CÓRus Musical Director Mary Lowe
Mary Lowe has over 35 years experience in media and music both as a performer and presenter. Her debut album, titled ‘Mary Lowe – Jazz Diva’, was released in 2006 to great acclaim. Mary arranges and records all harmonies in the CÓRus term songs and along with Yvonne, has developed a unique teaching methodology, which is exclusive to CÓRus. Mary’s greatest passion is teaching and over the last 10 years she has taught hundreds of women and men harmony skills, breathing techniques, range development, pitch correction, articulation and performance of an eclectic range of songs and loves every minute of her time with such enthusiastic and committed singers!
CÓRus Director 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 Classes
Fiona 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. 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 holds a professional diploma 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 be teaching the Clontarf class again this year and can’t wait to see both new and familiar faces each week.
Margaret Hayes Mahon – Castleknock/Blanchardstown & 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 Blanchardstown/Castleknock and Lucan areas, for enjoyable enriching singing classes.
Karen Armitage – Blackrock, Cabinteely, Swords & Monkstown Classes
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 12 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 and the RIAM. She has studied dance for 17 years and she is a qualified Montessori teacher. Karen holds a London College of Music DipLCM in Musical Theatre with distinction and is currently studying for her ALCM with Chris Holland, former West End star for 20 years.
Karen is delighted to be part of the Corus Team working with the Blackrock, Swords, Monkstown & Cabinteely classes, where she will be encouraging all ages and abilities to come together to sing, de-stress and most importantly have fun!
Niamh Keane – Clondalkin Class
Niamh’s passion for music began at a young age. She was involved in a number of music schools where she trained as a classical violinist and pianist, undertaking grade exams with the Royal Irish Academy of Music. Her love for group singing comes from the years she spent in her local youth choir and school musicals. She has been lucky enough to perform in the National Concert Hall, the Helix, the Olympia Theatre as well as on international stages as a member of youth orchestras and choirs. Niamh firmly believes that the opportunities her training provided her with has shaped who she is today and in the many benefits music brings to anyone who partakes in it.
Throughout her college years at Maynooth University Niamh was involved with the university orchestra and musical society. Following her graduation with a Bachelor of Music degree, Niamh has been working as the music director of the CIE Male Voice Choir. She has founded her own string group who perform at corporate events and special occasions. Most recently, she has been noted for her achievements as a composer and songwriter, placing 2nd at the Pan Celtic Songwriting Competition and a finalist in the Christie Hennessy Songwriting Contest.
Niamh is delighted to be working with the Clondalkin Class as part of the CÓRus team and looks forward to welcoming a year of singing, movement and fun!
Méadhbh de Blacam – Balbriggan Class
Méadhbh holds a B.Sc in Psychology and more recently has studied towards a H.Dip in Music Education, specialising in singing, for which she was awarded a first class honours. She has achieved her vocal grades through the Royal Irish Academy of Music.
Méadhbh has been singing and performing from a young age in a number of performing arts schools. Throughout her college years, Méadhbh was an active participant in multiple choral and dramatic groups. It was here that she discovered her passion for teaching and vocal direction. She ultimately went on to become the musical director of the DCU Glee Club for four years. Under her guidance, she moulded the group which then went on to perform at a professional level annually in The Helix, as well as at various corporate events. She has also performed in various musicals throughout her academic career.
Méadhbh has most recently established her own performing arts school where she teaches singing and performance skills to children, teens and adults. She also conducts summer camps through Irish to promote the language through the use of music. Méadhbh is passionate about music teaching and is looking forward to working with the Balbriggan Córus class.
Aongus Mac Amhlaigh – Malahide Class
Aongus started singing at a young age before formally taking up the cello at the age of 13. He initially trained with Joan Hutchman before moving on to study with Gerda Marwood in Cork, William Butt in the Royal Irish Academy of Music and Sokol Koka formerly of La Scala, Milan.
While in the Academy he undertook vocal tuition under Kathleen Tynan for several years where he sang with the Palestrina choir, the Dublin Bach Singers, the New Dublin Voices and Resurgam. Since studying music he has taken a keen interest in music education, working as head of strings in St. Ultan’s national school before moving on to Sistema Scotland working alongside organisations such as the BBC Scottish symphony orchestra and the Royal Scottish National Orchestra. Aongus believes passionately in the personal and social healing power of music.
Niamh Parkes – Glasnevin class
Niamh started singing and performing from the young age of 6 in her local Stage School where she trained for 9 years in singing, drama and dance. In addition, she studied voice from age 10 with the Leinster School of Music under the guidance of Ann Fetherston and trained with both Derval O’Sullivan, and Colette McGahon, as part of her undergraduate degree in Music Education in Trinity College and the DIT Conservatory of Music, from which she graduated in 2017. She currently trains with Mairead Buicke and is working towards a teaching diploma in voice.
Niamh is a fully qualified music teacher at secondary school level with a speciality in voice and is teaching in Dublin. Niamh also works with Intrepidus Stage School teaching singing and drama. She has Musically Directed a number of shows including Hairspray and new musical Crush over the past couple of years. Niamh has won many singing competitions throughout the years including Kilcoole Music Festival, Arklow Music Festival, Feis Ceoil and DIT in-house competitions. She is a regular performer and soloist with several choirs and musical theatre groups, having played principal roles in several musicals.
Niamh sings regularly with the TUD Chamber Choir, recently winning Ireland’s Choir of the Year and placing 2nd in the International Fleischmann competition in Cork International Choral festival 2018.
Niamh is excited to be working with CÓRus, as singing and teaching are her passions in life.
Dara Molloy – Administration Manager
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
Eimear 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
Justin 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.