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.

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.

Adam Kenny

Tutoring: Trombone:

Adam has had a keen interest in music from a very young age, honing his skills with the Artane School of Music. He has played with many orchestras, wind ensembles and bands over the years including Booka Brass, Lisa Hannigan, and the BBC Scottish Symphony Orchestra. He currently works within the Defence Forces as an instrumentalist.

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.

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.


Julie-Anne Manning 

Tutoring: Cello

studied at the Royal Irish Academy of Music in Dublin with Nora Gilleece and William Butt. She then moved to London to study at the Royal Academy of Music (RAM) under the guidance of Professors David Strange and Felix Schmidt. In the course of her time at the RAM, she was awarded the string prize and a RAM Diploma for an outstanding degree. 
Julie-Anne enjoys performing recitals, with orchestras and taking part in chamber groups. She has toured extensively in her career and has worked with many orchestras, including the Philharmonia, London Symphony Orchestra, BBC Philharmonic, Residentie Orkest Den Haag, and Het Balletorkest, Amsterdam. She has performed as principal cellist of Camerata Ireland and the RTE Concert Orchestra and was principal cellist of the European Union Youth Orchestra for two years. She also had eight memorable years as a member of the world-renowned Hallé Orchestra. Before this, she was a member of the Cross Border Orchestra of Ireland for six years and really enjoyed the experience of playing with children and young adults from different counties who are drawn together by a love of music. 
The Boyne Music Festival is another important part of Julie-Anne’s musical life, and as founding member and Co-Artistic Director she delights in contributing to the evolution of classical and chamber music in Ireland.

Dr. Anne-Marie O’Farrell

Tutoring: Harp

Leading lever harpist of her generation,Dr Anne-Marie O’Farrell from Dublin has performed all over the world as a solo artist, accompanist and in ensembles, and is regularly featured in broadcasts. On lever harp, she is particularly recognized for her expansion of repertoire and levering techniques, as a result of which the world’s leading harpmakers Salvi Harps redesigned their lever harps to become concert instruments.  She has performed with numerous orchestras, including the Irish Baroque Orchestra, the RTÉ Concert Orchestra, the Irish Memory Orchestra, and the RTÉ National Symphony Orchestra with whom she premiered Ryan Molloy’s Concerto for lever harp, Gealán. A prolific recording artist, she has released several CDs, including Just So Bach, Harping Bach to CarolanThe Jig’s Up and My Lagan Love; Double Strung and Duopoly with Cormac De Barra; and Harp to Harp with harmonica player Brendan Power. She is frequently invited to give recitals, workshops and masterclasses at international conferences and festivals around the world, in addition to performance at several World Harp Congresses. Dedicated to the expansion of repertoire for the lever harp, she has published critical editions for lever harp of Bach’s cello, keyboard and lute repertoire. Anne-Marie holds a PhD in composition with Piers Hellawell at Queen’s University Belfast and lectures in composition at the TU Dublin Conservatory of Music and Drama. She has recently completed several large-scale commissions featuring the harp, including a lever harp concerto, and a five-movement work for large harp ensemble.