In her earlier years Sinéad participated in Scor na nóg representing Ulster at 4 All Ireland finals. She was also the winner of the Ladies singing competition in the Ulster Fleadh Ceoil at age 15. Sinéad sights Roisín White, Rita Gallagher, Frank Harte and Grace Toland as some of the traditional singers who have inspired her.
Sinéad has recently released her debut album of traditional songs “No Better Time” on which she has recorded 10 songs featuring her niece and nephew Méabh and Tiarnán Smyth on Fiddle and Concertina, Ruairi Cunnane on Guitar and Bouzouki, Brian McAteer on Keyboard and Piano, and Brendan T. Monaghan on Whistles, Uillean Pipes, and Bodhran.
She has been fortunate to be able to combine her two interests of bodhrán playing and Irish dancing through participation in a variety of shows. Involvement with ‘Titanic Drums’ has been a highlight for her and has just recently returned from China with this show. She has also played with several groups over the last number of years.
She has been influenced by a range of bodhrán players including Eamon Murray of Beoga and John Joe Kelly but will always be grateful to Fergal O’Brien for introducing her to the bodhran.
Alana currently teaches the bodhran to young and old and is passionate about passing her love of her instrument on to others. She will always be grateful to Elaine O’Sullivan and Traditional Arts Partnership – South Armagh for providing her with the opportunity to teach and play in her local area.
Noreen McManus has been actively involved in Traditional Music in the North East for over twenty years. She started fiddle under the tutelage of the legendary Martin Mulvihill, New York and at age 11, won the North American Championship in Solo, Duet, Trio and Ceili Band.Noreen has travelled extensively, having played at Festivals and Irish Embassies in Africa, Saudi Arabia, Europe, United States and Scandanavia and also gave Presidential and Royal performances.As well as being a musician with various Folk and Traditional bands throughout the years, Noreen has also been sought after to teach Fiddle, Grupai Cheoil and Ceili Bands. Many of her students have had tremendous success at County, Provincial and National Level including being the musical director of All-Ireland u12 Grupa Cheoil Champions, CCE Dundalk at Fleadh Cheoil na hEireann, Derry 2013. The first All-Ireland title to ever be won by a County Louth group. Recently, she has taken on the position of Instrument (Fiddle) Tutor in DkIT.
Her dedication to the promotion of Traditional music in the area has led her to form “Cuchulainn Celtic Strings,” a community based music group that performs at various festivals, sessions, sporting and charity events. The fact that she has played, taught and appreciate the cultural heritage within the Oriel region, has led to her wanting to form “Oriel Traditional Orchestra” of which she is one of the Directors and strings Tutor.
Elaine has been playing Irish Traditional music since the tender age of 4. Growing up in Coventry she was taught by the renowned Cavan accordion player Vincent Tighe. She represented Coventry CCE at local, provincial and All Ireland level in accordion, concertina, duets, trios and grupa cheoil. Her first All-Ireland title was on button accordion 15-18 in 1986 and her second was in the Senior Concertina in 1988.
Elaine is also classically trained on the Violin and spent her formative years playing with the Coventry Youth Orchestra.
She has been teaching music for most of her life. On her return to Ireland in 1997 she immediately started to teach for Newcastle CCÉ in County Down. Within her first year of teaching with the branch she brought the 15-18 group to a 2nd placing in the All Ireland.
She was a member of the Mullaghbawn Gfc Scór Group that brought two senior All-Ireland titles home to Mullaghbawn.
She has been teaching and developing music in the local South Armagh area since 2007. In 2011 she co-founded the Traditional Arts Partnership – South Armagh with other local musicians and Elaine is Musical Director. TAP has grown considerably since then and now teaches traditional music, song (and craic) to over 200 local children and adults. The ripple out of this is plain to be seen in local schools and social gatherings. Inclusivity is a core value for TAP and Elaine, as is the development of the social confidence of all their pupils.
TAP musicians have proudly represented the South Armagh area at County, Provincial and All-Ireland level and played at hundreds of community events. TAP has taken groups of 30 young musicians to Sitges for the annual Irish-Catalan music festival for the last three years.
Martha is a traditional flute and whistle player from County Down although her roots are certainly in South Armagh. Her dad hails from Forkhill and you can find Martha leading the session in MC Larkins in Forkhill of a Sunday.
She has recently been awarded the prestigious BBC Northern Ireland and Arts Council of Northern Ireland Young Musicians’ Platform Award. Martha has been immersed in the Irish Traditional Music scene from an early age and has toured internationally in Scotland, Denmark, South Korea, Norway, Brazil, Italy and the US.
She is a renowned teacher both internationally and all over Ireland. Martha graduated with a first class honours degree in Music at Dundalk Institute of Technology and later graduated with honours from her postgraduate studies at the Irish World Academy, University of Limerick.
Joanna is a local violinist/fiddle player and pianist. She began playing fiddle at the age of six and piano shortly thereafter. Despite fiddle being Joanna’s first passion, she has gained a reputation as a piano/keyboard accompanist.
Joanna began her third level education at the Royal Irish Academy of Music, Dublin where she studied violin perf…ormance under the tutelage of the renowned violin teacher, Maeve Broderick. On completion of a BA degree in Music, she completed a Post Graduate Certificate in Education and is now a music teacher by profession. Joanna has a Licentiate from the London College of Music, having been awarded a Diploma with Distinction in Violin Performance.
Having received many awards, most notably, first place at the prestigious Feis Ceoil Dublin, Joanna has ventured into the world of Folk music where she has carved out a unique style with a fusion of Classical, Traditional and Folk music. She plays fiddle in the local Folk band, Raglan and regularly performs with various orchestras and ensembles. Joanna enjoys working in the studio as a recording session musician.