Greg Beardsell was appointed conductor of the CBOI commencing in August 2015. Greg is one of the most outstanding conductors of his generation, and is considered a leading light in music education and performance, rightly winning plaudits for the outstanding performances of orchestras and chorus under his leadership.

He was absolutely extraordinary in the results he achieved and the rapport he had with the group, not just in the technical discipline and colour he brought to the singing but also in the electrifying way he engaged the young singers, inspiring them to enjoy intensive work and to relish the process of really perfecting what they were doing” Howard Shelley, Pianist and Conductor

Greg Beardsell works worldwide as a Conductor, Singer, Adjudicator, Workshop Leader and Presenter. Sought after by top orchestras and choirs throughout the UK and Ireland, he has worked with many including the City of London Sinfonia, the Bournemouth Symphony Orchestra, the Ulster Orchestra, the Irish Youth Choir, and the National Youth Choirs of Great Britain. Ever keen to collaborate, Greg works with world-renowned Beatboxer Shlomo as well as with electro-acoustic musicians, Irish folk bands, Indian musicians, dance companies and jazz bands.

CBOI Founding Director Sharon Treacy-Dunne said, “Greg Beardsell is an inspirational conductor and music educator, who demands the highest standards of music making. We are thrilled and honoured to be working with him. It is an incredible opportunity for our members and all the schools involved in Peace Proms. I know he will support our mission to make CBOI the most dynamic and musically exciting Orchestra in Ireland. I look forward enormously to the next chapter of the CBOI’s storied history under his distinguished leadership

Greg Beardsell will make an invaluable contribution to music education in Ireland as he prepares to conduct the CBOI and School Choirs in Peace Proms 2017. Choirs comprising 20,000 children form over 500 Schools will participate in the CBOI’s music programme culminating in monumental Choral and Orchestral performances which will take place at arenas throughout Ireland in Spring 2017. This promises to be a most exciting, enriching and rewarding experience for choirs, teachers and audiences alike.

Greg is known for his extraordinary ability to lead powerful and exhilarating performances, always getting to the heart of the music. It was with great joy that the CBOI welcomed Greg into their wonderful orchestral family and community of choirs. Together they will bring the love they all share for music to ever-greater numbers of live audiences and music fans throughout Ireland.

Patricia Treacy

Tutoring: Violin 1 & 2

Patricia studied with outstanding distinction at the London Guild Hall School of Music and Drama, and travelled widely to continue her studies in Israel, Canada, Russia and Italy.   The winner of many prestigious national music awards, Patricia went on to perform a wide repertoire at premier venues both nationally and internationally. Patricia’s reputation as a top concert violinist, recitalist and chamber musician precedes her.

Lauren Murphy


Lauren Murphy is a multi award winning singer/songwriter from North Monaghan. Having performed nationally and internationally from a very young age, Lauren enjoys singing in a broad range of musical  styles including classical, jazz and hard rock/metal.

At the age of 11, Lauren won RTE’s televised children’s talent competition ‘Star Stream’, and in her later years was dubbed as “undoubtedly one to watch” by Hotpress Magazine, who complimented her “gripping, poignant lyrics and powerful vocals laced with raw emotion

Lauren enjoys participating in musical theatre and  has fronted many bands including ‘Between Horizons’ who shot to the top of the Irish metal charts with their self titled debut release. Lauren currently fronts Dundalk based funk/rock group ‘Accidents In The Workplace’ who are quickly making a name for themselves on the Irish music scene.

“The energy that the band produce through their performances is intoxicating and they are able to create and maintain a strong connection with the crowd through their original music. I have no doubt that they will go far” Stuart Attfield – Firestone Music Tour European Brand Manager

Accidents in the Workplace are currently recording their debut studio album and are looking forward to releasing their first single very soon. Lauren is delighted to have been invited to perform for a fourth year with the Cross Border Orchestra for Peace Proms 2017.

Amber Dixon – Winner of The Soloist 2018

17 year old soprano, Amber Dixon is a member of the Flynn Performing Arts group under the direction of Fiona Flynn, Newry Musical Society, and the Ulster Youth Training choir.  She has appeared on the John Toal Show on BBC Radio Ulster as a vocalist for the premier of Mary’s Lullaby. Amber auditioned for Sestina and has sung with the group in The Glasshouse Derry, St. Anne’s Cathedral Belfast and Christ Church Cathedral Dublin for productions of Handel’s ‘ Theodora’ and ‘ Dixit Dominus’. She has played numerous roles in musicals, most recently, ‘Maria’ in ‘West Side Story’ which took place in the Grand Opera House Belfast and ‘Cosette’ in the school edition of ‘Les Miserable’ in the Waterfront Hall, Belfast under the direction of BMDS.

Amber was delighted to win the very prestigious Girls Under 18 Solo competition at ESB Feis Ceoil this year in Dublin. Amber was also the proud recipient of the Gilbert award for ‘ Best Female Singer’ at the AIM’s awards this year for her role as ‘Maria’ in’ West Side Story’. Amber is an A level student at Our Lady’s Grammar School Newry and her studies include Music and Drama. She hopes to pursue a career in music and she is so looking forward to performing for you all with the amazing Cross Border Orchestra of Ireland

Grahame Harris

Pipe Major

Grahame hails from Belfast and began his piping career in late 2004 at the age of 12. He has been trained by some of the best pipers in the world including Roddy MacLeod MBE, Gavin

Stoddart MBE, Dr. Simon McKerrell, Chris Armstrong and Margaret Dunn.

Grahame joined the Ulster Youth Ensemble in 2005, touring the four provinces of Ireland with the group in the following years as a lead soloist and was the opening act for the 2005 Queens Festival, Belfast.

In 2007, Grahame was invited to join the National Youth Pipe Band of Scotland. Highlights include performances at the Piping Live Festival Concert, Glasgow Concert Hall; the William Kennedy Piping Festival, Armagh Hotel; and in 2008, the Ortigueira Festival Street Concert with Carlos Núñez, Spain. Grahame has been competing very successfully in solo piping competitions in Northern Ireland, Ireland, England and Scotland since late 2005.

Conal Duffy

Conal Duffy is an award winning Uilleann Piper from Co Louth. Conal has performed with the Cross Border Orchestra of Ireland in London’s Royal Albert Hall, New York’s Lincoln Center, Chicago Symphony Hall and Shanghai Oriental Arts Centre.

He has performed as a soloist with the RTE National Symphony Orchestra, National Youth Orchestra   of   Ireland   and  UCD   Symphony Orchestra. In   2016   he  was  the   Musician   in Residence at the Sydney Gaelic Society. Conal studied Uilleann Pipes with Gay McKeon and Sean Óg Potts at Na Píobairí Uilleann. He studied Psychology at UCD as an Ad Astra Scholar.  Conal has recently returned from a 75 city tour of North America with ‘Celtic Thunder’. He is delighted to be back with the Cross Border Orchestra for Peace Proms 2019.

Rooney O’Malley Maguire School of Irish Dance

Rooney O’Malley Maguire School of Irish Dance is based in scenic South Armagh/Newry. The school catalogues a long history

of Irish dance and boasts numerous, Ulster, All Irelandand World Champions both in solo and team events.

The founding teacher, Miss Eileen Rooney and present teachers Eamonn O’ Malley and Debbie Maguire have danced their way around the world: Eileen danced for the Pope in the 1950’s; Eamonn and Debbie both danced with Michael Flatley, Debbie performing lead in Lord of the Dance and Celtic Tiger in Wembley, Madison Square Gardens and Tiananmen Square. Some of their dancers have already followed in their footsteps dancing for many of the top Irish dance shows throughout the world with many being nurtured to fulfill their dancing dreams. We are proud to present our pupils on this great occasion. Aine, Orlaith and Anna are current Ulster and World Champions

Michelle Johnston

Highland Dancer

Director of The Highland Dancers, Michelle Johnston, has over 20yrs experience of traditional dancing styles, beginning with Irish dancing aged six. In later years Michelle’s love of dance became focused on the art of Highland and Scottish National Dancing.

Having held the title of Adult Ulster Highland Dancing Champion for 8 consecutive years, Michelle has established herself as the foremost dancer in Ireland. Lifting medals and trophies at The United Kingdom,

European, North American, and World Championships have all been highlights. Being adept at Highland, Scottish National and Irish dancing, Michelle not only competes but also performs on the international and national stage. She has performed in tattoos, festivals, concert halls and stadiums in front of thousands of people throughout Europe and America.

Michelle will be sharing the stage with 3 of her young pupils, Ulster Juvenile Champion Rebekah Keery, Rebecca Welsh and  Helen Parker

Colmcille Pipe Band

Colmcille Pipe Band was founded in May 1978 in Derry by the Hasson family circle. One of the founding members is still a competing member of the band, Pipe Major Brian Hasson Sr. The strong “family” bond continues in the band to this day. There are currently eight Hassons playing in the band along with four McAteers, two Gillens and two Browns.The band is a competition band and has been competing since 1995, initially under PM Brian Hasson Sr. who then passed the band on to his son, Mark.

In 2008 under the direction of Pipe Major Mark Hasson & Drum Sergeant Brian Hasson Jr., the band won the World Championships in Grade 4A, this saw the band being promoted to Grade 3B. In 2015, again under the direction of Mark and Brian Hasson Jr., the band had its most successful year ever in Competition, and are currently the All Ireland, Scottish and World Champions, also winning Supreme Champion of Champions. The band has now been promoted to Grade 3a for the 2016 season and will be directed by Mark and Christy Hasson. The band really enjoys working the Cross Border Orchestra and we hope this wonderful relationship can grow and blossom.

Ross Scanlon – WINNER OF THE SOLOIST 2017

“Tenor Ross Scanlon sang with a commanding lightness and clarity (he’s the most promising young Irish tenor I’ve heard in years.)” The Irish Times

Irish born Tenor Ross Scanlon trained at the DIT Conservatory of Music and Drama where he was awarded the Michael McNamara Gold Medal of excellence in performance and at the Royal Academy of Music, London. He continues his studies with Philip Doghan.

At the Royal Academy of Music, his roles included Lurcanio Ariodante, Masino La vera costanza, Monostatos Die Zauberflöte and Scaramuccio Ariadne auf Naxos.

Elsewhere, his roles have included Le Thérière L’Enfant et les sortlièges with the BBC Symphony Orchestra. Hot Biscuit Paul Bunyan for Welsh National Youth Opera, Male Chorus The Rape of Lucretia for Irish Youth Opera, Bookkeeper The Rise and Fall of the City of Mahagonny for OTC, Dublin, Remendado Carmen for Lyric Opera, Dublin, Bill A Hand of Bridge, Remendado Carmen and Tamino Die Zauberflöte for Glasthule Opera.

Ross sings widely in concert, his engagements including Alexander’s Feast, Messiah and The Creation with the RTÉ Concert Orchestra, Messiah at the Halle Festival, Germany, at the Handel Music Festival, Dublin, and with the Irish Philharmonic Orchestra, as well as performances with choral societies through the UK and Ireland. Other oratorio’s include Britten Saint Nicolas, Dvorák Stabat Mater, Handel’s Alexander’s Feast and Coronation Anthems, Haydn Die Jahreszeiten, The Creation and Missa in Tempore Belli, Mendelssohn Elijah and St Paul, Stainer Crucifixion, Mozart’s Vesperae Solemnes de Confessore and Coronation Mass Schubert’s Mass in B flat, Jenkins ‘The Armed Man – A Mass for Peace’ , Goodall Eternal Light – A Requiem (Irish Premiere).

Recent engagements include ‘Ed’ in ‘A Belfast Opera‘ conducted by David Brophy in association with Northern Ireland Opera, sold out recital of The John McCormack Songbook at the National Concert Hall, a gala recital for the British Embassy at Círculo de Bellas Artes, Madrid, guest artist for Minerva Cruise Ships in Athens and Istanbul and Tenor soloist for The London Concrodia Foundation Christmas Gala, St Paul’s, Covent garden.


Soprano Katie Weir is joint winner of The Soloist 2017. She has been singing, acting and dancing as long as she can remember. Katie attends classes at Talented Kids Performing Arts School, Dublin and is also a member of MVW Talent Agency. Katie has been featured in multiple TV commercials most recently, the McDonalds advert, and the new Londis Advert. Katie has also taken part in many modelling shows, print campaigns, TV shows and music videos alongside Sinead O’Connor and The Coronas.

Katie receives vocal tuition from Maureen-Victoria Ward and most recently received a Distinction in her Grade 8 Musical Theatre Singing and Classical Singing, and a High Achiever Award from the RIAM. Katie has won many national Vocal Competitions including the Newpark Music Festival, Navan Feis Ceoil and Sligo Feis Ceoil.

Katie has also been a Solo Vocal Singer at many Charities events for Debra Ireland, Crumlin Children’s Hospital, the Miscarriage Association of Ireland, and St. Francis’ Hospice to name a few.

In 2015, Katie represented Ireland at the World Championships of Performing Arts where she won a Gold medal in the Opera category and was awarded a scholarship to the New York Film Academy to study Musical Theatre and Singing. She has deferred her studies until she finishes her Leaving Certificate.

Katie has played multiple parts in Musicals including Blousey Brown in ‘Bugsy Malone’, and Beth in ‘Oliver’ all produced by Festival Productions at the NCH, Dublin. She has also played Eliza in ‘My Fair Lady’ and Cosette in ‘Les Miserables’, Jemima in ‘Cats’ at The Helix Theatre, Dublin. Other parts include Dorothy in the ‘Wizard of Oz’. Katie was also part of the world premiere of ‘Flynn’ the Musical and Cameron Mackintosh’s touring Musical ‘Oliver’. Katie and was invited to sing at the National Concert Hall for ‘A Night of Music’ in Dec 2017.

Katie is delighted to be given this amazing opportunity to be part of this amazing Peace Proms 2018 Tour with the CBOI and hopes you enjoy the concerts.

Zena Donnelly – Winner of The Soloist 2016


Zena Donnelly is joint winner of The Soloist 2016. Zena, just 14 years old was discovered in 2009 at the age of 7 by The Late Late Show on RTE TV in nationwide auditions and a subsequent solo performance on the show’s Late Late Toy Show ensued.

Since then, Zena has gone on to perform at Voice In A Million in Wembley Arena, the UN World Peace Party and a solo at the Queen’s Diamond Jubilee Royal Gala Performance, not to mention an impromptu performance with the late Whitney Houston in Dublin’s 3Arena 2010.

Zena has won RTE’s Nationwide TV Talent Competition ‘Show Off or Get Off’, performed for Music Inc., played the lead role in ANNIE The Musical

at the National Concert Hall,  performed as a special young guest at the Cheerios Childline Concert in the 3Arena alongside other artists including Olly Murs, Jedward, Boyzone and Mc Busted and of recent won ‘The Soloist’ nationwide competition in Ireland. Zena represented Ireland with her own composition at The Junior Eurovision Song Contest 2016 following televised nationwide competition.

Branching out from music Zena has started to be cast in films such as The Food Guide To Love, Céad Ghrá, Cuckoo, Dance Emergency and A Christmas Star, where she also sings among others, the music soundtrack ‘ We  Can Shine’. More recently she has been cast in the role of ‘Maggie Colgan’ in the theatre production ‘Before Monsters Were Made’ and lead role of Sarah in TV Series and film ‘Spooky Stakeout’. Another recent credit is as a presenter for Smyth’s Toystores web show online.

Zena also began writing her own songs, in English and Irish, which she hopes to record in the near future.



Tenor Eoin Hynes is joint winner of the Soloist 2016. He is an honours music graduate of Maynooth University (NUIM) and D.I.T Conservatory of Music and Drama. A former studentof internationally acclaimed tenor Emmanuel Lawler, he has amassed an impressive array of singing awards from the prestigious Dublin Feis Ceoil including the distinguished John McCormack Cup.

A Young Associate Artist Alumni with Opera Theatre Company, he toured with their production of Mozart’s The Magic Flute. Eoin has performed the tenor solo role in the European Premiere of Patrick Cassidy’s Famine Remembrance RTÉ CO, Beethoven’s Choral Fantasy RTÉ NSO.

2015 marked a series of debuts: Wembley Arena London, Marco Palmieri The Gondoliers with R&R Musical Society at Gaiety Theatre Dublin, soloist with company ‘Rhythm of the Dance’ in Azerbaijan for Baku Games at Heydar Aliyev Palace. Last year,

Eoin made his Viennese debut at Stephansdom Cathedral singing the tenor solo role from Mozart’s Coronation

Dan Bodwell 

Tutoring: Double Bass

Daniel Bodwell studied classical double bass at Carnegie Mellon University in Pittsburgh, PA, and jazz double bass at the Hochschule für Künste, Bremen. He is a founder member of the New York based Micah Gaugh Trio with Kevin Shea. He currently performs with Mary Coughlan, the Nigel Mooney Quartet, the Francesco Turrisi Trio, Julie Feeney, the RTÉ Concert Orchestra, the RTÉ Symphony Orchestra, the Quiet Music Ensemble and the Crash Ensemble.

Aoife Dennedy

Tutoring: Cello

Aoife Dennedy is a professional cellist based in Dublin. She works as a freelance cellist across Ireland and has played with many art- ists including Michael Mublé, Josh Groban, Westlife, Alesha Dix- on, Phil Coulter, Ham Sandwich and Nathan Carter to name a few. She also performs regularly at weddings, private events and cor- porate functions with her quartet “The Leinster String Quartet”.

A Keen orchestral musician, she has played with the NI Op- era, RTE Concert Orchestra, Wexford Festival Opera Or- chestra and Symphonia Cymru. Aoife holds a BA in Mu- sic Performance from The Royal Irish Academy of Music and a Masters in Music Performance from the Royal Northern College of Music

Liam Monagher

Tutoring Viola & Violin 3

Liam Monagher from Dundalk, Co Louth, began playing the violin at the age of six. He has studied with the renowned violinist Ms. Patricia Treacy and also with Mr. Michael d’ Arcy at the Royal Irish Academy of Music, Dublin. As an orchestral musician, he has performed with numerous orchestra’s including the Orchestral Musicians of Northern Ireland, the National Youth Orchestra of Ireland (NYOI), the NYOI Camerata and the Cross Border Orchestra of Ireland (CBOI). Throughout the years, he has performed in many of the world’s most prestigious music venue’s including Boston Symphony Hall, Carnegie Hall, New York and Chicago Symphony Hall.

Most notably, he was leader of the CBOI in performances at the World Expo Shanghai,

China, the Lincoln Centre, New York and the Royal Albert Hall, London. In recent times, Liam’s musical career has taken a diverse twist, seeing him record and perform with some of Ireland’s most outstanding musicians including Lisa Hannigan, Jim Corr, Miss Paula Flynn and Liam Reilly of Bagatelle.

Aine Balfe

Tutoring: Flute & Oboe

Áine Balfe holds a Bachelor of Music Education from Trinity College Dublin and DIT Conservatory of Music and Drama and also has an LTCL diploma in flute performance with distinction. In 2013 she completed a Masters in Music Performance at the DIT where she studied under Ciarán O’ Connell. During this time, she won the DIT Briscoe Cup, the Orchestral Excerpts Prize and performed Mozart’s Flute and Harp concerto with the TCD Orchestra. Áine has an avid interest in both performing and teaching music. In 2014 Áine was appointed to the position of Head of Music at the St. Patricks Cathedral Grammar School, Dublin 8 having previously taught at Wesley College since 2009.

Bernie Balfe

Tutoring: Clarinet

Bernie Balfe is a clarinetist, saxophonist and vocalist with an eclectic musical experience ranging from Classical and Choral, to Jazz and Rock. As an educator with Music Generation Louth she works as an instrumental and musicianship instructor. Bernie holds a BMus Perf Hons degree from DIT and an MA in Music from DkIT.

Philip Fergusson

Tutoring: Trumpet

Philip is currently a ‘district coordinator’ with the SELB. Philip is an exceptional music educator and teaches all Brass instruments preparing students for ‘Associated Board of the Royal Schools of Music’ examinations, ‘GSCE’ and ‘A-level’ practical examinations. Philip has conducted many ensembles and orchestras including the highly respected Belfast Brass. Philip is an outstanding solo and ensemble performer and has worked with most of the big Operatic Societies in Northern Ireland as well as the Ulster Orchestra.

Barry McBrien

Tutoring: Trombone, Tuba, Horn & Saxophone

Barry McBrien is an accomplished trombonist based in Dublin having played professionally for over twenty-five years. He works regularly with the Dublin City Jazz Orchestra and The Hot House Big Band. On the classical front he has worked with The RTE Concert Orchestra and The National Symphony Orchestra. He has preformed and/or recorded with Oasis, Van Morrison, Gene Pitney, Sinéad O’Connor, The Corrs, Jack L, Englebert Humperdinck, The Lighthouse Family, Mary Black and Slide Hampton.

He was also a member of The Late Late Show house band for two years.

Danny Roe

Tutoring: Percussion

Danny Roe is a highly accomplished and award winning percussionist.

Qualifications and awards include:

  • Royal Irish Academy of Music Level (RIAM) – Level 8 Distinction with Scholarship
  • RIAM – Level 10 Distinction with Scholarship
  • UCD Entrance Scholar
  • UCD Orchestral Scholar
  • UCD Ad Astra Scholar (2 years)
  • RIAM Senior Percussion Recital Competition – 1st
  • RIAM Wind/Brass/Percussion Duets/Trios/Quartets – 1st
  • Ard Scoil Ris Cadenza Competition – Senior winner
  • Feis Ceol Composition Competition, Three Pieces for Children – 1st

Performance Highlights include:

  • Solo performance for President Mary MacAleese at Aras an Uachtaran 2007
  • Performance with ‘Drum and Drummer’ Percussion Duo for President Mary MacAleese at Aras an Uachtaran 2008
  • Sarabande Project Musicians of the Future, National Concert Hall 2010
  • Ad Astra Performance Scholars Recital, National Concert Hall 2012
  • Solo Recitals National Concert Hall 2011 and 2012

Danny is a very experienced percussion teacher. Along with teaching individually, he teachers at Knocklyon School of Music, St. Ultans School, Cherry Orchard, and is a visiting tutor with St. Agnes Community Music Project in Crumlin.

Gareth Hughes

Tutoring: Double Bass

Gareth Hughes began his professional music career in 1998 and has since played bass guitar and double bass with Elton John, Lionel Richie, Ronan Keating, Sophie Ellis-Bextor, Dane Bowers, Russell Watson, Gilbert O’Sullivan, Marti Pellow, Rodney Crowell, The 4 of Us, Kieran Goss, Gareth Dunlop, The Celtic Tenors, Juliet Turner and many more. Amongst numerous musicals, Gareth played in the Irish première of ‘RENT’. As a member of the Friday-Seezer Ensemble Gareth performed in the theatrical productions of ’Ice Liebe Dich’ and ‘Is That All There Is?’, and recorded the soundtrack to ‘In America’ and a unique interpretation of ’Peter & the Wolf’. Gareth has taught double bass, bass guitar and cello for the Education Authority of Northern Ireland since 2011. In this capacity, he teaches pupils from 8-18 years of age and is a co-leader of ‘Music Makers’, the junior string orchestra for the EANI Southern Region.