Corus Team

CÓRus Musical Director Mary Lowe

Mary Lowe

Mary Lowe has over 30 years experience in media and music both as a performer and presenter.   Mary sang backing vocals for Linda Martin’s winning song ‘Why Me?’ in the 1992 Eurovision in Sweden and has sung extensively with Rebecca Storm for many years.  Her career  also included a long standing involvement with RTE and Mary’s  first album, titled  ‘Mary Lowe – Jazz Diva’, was released in 2006 to great acclaim.

Mary’s work with CÓRus is a culmination of her unique talents both as a musical director and teacher. Whether planning the new repertoire, arranging harmonies or teaching a class, Mary’s passion for her subject shines through. Having taught more than 300 men and women harmony skills, breathing techniques, range development, pitch correction, articulation and performance in CÓRus and other choirs over the last nine years, she loves every minute of her time working with such enthusiastic and committed singers!

CÓRus Director Yvonne McDonald

Yvonne McDonald

Yvonne McDonald has over 35 years experience working in the Media Production and Education industries.  Her long career  has involved co-ordinating Irish and international feature films, directing RTE television series, researching and producing live TV & Radio as well as producing and directing documentaries for RTE and TG4.  Yvonne has been involved in Education and Training for  over 20 years working with the Government funded agency – Screen Training Ireland – designing and coordinating up-skilling courses for the Media industry. She designed Transition Year media training programmes for schools and colleges and founded the Media Magic summer camps for children. For the past sixteen years Yvonne has lectured on the BA & MA in Media and Digital Media at the National University of Ireland in Maynooth.

With her latest partnership venture CÓRus, Yvonne has combined her love of teaching and entertainment and returned to her musical theatre roots to bring the joy of mass singing to the Irish market. Having completed a thesis many years ago on the ‘Mythology of the Musical in times of Depression’, Yvonne firmly believes in the power of music to lift spirits when things are tough!

Fiona Sweeney – Ballyroan, Tallaght, Sandymount & Greystones Classes

fionaFiona loves to get people singing, especially as part of a group singing in beautiful harmony.  She believes singing is for everyone of all ages and musical abilities; it’s a fun and uplifting experience, and it is also good for you, mentally and physically!

Fiona has been involved in choirs from childhood, as a singer, and more recently as a conductor.  Fiona has been leading CÓRus classes since 2011. She has successfully led our Lucan, Tallaght and Ballyroan CÓRus classes since their foundation and is looking forward to bringing her musical experience to the Sandymount and Monkstown CÓRus classes. As well as teaching CÓRus classes she leads quartets, small singing groups and ‘Come & Sing’ events and teaches singing in a primary school. She has studied piano, singing and music theory and has just been awarded a Professional Diploma in Education (specialising in Choral Conducting) from St. Patrick’s DCU.

Karen Horan – Clontarf Class

Karen has a BA (Hons) degree in Commercial Modern Music from BIMM Dublin. Here she studied vast aspects of the music industry, including vocal technique, vocal styles, music theory, music business, composition, production, recording and performance.

She was a member of Billie Barry stage school from the age of 4 until her early twenties. Here she performed in notable venues such as the Gaiety Theatre, the Concert Hall, the RDS and the Clasac Theatre. She studied both tap and jazz dancing styles and was a member of the choir.

She has been in choirs since she was a child in school and throughout college. This is where she found her passion for harmony. She utilised this skill whilst in the pop band Badger Hill along with 3 other vocalists. Whilst with the band she performed in venues such as the Button Factory, Whelan’s and the Grand Social.

Karen is excited to get to know the regular faces of the Clontarf class and welcomes any newcomers for a fun filled evening of singing for all abilities.

Margaret Hayes Mahon – Castleknock & Lucan Classes

Margaret’s innate passion for choral singing and conducting have brought her to work with CÓRus. Her great love of Musical Theatre has meant lengthy and varied involvement with musical life in the Naas area. She is a past rehearsal pianist, chorus mistress and award winning Musical Director of local Musical Societies. She has studied Choral Conducting with Dr.Geoffrey Spratt (Director, CIT Cork School of Music) and Dr.David Brophy (RTE Concert Orchestra). She has been awarded a Post Graduate Diploma in Choral Conducting from St. Patrick’s College, Drumcondra (DCU), having studied with Dr. Marion Doherty-Hayden and Kevin O’Carroll.

Margaret also has vast experience working with church choirs and was the Conductor and Musical Director of Baldonnel Singers. She led them to success in choral competition and in many public performances and concerts.

Margaret looks forward to meeting people of all ages and musical abilities in the Lucan area, for an enjoyable enriching singing class.

Ciarán Kelly – Monkstown, Malahide & Swords Classes

Ciarán began singing aged five in his native Derry and hasn’t stopped since! Since graduating from the Royal Irish Academy of Music in 2010 Ciarán has specialised in choral and ensemble singing, working with nationally and internationally renowned vocal groups such as Anúna, Celtic Woman, Voices of Ireland and UK based professional a cappella quintet Apollo5. Having spent two years in the UK and follows that up with a sold out tour of America with The Five Irish Tenors, Ciarán has returned to Ireland, where he directs Ardú Vocal Ensemble. Ciarán is also Artistic Director of the Irish A Cappella Festival, which launched in the summer of 2017, sings regularly at St Patrick’s and Christ Church Cathedral, and works with school choirs such as St Kevin’s College, Crumlin and Rathdown Girls School. Ciarán is also in demand as a freelance instrumental teacher and accompanist. Ciaran is looking forward to bring some of his fabulous musical knowledge and experience to the Swords and Malahide Corus classes.

Louise Foxe – Glasnevin Class

Louise loves bringing the joy of music to people – especially people who never thought they could sing! She began her career as musical director of the D.C.U. Folk Group during her second year there in 1999 – during which they won their first award – and hasn’t stopped since!  While gaining a Diploma (piano performance) and a Masters (Community Music) Louise acted as musical director for many musicals and gospel choirs. She was the founding director of Sandymount Gospel Choir, which is still going strong. She has taught and played piano for twenty years and  has founded several singing groups “as Gaeilge” in Dingle (which even catered for people with not a word of Irish!)

Louise has also taught music on a voluntary basis in places as far afield as Rwanda and Tanzania – and Dublin! – and is much in demand as an accompanist with the Portmarnock Singers and the Forget-Me-Nots (a choir catering especially, but not exclusively, for people affected by dementia) in Baldoyle. After a hiatus, Louise has returned to two roles in Dublin that she relishes – singing class leader with the hugely successful “Córus” and musical director of the award-winning Gardiner Street Gospel Choir. She is looking forward to both and is delighted that people of all voices, backgrounds and abilities are given the opportunity to sing and enjoy themselves.

Karen Armitage – Cabinteely Class

Karen believes passionately in the holistic benefits of music, particularly singing, and firmly believes in the philosophy that everyone should be provided opportunities to enjoy the immeasurable benefits of group singing.  She has been teaching music for over 20 years and is currently employed as the Director of Music in St. Andrew’s College Junior School where she has worked full-time for 10 years.  During that time she has launched a hugely successful string programme giving all children in the school the opportunity to learn either the violin, cello or double bass.  She also set up and manages an instrument programme with 9 professional teachers which provides voice, piano, cello, violin, guitar and double bass lessons to over 160 children every week.  She teaches piano, violin, singing, musical theatre, music classes, orchestra, conducts 2 children’s choirs and conducts a Parent Choir which she set up 5 years ago.

Karen’s passion is Musical Theatre and she has performed and played the lead in many musicals both locally and in The Pavillion Theatre, The Mill Theatre, the Point and the National Concert Hall.  She originally studied voice, piano, violin and theory with the London Board ABRSM, she has studied dance for 17 years and she is a qualified Montessori teacher.  Karen is currently studying for the London College of Music DipLCM in Musical Theatre with Chris Holland, former West End star for 20 years.

Karen is delighted to be part of the Corus Team working with the Cabinteely class, where she will be encouraging all ages and abilities to come together to sing, de-stress and most importantly have fun!

Orla Colleton – Maynooth Class

Orla is a graduate of the BA (Hons) Applied Music programme and she was part of the very first cohort of students to graduate from Ceol Oirghialla in 2007. Since graduation from DKIT, Orla has gone on to complete a Postgraduate Higher Diploma in Music Education from Trinity College, a Masters in Music (Performance) in DIT, where she studied with Mary Brennan and Trudi Carburry, and subsequently at the Advanced Performers Studio in London. In 2012 she was one of the first groups of participants to complete the Royal Irish Academy of Music’s new Diploma in Community Music and Group Teaching. During her studies at DKIT and the RIAM, she spent a significant time taking part in various conducting modules from various teachers. She has also taken part in the renowned Kodaly Society of Irelands “Active Music Making” Summer Course where she studied choral conducting with Lynsey Callaghan.

 A classically trained lyric soprano, Orla has achieved great success performing both at home and abroad, working with groups such as Lyric Opera Productions, Festival Productions (Ire. & UK), Glad Productions, Zezere Arts Festival (Portugal), Associated Studio Productions (UK), Kilkenny Arts Festival and numerous musical theatre performing groups. She has had the pleasure in performing leading roles in world premieres such as Wallace, Balfe & Mr. Bunn (Theatre Royal), Shelter Me from the Rain (Aired on Lyric FM Radio) and The Cloak. She was also a member of Scottish Opera’s freelance chorus until the end of the 2016 season.

As a facilitator of music lessons and choral groups, Orla has worked with many music schools teaching voice, pre-instrumental music, piano, choral groups and workshops. She has also coordinated and delivered classes to special needs adult groups in the Dublin area. She teaches to all levels and abilities and has a wide range of teaching experiences, not only in preparing students for classical and musical theatre grade examinations, but also with many other genres and interests, to foster lifelong enjoyment and participation in music. Orla has worked in the area of arts management and administration with Classical Arts Ireland and as Artistic Director for performances with The Monica Loughman Ballet Company. Most recently, she has worked with Music Generation teaching Early Years music and choral conducting in primary schools and after school community groups. Orla is delighted to be working with Corus and looking forward to establishing a brand new class in the Maynooth area.

Ben Barnes

benbarnesBen Barnes graduated from Trinity with a BA in music and is now a full time musician, based in St Patrick’s Cathedral where he has sung for 25 years. He has sung countertenor solos all over Europe and America, and has sung with most choirs in Dublin, and many others. He directs the chamber choir Cantoirí, accompanies on a free-lance basis and teaches several instruments. He was raised in Ranelagh/Rathmines.

Dara Molloy – Administration Manager

daraM

Dara  runs her own successful administration services company.  Her work with CÓRus  combines her love of music with her expert organizational abilities.  She has previously held positions in HR and administration in London and Dublin and is now delighted to be part of the growing phenomenon that is CÓRus.

Dara’s talent for recalling names and faces is legendary and  her ability to keep the ‘show on the road’ in a hetic CÓRus office is unsurpassed!

Eimear Landy – Administration Assistant

EimearEimear joined CÓRus singing classes some years ago which re-ignited her love of singing. She was looking to use her professional skills in a more personal capacity having worked in the corporate world of Microsoft and when the opportunity arose with CÓRus, it fitted the bill perfectly.

Eimear says “I am privileged with the opportunity to use my project management skills and to work as part of such an uplifting, inclusive group as CÓRus. I look forward to the many challenges and opportunities that lie ahead in the dynamic CÓRus environment”.

Justin O’Gorman – Social Media & Events

justinJustin has been involved with CÓRus from the very start and sings with the Rathfarnham and Dundrum classes.  He was heavily involved in musical theatre with Stillorgan Musical Company – SMCO for many years both as a performer and choreographer.  He went on to choreograph a production of West Side Story with Blackrock College and Mount Anville.

Justin’s role in CÓRus is many faceted – he assists with choreography, event staging and content manages our social media including our Facebook page and Twitter feed.