CÓRus Musical Director 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 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 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 Castleknock and Lucan areas, for enjoyable enriching singing classes.
Ciarán Kelly – Monkstown & Malahide 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 Monkstown 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 – Blackrock, Cabinteely & Swords 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 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 new Blackrock, Swords & 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
Jordan Roche – Clondalkin Class
Raphaela Mangan – Balbriggan Class
Raphaela has trained as a mezzo soprano, obtaining a record breaking First Class Honours Degree from the Conservatory of Music and Drama, Dublin and a Post graduate Distinction from the Flanders Opera Studio, Belgium.
Her singing career has taken her internationally where to date she has performed roles such as:’Bradamante’ in Alcina, ‘Ottavia’ in L’incoronazione di Poppea, ‘Marcelina’ in The Marriage of Figaro, ‘Genevieve’ in Pelleas et Melisande, ‘Idamante’ in Idomeneo, ‘Glasha’ & ‘Varvara’ in Katya Kabanova, ‘Buttercup’ in HMS Pinafore, ‘Euridice’ in L’anima del filosofo and Mrs Lovett in Sweeney Todd. Here at home she has performed: ‘Carmen’ in Carmen, ‘Cherubino’ in The Marriage of Figaro, ‘Orfeo’ in Orfeo ed Euridice, ‘Tessa’ in The Gondoliers, ’3rd Sprite’ in Rusalka, ‘Bianca’ in The Rape of Lucretia and ‘Penelope’ in Monteverdi’s The Return of Ulysses.
A regular in the field of concert and oratorio both at home and abroad, Raphaela’s most noted performances are with the RTE National Symphony & Concert Orchestra, the Irish Baroque Orchestra and the leading Choral Societies of Ireland and the UK.
Raphaela is looking forward to bringing her wealth of musical experience to the newly established Balbriggan class.
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.
Yelida Power – Greystones Class
Yelida, an enthusiastic and dedicated music, piano and choir teacher, has over 14 years musical experience. She completed Musical Pedagogy as part of her music studies in the Dominican Republic and was also part of the National Conservatory choir for over 5 years, singing both soprano and alto parts. As a young student she participated in many Latin American piano contests and Master Classes given by renowned international concert Piano players. Yelida has performed in the Dominican National Theatre, the Dominican National Library and the Liceu Conservatory in Barcelona.
Yelida is a former student of the Dominican National Conservatory and the Liceu Conservatory in Barcelona. She started her studies at 6 years of age in the Dominican National Elementary School of Music.
At the same time she studied ballet and Jazz in the most prestigious dance academy in the country which was founded by a Cuban dancer who worked with Alicia Alonso. Due to her natural talent at the age of 8 she was chosen to dance and perform by the most renowned children’s producer in the country performing on national TV stations, theathers and national events with important musicians and artists.
Her musical experience includes various methodologies, which were thought to her by teachers from Japan, Spain and the Dominican Republic.
She also been involved in the production of popular and classical music events in the Dominican Republic due to her close connection to the national symphonic orchestra and musicians.
Since she has lived in Dublin Yelida has worked with primary schools in Dublin and Kildare teaching music to groups of children and also one to one tuition of piano and music sight reading to both children and adults in various musical institutions.
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.