Tara Breen, a highly talented multi-instrumentalist from Co. Clare, started playing the flute at the tender age of six, and the fiddle at the age of seven. She has achieved All-Ireland titles on fiddle in every age category over the years, culminating with the All-Ireland Senior Fiddle Title in 2012. Tara is also an All-Ireland winner on the flute and saxophone. In 2006 Tara won the coveted ‘Fiddler of Dooney’ competition, and in 2009 she added the prestigious ‘Michael Coleman Fiddle Competition’ to her list of accolades. In 2011 Tara won the senior Oireachtas fiddle title, and also in 2011, Tara was chosen to play at Dublin Castle for the Queen of England during her State visit to Ireland.
She was selected by Donal Lunny for the T.V. series, ‘Lorg Lunny’, which culminated in the band Ciorras, and from there went on to join the Galician piper Carlos Núñez, with whom she continues to play on a regular basis throughout Europe. In 2014 Tara joined The Chieftains for their North American tour, and currently plays with them at various venues both at home and abroad. Tara joined the legendary band, Stocktons Wing in 2015. Tara is a founding member of the band Rianta, formerly known as The Trí Tones, who are currently working on launching their second album.
She achieved her Dip. ABRSM in 2007 in classical flute, and also qualified as a Traditional Irish Music teacher with Comhaltas Ceoltóirí Éireann, achieving her TTCT in 2011. She attended the National University of Ireland, Cork, graduating in 2011 with a BA(Hons) in Music and Arts, and in 2012 graduated with a B Mus. Degree.
John Carty is one of Ireland’s finest traditional musicians having been awarded the Irish Television station, TG4’s Traditional Musician of the Year in 2003. He joins previous acclaimed winners Matt Molloy (Chieftains flautist), Tommy Peoples (Master Fiddler), Mary Bergin (whistle player, Dordan), Máire Ní Chathasaigh (Harpist) and Paddy Keenan (Uilleann Piper), all of whom are considered to be the leading exponents of their instruments within the Irish tradition.
Carty already has three solo fiddle albums, two banjo albums, two group albums and a sprinkling of recorded tenor guitar and flute music recordings under his belt so it’s little wonder he should have joined such elusive ranks. John is a tutor at the Irish World Academy.
AISLING DROST BYRNE
Aisling Drost Byrne from Glencolmcille, Co. Donegal grew up immersed in the rich fiddle tradition of her local area and her music is firmly rooted in the unique style and repertoire passed down to her by her late father, Donegal fiddler James ‘An Beirneach’ Byrne. Aisling has inherited her father’s sweet tone and powerful bowing and enhances his legacy with her own innate musicality.
Aisling is a graduate of the Irish World Academy of Music and Dance in Limerick where she is now based, working as a freelance musician and music tutor. She has been involved in a wide variety of projects and has worked with Mícheál Ó Súilleabháin and the RTÉ Orchestra, IN LiMBO, The SíFiddlers, and as a soloist with the Irish Gamelan Orchestra. Aisling regularly performs in a trio alongside Conal O’Kane and Brendan McCarthy as well as with her mother and sisters Merle and Séana. In 2018 Aisling collected, arranged and produced an album of her father’s music to commemorate his 10 th anniversary and she is currently working on her own debut album.
Eileen is the bearer of a musical dynasty which can be traced back through generations on both sides of her family, the legendary, O’Brien family from Newtown, Nenagh and her mother’s family, the Seerys from Dublin who were founder members of C.C.E. Eileen’s father, Paddy O’Brien established the B/C accordion-playing style in the 1950’s. His innovative style both as a musician and a prolific composer continues to have a profound influence on Irish traditional music. Eileen carries this musical tradition forward through performance, teaching and composition. Eileen received a classical music education at The Municipal School of Music, Limerick and is also a graduate of I.W.A.M.D. having achieved first class honours in the postgraduate programme M.A. Irish Traditional Music Performance in 2006.
Siobhán Peoples is a mighty fiddle player, and a highlight of a trip to Ennis for many a musical tourist has long been the chance to hear her play in a session around town. With the recent release of a duet album with accordion player Murty Ryan, Time On Our Hands, many more people will have the pleasure of hearing her play. She is also a strong argument for a gene of musical talent that’s yet to be found on the DNA maps: her father, of course, is the legendary Tommy Peoples, and her grandmother on her mother’s side was Kitty Linnane, the piano player with the storied Kilfenora Ceili Band. For all that one might expect a certain quest for fame, or sense of self-importance, but Siobhán is interested only in the music. In here own words, she’s “mad for it.” She may be a Clarewoman but Siobhán Peoples is also heir to a peerless Donegal fiddling tradition. The precision and intricacy of her performance of both Clare and Northern music has made her one of our most sought-after fiddlers. She has carved a niche as an outstanding performer and teacher. Siobhan presently lives and plays music in Ennis. There is a huge catalogue of recordings by Siobhán, the most recent being Time on our hands, a collaboration with box-player Murty Ryan. Siobhan is a fiddle tutor on the BA Irish Music and Dance at the Irish World Academy.
Since graduating with a BA in Irish Music and Dance and a MA in Irish Music Performance, Áine has captured the hearts of Irish Music fans all over the world. A founding member of the group Goitse, Áine has toured extensively around the world and record-ed four critically acclaimed albums with the group.
Singing both in the English and Irish Language, she has been de-scribed as having “a voice of an angel” and was awarded ‘Female Vocalist of 2016’ by the Irish American news. Combined with her energetic, high octane fiddle playing she is now one of the leading young musicians in Irish music today. As a result, her teaching skills have been highly sought after and have seen her giving workshops on fiddle and vocals all around the world. Her musical talents have led her to tour the world as lead Fiddle player with several dance shows including Michael Flately’s world famous “Lord of the Dance”.
Áine has also established herself as a highly regarded composer with many of her compositions featuring on several albums to date. She was commissioned to compose a suite of music to commemorate the centenary of the 1916 rising, which was per-formed by The Laois Folk Orchestra, and in 2018 wrote a suite to recognise the passing of 100 years since the end of World War 1. She has also recently composed the music for a brand new dance show called “Mná na hEireann”.
**Please note all teachers are subject to change.