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.
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.
Patricia Treacy is Ireland’s most versatile virtuoso violinist. She studied with outstanding distinction at the London Guild Hall School of Music and Drama with Pauline Scott and travelled widely to continue her studies under the great maestros Pincas Zuckerman in Israel, Mauricio Fuks in Canada, Igor Frolov in Russia, Boris Belkin and Uto Ugi in Italy.
More recently, this popular dynamic celebrity has gained recognition for her unique and refreshing interpretation of Irish music. A compelling style with performances that can be as emotional and sensitive as they are brilliant and electric. Patricia has performed as soloist both at Carnegie Hall in New York at the Royal Albert Hall in London. She has also performed for presidents Joe Biden, Barack Obama, Bill Clinton, Michael D. Higgins and Mary McAleese.
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 Dunne. 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.
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.
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
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
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
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.
Katie Weir – WINNER OF THE SOLOIST 2017
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.
Eoin Hynes – WINNER OF THE SOLOIST 2016
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