked with various different companies, from service to manufacturing and from medium to large multinational corporations.

Paula Phelan - Head of Quality, Support and Development read more

Kildare native, Paula, completed her undergraduate BAmus degree in NUI Maynooth. She holds an MA Baroque Performance Practice from Queens University Belfast, an MA Arts Administration and Cultural Policy from University College Dublin, a Postgraduate Diploma in Education From NUI Maynooth and a Postgraduate Diploma in Early Childhood Music from Birmingham City University.

Previously Paula was General Manager of Irish Baroque Orchestra, a Post-Primary Teacher, Freelance Musician Educator, Programme Director of Music Generation Carlow and General Manager of Belvedere Youth Service. Paula brings with her a breadth of experience spanning the worlds of arts and corporate management, music education leadership and practice.

Jenny O’Connor-Madsen - LMEP Support Manager read more

Jenny O’Connor-Madsen is a music educator and project manager. She holds a BA (Hons), an MA and a PhD in musicology from Maynooth University. Her doctoral thesis, completed in 2010, explored the role of women and music in nineteenth-century Dublin. She is the founder and organiser of the Women and Music in Ireland Conference series and has contributed to numerous RTE Lyric FM documentaries on the subject. She has spoken at conferences both nationally and internationally and has contributed articles on women and music to a number of publications, including The Encyclopaedia of Music in Ireland (2013). She lectured in Music at St. Patrick’s College, Drumcondra from 2012-2015.

In 2013, she developed the RIAM Teaching Network, the Royal Irish Academy of Music’s online music education platform. She subsequently project managed the Teaching Network until February 2018. From 2014 - 2018 she held the post of Senior Examiner for the Royal Irish Academy of Music local centre exams.

She became the Music Development Officer for Music Generation Dún Laoghaire-Rathdown in March 2018 before taking up her role in the National Development Office as LMEP Support Manager.

Liz Powell - LMEP Support Manager read more

A music and maths graduate from University College Cork, Liz Powell has over 25 years’ experience as both an arts manager and as a music educator, through her role as choral conductor, trainer and leader. Working in the music sector she was CEO of the Association of Irish Choirs and Irish Youth Choir, overseeing the reinvigoration of this national resource for choral music education. Particular achievements in this role include the establishment of the Irish Youth Chamber choir, working on the establishment of the National Choral Singing week and developing a strategic partnership with the University of Limerick, which saw the organisation move to and flourish in its new home.

She worked for a number of years as Acting Head of Literature and Acting Head of Arts Participation in the Arts Council, and also held briefs in theatre, circus and dance, and as the Registrar of Aosdána. More recently Liz has worked in a freelance capacity as Festival Support Adviser with Tipperary County Council, as well as with Music Generation.

As choral conductor and singing leader she has worked with a variety of choirs including Diva Voces, UL Choral Society and Glória, and she currently conducts the Mellow Tones female-voice choir in Cloughjordan. She is passionate about the positive physical and mental health benefits of group singing and music and has also worked with a diverse range of groups in schools and healthcare settings, with workplace choirs, staff and board members of organisations, and even TDs, Senators and staff of Dáil Éireann!

Aoife Lucey - Communications and Marketing Manager read more

Since graduating from Trinity College Dublin with a degree in Drama Studies and English Literature, Aoife has worked with leading national and international cultural organisations including Dublin Theatre Festival, the Bord Gáis Energy Theatre, Canadian Stage (Toronto) and the Abbey Theatre.

Her previous roles have spanned the fields of communications, marketing, public affairs, audience development and digital media management. 

Aoife has since completed a Certificate in Management Practice with the University of Ulster and qualified as a drama teacher, through the Leinster School of Music and Drama.

Aoife is an aspiring piano player, recently picked up the ukulele and is a lover of music of all genres. 

Anita Butler - Finance and Administration Assistant read more

Anita is originally from Australia with a Bachelor degree in English and Theatre Studies and a Post Graduate Diploma in Integrated Human Studies. Anita is now an Irish citizen and has enjoyed living in Dublin with her family for nearly a decade.

Anita has several years’ experience working as a project officer for the Australian Government, State Revenue Office of Victoria and she has volunteered in arts organisations such as Screen Hub and participated in the Melbourne Fringe Theatre Festival. Anita has been an office manager and worked in operations roles for several years in Ireland before taking her current position with Music Generation.

Anita has a great love of music, having played violin from a young age and performing in bands during her time at university and as a young adult. Music has made a hugely positive impact on Anita’s life and she also hopes to help children and young people in Ireland feel uplifted by music learning and performing in their lives.   

Board of Directors

Leo Blennerhassett - Chairperson read more

An honours Business Studies graduate of Trinity College Dublin, Leo Blennerhassett is a management consultant. A former Managing Director of Accenture Ireland, he led the the company’s Irish business from 1997–2005, a period in which the company’s employment increased from 300 to 1,500 and which saw a fivefold increase in profitability and a doubling of service lines. This was also a period of substantial change in the global organisation with the establishment of Accenture, transitioning from a partnership to an ultimately global IPO. Leo was a member of the Global Leadership Council and the leadership training faculty for new executives. He has also held a number of European leadership positions as a senior executive in the Financial Services Consulting Operating Group.

Leo is a former adjunt lecturer on the MBA programme at Trinity College Dublin and a former member of the Advisory Board of the Business School. He also provides strategic planning and operating model advice to a large Irish charity. He is the Chairman of RSA Insurance Ireland and was a member of Music Network’s Board of Directors until March 2017.

Pat Burke read more

Pat is a graduate of UCD with degrees in law and public administration.

A career civil servant, he initially served with the Revenue Commissioners and was, for many years, Assistant Secretary General at the Department of Education. Over this period he had charge of many of the Department's areas of responsibility and was centrally involved in the development of education policy in the State. More recently Pat was the Chair of the State Examinations Commission.

Anna Marie Delaney read more

Appointed Chief Executive of Offaly County Council in February 2016, Anna Marie Delaney has more than 30 years’ service in Local Government. She commenced her career with Offaly County Council and subsequently worked with Galway County Council, Midland Regional Authority, Kildare County Council and Laois County Council in a variety of roles. Anna Marie served as Director of Services in Laois County Council from April 2006, covering areas including HR, ICT, Planning, Housing, Economic Development, Community, Libraries, Tourism and the Arts.

Martin Drury read more

Martin has worked in the arts for over forty years as practitioner and policy-maker.

He currently works as an independent arts consultant and strategic adviser, combining this work with teaching on Masters programmes and occasionally curating and directing.

At the end of 2015 he left the Arts Council after a period of eight years, the first five as Arts Director and the last three as Director of Strategic Development. That role included being the executive lead and author of the 2014 Strategic Review of the Arts Council (‘Inspiring Prospects’) and for the subsequent development of a 10-year strategy published in late 2015 as ‘Making Great Art Work’.

He spent the 1990s developing and then running The Ark, Europe’s first custom-built arts centre for children, emblematic of a life-long commitment to and conviction about the arts for young people. These were manifest also in other key roles during the 1980s: Arts Education Organiser for Sligo/Leitrim; Artistic Director, TEAM Educational Theatre; and Education Officer at the Arts Council.

Martin has worked extensively as a theatre director and script editor, directing more than twenty productions for Druid; Opera Theatre Company; Second Age; TEAM; Barnstorm; The Ark; and the Abbey Theatre where he was an Associate Director for a number of years.

He has written a number of influential reports, taught widely at home and abroad, served on numerous boards including EU Net Art and The Ireland Funds, and been Honorary Fellow in Psychology at UCD. In addition to Music Generation, he currently serves on the board of Create, the national development agency for collaborative arts.

He chaired the advisory group for the 2003 study and report published as A National System for Local Music Education Services prepared by Music Network, which was seedbed and catalyst for Music Generation.

John Kelly read more

John Kelly is a writer and broadcaster. A SONY, EMA and PPI award-winner, he has presented some of the best-loved and most critically-acclaimed music programmes on the Irish airwaves. For many years John has been at the forefront of music and arts broadcasting in Ireland. Having presented The View on RTÉ television for 12 seasons, and assorted programmes for the BBC before that, he now fronts The Works Presents – a series of interviews with leading figures in the world of arts and culture.

From his radio shows on the BBC to The Eclectic Ballroom on Today FM and the award-winning music show Mystery Train  on RTÉ1, John has always put the music first. In recent years he has presented the John Kelly Ensemble on RTÉ Lyric FM and Radio Clash on RTÉ Digital Radio 2XM. In September 2017 Mystery Train returned to RTÉ radio.

John Kelly’s first collection of poetry, Notions, was published by Dedalus Press in 2018. His work has appeared in The Irish Times, Poetry Ireland Review, Winter Papers, Oxford Magazine and several anthologies. His novel, From Out of the City, was shortlisted for Novel of the Year at the Irish Book Awards 2014 and his radio play, The Pipes, starring the celebrated Beckett actor Barry McGovern, was broadcast on RTÉ.

David Leahy read more

David is the Chief Executive of Galway and Roscommon Education and Training Board since its establishment in 2013.  He previously held leadership positions as Chief Executive Officer of North Tipperary VEC and Principal of Portumna Community School. Prior to this, he taught religion, history, English, C.S.P.E., S.P.H.E and worked as a Guidance Counsellor in two second level schools. 

David holds a B.D. from NUI Maynooth, a H.Dip.Ed.Studies (School Development Planning) from NUI Galway, a H.Dip.Education and an M.Ed (Guidance and Counselling) from Trinity College Dublin.

He is married to Kathy who teaches music and religion and they have three children.

Deirdre McCrea read more

Deirdre McCrea is an arts consultant, specialising in music and arts development. Having graduated from Queen’s University of Belfast with a Master’s Degree in 20th Century Music, she then attained a Higher Diploma in Arts Administration, from University College Dublin. She joined Music Network as Regional Development Officer in 1996, and from there went on to become the organisation’s Education and Healthcare Manager in 1999 before being appointed Chief Executive Officer in 2003: a position that she held until 2012.

During her time with Music Network, Deirdre played an instrumental role in the preparation and launch of the 2003 feasibility study report A National System of Local Music Education Services.  As newly-appointed CEO, she spearheaded a long-term research and advocacy campaign aimed at progressing the implementation of the report’s recommended model.  Initially resulting in a commitment by the Department of Education and Skills to pilot the model in two locations - County Donegal and City of Dublin - this campaign ultimately led in 2009 to an unprecedented investment of €7 million by U2 and The Ireland Funds towards the establishment of Music Generation and the roll-out of the Music Education Partnership model to eight further regions.

Also during her tenure as Music Network’s CEO, Deirdre led the development of the Music Capital Scheme, funded annually by the Department of Culture, Heritage and the Gaeltacht, which gives both non-professional performing groups and individual professional musicians access to funding to enable the acquisition of suitable musical instruments. 

Deirdre is a fellow of the Royal Society of the Arts.  A keen cellist, she is a member of the Dublin Symphony Orchestra.

Mel Mercier read more

Professor and Chair of Performing Arts at the Irish World Academy of Music and Dance, University of Limerick, since 2016, Mel Mercier was formerly Associate Professor of Music and inaugural Head of the School of Music and Theatre at University College Cork. He is a traditional percussionist, composer and educator, with an international reputation as an innovative performer, rooted in Irish traditional music and committed to collaborating across music genres and art forms. A renowned, award-winning composer, he has composed the music for many critically acclaimed, award-winning theatre productions and installations that have been presented at theatres and venues in Ireland, UK, Europe and America. 

Mel was first introduced to music by his father Peadar Mercier, who was a member of Seán Ó Riada’s seminal ensemble Ceoltóirí Cualann and the Chieftains in the 1960s and 70s. In a performance career that spans four decades he has collaborated with a wide range of traditional, classical, jazz, and non-western musicians and ensembles, and he has performed in hundreds of concerts and recitals throughout Ireland, the UK, Europe, North America, India, China and Indonesia. He performed in a piano and percussion duet with composer and performer Professor Mícheál Ó Súilleabháin that flourished for more than 40 years. He recorded 11 CDs with Professor Ó Súilleabháin and performed in concert with him extensively in Ireland and abroad, as well as on frequent national and international radio and television broadcasts.

He has performed and recorded with leading Irish and international musicians including John Cage and the Merce Cunningham Dance Company, Donal Lunny, Pallé Mikkleborg, Helen Davies, Martin Hayes, Liam Ó Maonlaí, Alan Stivell, European Percussion Ensemble On the Edges of Europe, Iarla Ó Lionáird, TRASNA, Bill Whelan, and as soloist with the RTÉ Concert Orchestra, RTÉ Symphony Orchestra, Ulster Orchestra and Irish Chamber Orchestra.

Mel is director of the Irish Gamelan Orchestra, which released its debut album The Three Forges to critical acclaim in August 2015. He recently formed the group PULSUS, the first Irish traditional percussion ensemble. In January 2019, his album of theatre scores, Testament, was released on Heresy Records to critical acclaim.

James Morris read more

James Morris is a history graduate of Trinity College Dublin. After college he went to London with Shaun Davey to record an album and returned six years later as a film editor. He set up his own film editing company in Dublin and went on to found Windmill Lane Studios and Windmill Lane Pictures in 1980.
 
In 1990 he assembled a formidable array of talent as the founder of The Mill in London, a Post-Production and Visual Effects Company. In 1998 he co-chaired Mill Film with Ridley Scott and in 2001 Mill Film won the Academy Award for Visual Effects for its work on the film ‘Gladiator’.

In 1998 he led the Windmill Consortium that established Ireland’s first National Independent TV channel, TV3, in partnership with Canwest Global. James was Chairman of TV3 until it was sold to Doughty Hanson in 2007.

From 2011 to 2016 he has been working with Windmill Lane to establish a Visual Effects Studio in Dublin to compete internationally for Visual Effects work on TV dramas and feature films. In May 2016 he stepped down as Chairman of the Windmill Lane Group of Companies.

James has served two terms as chairman of Bord Scannán na hÉireann, the Irish Film Board. In 2013 he was presented with the ‘Galway Hooker’ Award by President Michael D Higgins at the Galway Film Fleadh for “his enduring legacy with the Irish Film Industry.” He is currently on the Board of the Audi Dublin International Film Festival and the Gate Theatre.

Chantal O’Sullivan read more

Chantal O’Sullivan is a dealer specialising in 18th-century Irish antiques. Having started in the business in 1980, Chantal opened her own gallery in Dublin in 1989 and in New York in 1995.

Active in philanthropic work, especially benefiting Irish causes, Chantal is a member of the New York board of the Irish Georgian Society. She is also an active member of The Ireland Funds and New York’s Glucksman Ireland House. Chantal was involved in a fundraising campaign for the Royal Hibernian Academy in Dublin, and is a member of the Royal Dublin Society. She is involved with CINOA (The International Confederation of Art and Antiques Dealers’ Associations), the Art and Antiques Dealers League of America, and the Guggenheim Museum.

Local Music Education Partnership Contacts

Music Generation Carlow, Gavin Barr read more

Born in Strabane, County Tyrone, Gavin began his playing career with St. Joseph’s brass band at the age of eight. At eighteen, he successfully auditioned for the Royal Northern College of Music (RNCM), Manchester where he studied under the tutelage of Lesley Howie. During his time at the college Gavin played with the RNCM brass band and Pennine Brass and, in March 2008, he accepted an invitation to audition for the world-famous Brighouse and Rastrick band, where he held the seat of first horn for over three years.

In 2010 Gavin received a scholarship to complete a Masters of Music in Solo Performance at RNCM. During this time he also performed with the British Open brass quartet champions Scherzo Brass.

Since returning to Ireland Gavin has kept up a busy performance schedule while also developing a career in Music Education. He started his work as a brass tutor with Carlow College of Music and has since taught brass and recorder with Music Generation in Laois and Carlow.

At Music Generation Carlow Gavin was lead musician of the brass and wind programme and led the team in the development ‘Brass Off!’ – a major residential tuition programme in collaboration with Music Generation Cork City and Mayo. He became the Music Generation Carlow Hubs Programme Manager in 2016 and, prior to taking up the post of Music Generation Development Officer, he was Resource Worker for the programme from 2018.

Music Generation Cavan/Monaghan, Mairéad Duffy read more

Mairéad Duffy graduated from the University of Ulster with a B. Mus Hons and a PGCE in Music Education. During her university years in Belfast she was a member of the Belfast Harp Orchestra, who recorded and toured with The Chieftains. She was the featured vocalist in many of these performances, performing at Milwaukee Irish Fest and Carnegie Hall. She won the Nancy Calthorpe Memorial Prize for Irish Harp and Voice at Dublin Feis Ceoil.

She has studied choral conducting with Dr Doreen Rao, and returned to Carnegie Hall in January 2016 with members of the Senior Choir of St. Patrick’s Academy, Dungannon, to perform in Karl Jenkins’ The Peacemakers.

Mairéad is a past chair of TOSINI- Teachers of Singing in Ireland, and is in great demand as a vocal coach/leader and musical director.

Following a successful Fundit campaign and support from the Arts Council of Northern Ireland she released her debut album ‘Silver Tin House’ as a singer songwriter in 2016.

Music Generation Clare, Pádraig Rynne read more

Described as ‘one of the freshest sounds in Irish music’ by fRoots magazine, Pádraig Rynne is a virtuoso musician, prolific composer and is regarded as one of the finest concertina players in Irish music today.

With an MA in Music Technology and a passion for experimenting with diverse genres, Pádraig is recognised for his refreshing explorations into the Irish Tradition and beyond. He was a founder of the band Triad with Dónal Lunny and Sylvain Barou, and a member of the Scottish/Irish super group, Atlantic Arc Orchestra, among others. Rynne has curated a number of high-profile ensembles and tours including the Arts Council-funded projects Dán, Atlantic I/O, and NOTIFY + Pauline Scanlon.

Pádraig has featured on over thirty albums and has made many high-profile television appearances. He was a featured musician on the soundtrack to the recent BBC movie ‘After the Dance’.

He also works very regularly with other artists and was recently commissioned to write the music for the opening of TG4 XX, with award-winning electronic band Aeons. As a sound designer, Pádraig has lent his music and unique creative soundscapes to many albums and productions.

Currently Pádraig performs with Irish instrumental group NOTIFY – a ground-breaking ensemble combining Irish traditional music with jazz elements.

Music Generation Cork City, Claire Layton O’Brien

Music Generation Dún Laoghaire-Rathdown, Majella Boland read more

Dr Majella Boland is an experienced music educator, researcher and arts manager.

Her work in music education is grounded in musicology. In 2013, she was awarded a PhD from UCD, specialising in nineteenth-century piano music, in particular on John Field’s piano concerti. She has written for and contributed to numerous books, journals, encyclopaedias and reviews, and also featured on the award-winning radio documentary Last Thoughts (a documentary about John Field).

Majella has taught individual and group piano as well as theory in Walton’s School of Music, has been a member of the Sandford Park School piano faculty, and also taught Leaving Certificate music to students taking it as an extra subject. She currently lectures at UCD and previously held posts at Maynooth University, Trinity College Dublin and St Patrick’s College (DCU). She became a marker for RIAM in 2013 and has since held several roles, most recently the post of Senior Examiner where she project managed and edited RIAM publications, trained and worked with examiners.

Majella is passionate about teaching and music education and founded Music Literary Ireland to bring together a diverse and quality music education experience in one platform, as well as to strengthen lines of communication between sectors.

Her own music education began at the age of 6, when she started to play the piano. She has since completed grade 8 in violin and took up the cello in 2015. She was also a member of the Maynooth University Choir.

Music Generation Galway City, Karen Dervan read more

Galway native Karen Dervan is a professional viola player, arranger and producer. A graduate of University College Cork (BA Hons in English and Music) and of University of Limerick (MA Hons in Classical Strings Performance), Karen has performed with the RTÉ National Symphony Orchestra, RTÉ Concert Orchestra, Ulster Orchestra, Wexford Festival Opera, Lyric Opera Orchestra, The Performance Corporation and myriad other festival, event and TV-format ensembles. She has performed as a guest player with a wide variety of visiting national and international artists and was a member of the post-rock collective “3epkano” for a number of years, with whom she made several appearances in the Brooklyn Academy of Music, NYC and the National Gallery, Washington DC. Formerly a classical music columnist and critic with the Sunday Tribune, Karen’s writing has also been published by Irish Theatre Magazine and the Irish Times. She has produced content for a number of arts festivals and venues, among them Clifden Arts Festival, Drogheda Arts Festival, Boyle Arts Festival, Limerick Literary Festival and the National Gallery of Ireland. Since January 2014 Karen has co-curated the hugely successful music series, “Kaleidoscope Night”, bringing the captivating multi-genre format on a nationwide tour in 2015.

Music Generation Galway County, Ruth Gordon read more

Ruth completed her undergraduate BAMus degree with Irish in UCC before continuing on to study Music, Management and Sound in Coláiste Stiofáin Naofa, Cork.

Ruth began her career in the arts with Opera 2005, followed by a move to Galway to work with Druid. Since then Ruth has worked in the fields of arts administration, production, marketing, publicity, and project management with companies including Macnas, Dublin Theatre Festival, Galway Arts Festival, Baboró International Arts Festival for Children and, most recently, as a theatre producer with Fíbín Theatre Company in Inverin, County Galway.

Working through Irish gave Ruth an opportunity to re-engage with the language and experience the vibrant Gaeltacht culture – something she brings with her in her role as Music Generation Development Officer for Galway County.

Ruth began playing classical piano at the age of five and in later years took up the drums, gigging regularly with independent bands in Cork City and then with the Macnas drumming troupe in Galway. Most recently Ruth formed the ukulele group, The Ukes of Hazard, a purely ‘for fun’ ensemble of friends who want to reconnect with music.

Music Generation Kerry, Deirdre Johnson read more

Deirdre is a multi-instrumentalist and vocalist with many years of experience as a performer, educator and music education manager. Deirdre graduated with a degree in classical music performance from WRTC, and also has a HDipEd and MA in Music Technology. A former student of the year at the Kerry School of Music, Deirdre has a keen understanding of the importance of local, high-quality music education and performance opportunities for children and young people. 

As well as her experience in popular and classical music bands, choirs and orchestras, Deirdre is a previous winner of Soundings, an international Electroacoustic composition competition, and music technology and innovation will form an important part of the strategy for Music Generation Kerry.

Deirdre has recently returned from the UK with 15 years of popular music education and education management experience at further and higher levels and she is keen to bring that experience and passion for music performance and technology to bear in creating outstanding music performance education opportunities for children and young people across County Kerry.

Music Generation Kildare, Alan Costello read more

Alan Costello was born in Tipperary and studied at the National University of Ireland Maynooth where he attained both a BA Mus and an MA (Performance & Musicology). Moving to Glasgow in 2008, Alan continued his studies at the RSAMD (now Royal Conservatoire of Scotland) where he graduated with a PGDip (repetiteur) from the Opera School and was one of the first graduates on the ground-breaking Pianist for Dance postgraduate programme, delivered in partnership by Scottish Ballet and the RCS.

Since 2010 Alan has worked as staff pianist and lecturer at the Royal Conservatoire of Scotland (RCS), accompanist co-ordinator for Scottish Ballet’s Associate programme and regular freelance ballet and rehearsal pianist for Scottish Ballet company. He is also in constant demand as a freelance ballet musician, playing classes for the Royal Ballet, Birmingham Royal Ballet, Mathew Bourne’s New Adventures, Rambert Dance Company, National Youth Ballet of Great Britain, Northern Ballet, Michael Clarke Company, Ballet Ireland and the Royal Academy of Dance.

In 2014, Alan obtained a Postgraduate Certificate in Learning and Teaching in Higher Arts Education, focusing on the pedagogical approach to music and dance
within vocational level training and in 2016, he was appointed as programme Co-Ordinator for the MMus Piano for Dance programme at the RCS/Scottish Ballet, the only full-time postgraduate courses in the world which specialises in the training of professional dance pianists.

Alan has a keen interest in vocal and choral music, having sang in and served as conductor/artistic director of the Maynooth University Chamber Choir during this studies at NUIMaynooth.

Alan is also a renowned Irish traditional musician, having won numerous All-Ireland titles, culminating in winning the senior button accordion, duet and trio titles at the All-Ireland Fleadh in 1997. Alan has toured over the years with various Irish dance shows, including Ragús, Magic of the Dance, Gaelforce Dance and Celtic Legends and is in constant demand as a teacher, arranger and composer. 

Music Generation Kilkenny, Sinéad Blanchfield read more

Born in Kilkenny, Sinéad Blanchfield is an international Irish soprano who has performed all over the world with many major classical and crossover groups, including at prestigious venues and festivals such as the Queen Elizabeth Hall (London), St. John’s Smith Square (London), The Waterfront Hall (Belfast), The National Concert Hall (Dublin), Kilkenny Arts Festival, Wexford Festival and the Huddersfield Contemporary Music Festival.

Sinéad is also a music educator having taught music in schools and is much in demand as a voice coach and singing teacher, to adults and children, both in her private practice and in schools. She was vocal consultant at the University of Limerick for four years, coaching and mentoring on their postgraduate performance programmes, across a range of styles from classical to pop, rock, jazz and traditional Irish song. She holds a BA Hons degree in Music, a postgraduate diploma in education and a postgraduate award in performance from the Royal Northern College of Music in Manchester, where she continued her Opera training.

Sinéad made her early beginnings singing and studying piano and went on to make her broadcast debut at the age of fifteen as a ‘young musician of the future’. She has since amassed numerous television and radio appearances across UTV, BBC and RTÉ. Sinéad is very experienced in the recording studio and as a voiceover artist. Her first solo album, ‘Voyage of Dreams’, showcases her effortless ability to perform exciting crossover repertoire.

Sinéad made her operatic debut with Opera Theatre Company as La Musica/Euridice in Monteverdi’s ‘Orfeo’ and has spent recent years successfully developing her roles on the classical opera circuit across Europe. She has performed extensively on the concert platform in Ireland and the UK, including the oratorio and recital repertoire.

As a classical crossover artist Sinead has produced and performed her one woman shows, combining her love of Irish/Celtic songs with her years of experience in the classical arena.

Music Generation Laois, Rosa Flannery read more

Donegal native Rosa Flannery joins Music Generation Laois from Donegal Music Education Partnership where she worked as a project Co-ordinator and Music Administrator. She holds a BA and MA in English Literature from Queen’s University Belfast and an MA in Arts Policy and Practice from NUI Galway. Previous roles include working with Galway Arts Festival, Droichead Arts Centre, Tulca Festival of Visual Arts and Nomad Theatre Network, as an Administrator, PR specialist and Tour Manager. 

Rosa has a wealth of teaching experience, having worked with children and young people for a number of years. She played cello for many years with the County Donegal Youth Orchestra, and also plays traditional fiddle. Her NUI Galway MA thesis focused on the development of the Donegal Fiddle Tradition, past and present.Recent music education programmes Rosa has been involved with include North Wind Blows - a large scale cross-border intergenerational project managed by Donegal Music Education Partnership, the Errigal Groove Orchestra County Donegal Youth Orchestra.

Music Generation Leitrim, Thérèse McCartin read more

Thérèse McCartin is from County Leitrim and began playing piano at the age of six. Thérèse attended the Royal Irish Academy of Music and went on to graduate from Trinity College, Dublin, with a Bachelor’s degree in Music Education.

An accomplished harpist, singer and composer, Marie-Thérèse was a member of Anuna (the original chorus in Riverdance), The Lassus Scholars, and is currently a member of The RTÉ Philharmonic Choir.

In 2009 Marie-Thérèse completed her piano album which was produced by Frank McNamara from RTÉ’s The Late Late Show.  The title track, ‘Another April Day’, was composed by Thérèse with lyrics composed by her father Tommy. 

In 2003 Marie-Thérèse established the Cavan Academy of Music. The school provides tuition across a range of instruments and styles of music and welcomes students of all ages. Thérèse has many years’ experience teaching in primary schools and early years settings, previously taught at DIT Conservatory of Music, and is currently undertaking an MA in Early Years Music Education.

She has been signed to Universal Music Publishing (UMP) and AGR Television Records.

Thérèse is currently the Music Generation Development Officer with Music Generation Leitrim.

Music Generation Limerick City, Boris Hunka read more

Boris Hunka Co-ordinator of Music Generation Limerick City has enjoyed a varied career as musician, producer, administrator and teacher across a range of musical styles. Following a Music Degree at York, he started his career in London, running large scale arts and festival projects, working with artists including Courtney Pine, Mika and Sir George Martin at events including the Barbados Jazz, South Bank and the Larmer Tree festivals, the MOBO awards and the Live 8 concerts.

He moved to Ireland in 2007 and has since held senior roles at the Irish Chamber Orchestra, Shannon International Music Festival, Limerick City Africa Day, Feile Eile and the Percussion Studio. He has also worked on projects for a range of festivals, including the Electric Picnic, Iniscealtra, Terryglass and Kinsale Arts Week. As a teacher and workshop leader he has recently worked with the National Children’s Choir, the ICO’s Sing Out with Strings project, Music Factory, Temple Bar Cultural Trust and the Ark Centre for Children, as well as numerous visits to schools and festivals and individual tuition. He continues to perform as multi-instrumentalist in a rage of genres.

Music Generation Longford, Mary-Jane Sweeney read more

Mary-Jane is a graduate of Trinity College Dublin (Bachelor of Music Education) in partnership with The Royal Irish Academy of Dublin and The Conservatory of Music and Drama DIT.

Mary-Jane began her music education at the age of six with the late Father Brendan McNally, continuing with Kate Ellis and then going on to study with Bill Butt during her time in the Royal Irish Academy of Music. Mary-Jane’s career as a professional cellist has allowed her the opportunity to play in orchestras all around the world including cities in Europe and the USA.

Over the past decade Mary-Jane has become a highly sought after cello teacher, delivering an excellent standard of tuition to young people and adults. Alongside one to one tuition, she has spent many years teaching in a group environment delivering programmes in primary and secondary schools and youth projects. This type of teaching has allowed her to develop her approach to classroom tuition and grow her expertise in music education.

Music Generation Louth, Gemma Murray read more

Gemma Murray Co-ordinator of Music Generation Louth is a music graduate from Queens University Belfast, and holds a Masters degree in Business Administration and a Post Graduate Diploma in Cultural Management, both from the University of Ulster. Gemma joins the staff of Co. Louth VEC as Co-ordinator for Music Generation Louth from the National Chamber Choir of Ireland where she has been working as Acting CEO.

She has worked in the area of arts administration and management for nearly 20 years, previously holding several key positions within the music sector in Ireland, both north and south. Gemma also is qualified in the area of early-years music and in recent years has combined music teaching alongside her freelance work in arts management and consultancy.

Music Generation Mayo, Laurie Barrett read more

Laurie Barrett comes to the Music Generation Development Officer post via an extensive history in the musical world. She received her Bachelor of Music Honours degree in Trumpet Performance from the University of Minnesota-Duluth in the United States. Laurie played professionally with the Duluth-Superior Symphony Orchestra in Minnesota (U.S.A.) and in many bands and ensembles over her career.

Laurie has experience teaching in her previous career as an ordained clergy and as a private music instructor.  In 2015 she joined the Music Generation team of tutors, teaching all the brass instruments in conjunction with her position as bandmaster for the Foxford Brass and Reed Band. In 2017, Laurie received certification in musical conducting from the Royal Irish Academy of Music in Dublin.

Music Generation Meath, Aoife O’Connell read more

Irish soprano Aoife O’Connell graduated with an MA in Opera Performance from the Royal Welsh College of Music and Drama, a first class honours BA in Music Performance from the Royal Irish Academy of Music and an M.Phil in Theatre and Performance from Trinity College, Dublin. She studied with renowned Irish soprano Suzanne Murphy.

Aoife has worked as a professional opera singer in the UK and Ireland with companies such as Cork Opera House, Constella Ballet, West Yorkshire Symphony Orchestra, Royal Academy Opera, Iford Arts, BBC Proms, Opera Ireland, Opera Theatre Company and Opra Cymru. Most recently in 2019, Aoife was a part of the Cork Midsummer Festival’s production of The Stalls as well as singing the soprano solo in Verdi’s Requiem in Ely Cathedral. 

During her time in the UK, Aoife became very interested in music education, working on outreach projects with companies including Glyndebourne Opera, Opera North, Theatre Royal Norwich and Irish National Opera. As an animateur she worked with many organisations, designing and delivering education projects in schools, notably Leeds Diocese School’s Singing Programme and Ripon Cathedral’s singing outreach programmes. Aoife approaches the role of Music Development Officer in Meath with a wealth of experience and a desire to make music education accessible to all.

Music Generation Offaly / Westmeath, Margaret Broome read more

Margaret Broome joins Music Generation Offaly / Westmeath having previously held posts as a Principal Teacher of music in Fife, Scotland and as a performance tutor (voice and piano) at NUI Maynooth. Originally from Edinburgh, Scotland, Margaret is a graduate of The Royal Scottish Academy of Music, Glasgow (B.Ed (music), piano and education), and from the University of York, England (M.A (music), performance and education).

Margaret brings substantial and varied experience of music education in a number of contexts to Music Generation Offaly/Westmeath, a project which will widen access to music education for children across the two counties.

Music Generation Roscommon, Ellen Glennon read more

Ellen Glennon first encountered music at age 6, training in classical piano and traditional piano accordion. Her performance music career now spans more than 30 years, including through her local Comhaltas Ceoltóirí Éireann branch, as a choir accompanist, and nationally and internationally as a member of the band Sín É. She has won numerous county and provincial titles at Feiseanna and Fleadh Ceoil na hÉireann, including an All-Ireland title on piano accordion. Ellen has been a professional music educator all of her professional life to date, having taught music at all levels and in all contexts and genres. Most recently she held the role of Tutor at Mullingar Training Development Agency where she delivered instrumental tuition in drums, bass, guitar, vocals and QQI awards in music, sound engineering and general learning. Previously she lectured in Music Appreciation in Athlone IT. Ellen holds a BMus and a Higher National Diploma in Education from UCC. She also has the Teastas i dTeagasc Ceolta Tíre from Comhaltas Ceoltóirí Éireann.

Music Generation Sligo, Róisín Egan read more

Róisín Egan is a professional singer and music educator born in Sligo. She graduated with a BMus Hons Degree specialising in Performance from the DIT Conservatoire of Music in 2007. Róisín has been a vocal teacher for over ten years and in 2012 co-established Sligo’s leading early years music school ‘Singskool’ to teach, nurture and develop children’s innate musicality and musical talent from six months to six years old. Róisín’s vocal talent was discovered at a young age when she received a scholarship to study Vocal Performance and Musicianship at the Royal Irish Academy of Music in Dublin aged 12. In 2000 she was awarded ‘Sligo’s Young Musician of the Future’ by the International Choral Festival and RTÉ.

She has been a music educator with Music Generation in Sligo since 2011 and has developed and taught programmes as Lead Special Educational Needs Tutor for more than six years. She has also Co-Authored a resource methodology book for postgraduate teachers of children with Special Educational Needs: ‘Con Tutti Music and Autism a practical method for developing a music programme for children with Autism’. Róisín has spent many years directing and conducting various award-winning choirs and choral groups and, as a professional singer, has performed for President Michael D. Higgins and with Opera Ireland.

Music Generation South Dublin, Aideen McLaughlin read more

A native of Carlow, Aideen holds a BMus degree and an MA in Musicology from NUI Maynooth, in addition to a diploma in Journalism and Media Studies from Dublin Business School, where she graduated with Honours and as ‘Student of the Year’ in 2012.

Previously, Aideen held the post of Resource Worker with Music Generation Carlow, where she worked both as member of the operational team and as a musician on the Early Years and Vocal programmes. Her key achievements in the role include directing the Borris Vocational School Music Generation Transition Year (TY) Choir for their 2013 composition project entitled Speranza, which was co-written with the TY students and renowned Irish contemporary composer Linda Buckley.  Aideen also led the 2015 Music Generation Carlow collaborative project between Borris Vocational School and Irish composer, Glen Austin.

Aideen’s passion lies in choral music, and in recent years she has been a member of several award-winning choral groups including Carlow Young Artists’ Choir, the NUI Maynooth Chamber Choir, Schola Gregoriana Maynooth, The Academy Chamber Choir in Tullamore (awarded ‘Choir of the Year’ at the Navan Choral Festival 2012) and the Newbridge Gospel Choir. 

Aideen acted as music facilitator with The Academy of Music in County Offaly from 2010-2013 where she taught piano, voice and pre-instrumental classes to children and young people. She coordinated weekly music classes for toddlers around the county and worked extensively with special needs groups during her time, as well as acting as Musical Director for various projects involving people with disabilities.

Music Generation Tipperary, Aidan O’Donnell read more

Aidan O’Donnell is widely regarded as one of Irish traditional music’s foremost musicians. TG4 Ceoltóir Óg na mBliana (Young Musician of the Year) 2010, Aidan has experience in many sides of the musical arts, performing and touring internationally both as a solo performer and with his award winning band FIDIL. He has performed with Grammy award winning and nominated artists such as Tim O’Brien (USA) and Solo Cissokho (Senegal), as well as some of Ireland’s finest musicians, including Micheál Ó Suilleabháin and both the RTÉ Symphony and Concert Orchestras.

Since completing his studies at the Irish World Academy of Music and Dance at the University of Limerick, Aidan has also had varied experience in education. He has lectured in musicology and traditional Irish music in the University of Limerick and Ulster University and has presented academic research on his current doctoral studies at international events, including the NafCo. 

Aidan, who is from Donegal but who has been a Tipperary resident since 2014, has also run a successful music school in Thurles, County Tipperary. He is a regular panellist for the Arts Council and a current committee member of Cairdeas na bhFidiléirí.

Music Generation Waterford, Shauna McCullough read more

Shauna McCullough takes up the role of Music Development Officer for Music Generation Waterford after working as lead brass tutor with Music Generation Cork City for the past five years. She has enjoyed a varied career as a musician, performance music educator, conductor and music education programme developer. Shauna is a BMus Graduate of CIT Cork School of Music and holds an MA in Music Education from Mary Immaculate College Limerick. Shauna previously held a position in the Irish Defence Forces as a trumpet player in Band 1 Southern Brigade before pursuing her passion for music education in a full-time capacity. Shauna continues to perform as a member of various orchestras and ensembles including the Irish Symphonic Wind Orchestra.

Shauna brings a wealth of experience to Waterford having spent many years working with children and young people throughout Cork City and County in schools and community settings. She is a passionate advocate for community-based music education and creating opportunities for children and young people to access progressive pathways to begin life-long journeys within music education and performance. During her time at Music Generation Cork City she worked on a number of programmes and projects including ‘Bold as Brass’, ‘Brass Off!’, Cork Jazz Fringe Festival and the UNESCO Cities of Learning Conference.

Shauna has presented her MA Research at conferences including the Society for Music Education Ireland Conference (2014, 2016) and the 32nd Conference of the International Society for Music Education in Glasgow. Shauna was a lead artist in the pioneering research initiative ‘Exploring Teacher/Artist partnerships as a model for CPD supporting and enhancing Arts Education, initiated by the Association of Teacher Education Centres Ireland.

Music Generation Wexford, Katherine Atkinson read more

Katherine Atkinson is an arts consultant, musician and performer. She is committed to cultural democracy through the arts, engagement with communities and public policy.

Katherine plays the violin, piano and sings. She managed youth arts and arts development for the Arts Council of South Australia, directed retail operations and PR for The Body Shop, and performed as a professional musician/actor in Australia, before moving to Ireland in the early 1990s where she continued to perform in both music and theatre.

From the National Concert Hall to the Skerries Soundwaves Festival with the Simon Quigley Ensemble, from Whelan’s to the Róisín Dubh with Ann Scott, from the Dave Murphy Songwriters Session to Anu Productions and from Lines of Negotiation: Mapping the Land at the Lexicon to the Dublin Live Art Festival, Katherine has performed in a range of settings across many genres.

Prior to taking up her role at Music Generation Wexford, Katherine worked for Create – the national development agency for collaborative arts – and on behalf of Create with the Arts Council, where she was manager and trainer for Extending Architecture: an Arts Council training and professional development initiative, and manager of the Artist in the Community Scheme. As part of her role, Katherine managed the Cork 2005: European Capital of Culture Community Based Programme.

Katherine holds an MA in Public Culture Studies from the Dún Laoghaire Institute of Art Design and Technology, a Diploma in Theatre and Drama Studies from NUI Maynooth and a Certificate of Music TAFE South Australia. She is a member of the Edges & Margins Collective, the Unitarian Choir and Visual Arts Ireland.

Music Generation Wicklow, Ann Catherine Nolan read more

Ann Catherine Nolan Co-ordinator of Music Generation Wicklow comes from a background in education and arts management, having had her own business for over ten years and working in both primary and secondary schools. In addition Ann Catherine has coordinated festivals, events and arts development initiatives.

Ann’s role will be to manage the implementation of the development plan for Music Generation Wicklow, rolling out additional capacity across all programmes including those in schools and community contexts.  Ann is a qualified secondary teacher in the visual arts and also holds a qualification in project management.