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Meet a selection of our Academy team

Dedicated and talented music educators

The teaching staff of FAM offer a diverse background of experience and share a commitment to delivering excellent musical training to the people of Fingal. Meet some of our team below.

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Academy Co-Director 

Dónal Kearney

Dónal has worked as Director of Fingal Academy of Music since 2016. As a soloist, he has performed in sixteen countries across three continents, and has recorded internationally.

Dónal is a vocal coach with Ulster Youth Choirs, National Youth Choirs of Great Britain, and became a certified Community Music Leader with Musicians Without Borders in 2015. He delivers workshops in voice production, storytelling and advocacy. He is also passionate about Irish folksong. For his full portfolio of creative projects, visit www.donalkearney.com.

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Academy Manager

Lea Försterling

Lea has been a member of the FAM team since 2018 and holds a MA in Arts Policy & Practice from NUIG. She studied singing under Virginia Kerr and Regina Nathan at RIAM, toured the world with the Maynooth University Chamber Choir and has been a member of other acclaimed ensembles, including ANÚNA. She loves Early and Baroque music, especially G.F. Handel.  

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Head of  Vocal Studies

Michelle O'Rourke

Michelle studied in Berlin and works as a professional singer and vocal coach all over Europe. Michelle combines her classical training and background in Baroque music with an adventurous eclecticism and a passion for collaboration. Michelle's fun approach to technique make for a world-class teacher.

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Graham Dunne

Guitar Tutor

Graham is a versatile multi-instrumentalist and music producer with professional performing experience in various genres, including traditional Irish music, Flamenco, and Indian music. He has been working with acclaimed Irish traditional/folk singer Niamh Parsons for the past twenty years, with whom he has toured the world. 

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Sarah May Rogers

Cadence Director

Sarah is founder of Cadence Music Academy, Balbriggan. She teaches violin, musicianship, tin whistle and traditional fiddle. For Sarah's full portfolio, click here.

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Chris Sheridan

Drum Tutor

Christopher studied singing and guitar at Fingal Academy of Music before joining the team as a Drums Tutor. He also sang in Fingal Youth Choir, and now gigs with various projects.

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Andrew Dempsey

Guitar, Piano & Drums Tutor

Andrew is an award-winning songwriter and is recognised as a multi-instrumentalist and vocalist. Andrew's teaching puts the emphasis on hard work and fun.

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Victoria Warwick

Violin & Vocal Tutor

Victoria is a violinist and singer with a wealth of experience. Having graduated from a Music degree at Queen's University Belfast, she has performed all over Ireland and internationally as a professional musician. She is a founder member of Ardú, Ireland's premier a cappella ensemble.

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Hugh Clarke

Violin & Piano Tutor

Hugh took a year off from teaching at FAM to further his own professional career as a performing musician. He returns as a Piano and Violin tutor with a special talent for making music fun!

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Rob Campbell

Cello and Double Bass

Rob's first love was alternative rock and his journey in music began on the guitar. He completed grade 7 on double bass under Waldemar Kozak and Maeve Shiel, grade 8 on cello with Arun Rao, and has performed with the DIT Symphony Orchestra, Dublin Orchestral Players, the Humanitarian Symphony Orchestra and Sinfonua.  

Rob teaches cello, guitar, and double bass at Mezzo Music Academy, Fingal Academy of Music and St Ultan's Primary School. Currently, he is immersed in preparations for an advanced diploma in music performance while continuing to perform, compose and record.

 

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PAUL BUTLER 

Piano, Guitar and Vocals Tutor

Paul Butler is a classically trained pianist, vocalist and guitar teacher. He began his training with the Royal Irish Academy of Music at the age of nine. After his classical training, he studied in Ballyfermot College of Further Education, studying performance production, instrument techniques, music technology applications, vocal development, music business, improvisation, arrangement and style analysis.

Paul plays with Irish band The Young Folk, their music is a mix of Irish, Indie and Folk. They have been performing and travelling for a decade and have successfully toured America, Canada, Australia, New Zealand and Europe. They have recorded chart topping studio albums, and working on new material in 2020. 

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Academy Co-Director

Michael T. Dawson

Michael has recently returned from Los Angeles where he was studying a Doctoral degree in Choral Music at the University of Southern California. Prior to moving to the U.S., he worked at the National University of Ireland Maynooth where he led the choir to win several International competitions including the "Choir of the World" title at the Llangollen Eisteddfod. He has adjudicated choral competitions nationally and internationally and is regularly invited to provide clinics to groups visiting Ireland. For a full biography, visit www.michaeltdawson.com

Jenny Stanley

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Jenny is an accomplished musician and educator. Jenny teaches in Donabate Portrane Educate Together National School and recently became Ethical Education Teacher of the Year.

Ukulele & Violin Tutor

Fergus Cahillane

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Fergus is a guitarist and singer working as Fingal Arts Musician-in-Residence here at Fingal Academy of Music. Fergus tours and records internationally as a member of the vocal ensembles ANÚNA and M'ANAM.

Schools Outreach

Claire Sheedy

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Claire studied choral conducting in Hungary and has led Fingal Children's Choir since the very first rehearsal in 2013.

FCC Conductor

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Andrea Delaney

Voice Tutor

Andrea has been teaching young voices for ten years, and has spent the past few years touring internationally as an educator and performer. She is in demand at professional events across Ireland, and sings and records as a soloist with various ensembles.

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Eoin Conway

FYC/CF Conductor

Eoin Conway completed his MMus in Vocal Performance at the RIAM in 2016, studying with Lynda Lee. He is in regular demand as a countertenor for solo and ensemble work, and recently made his opera debut with Opera Collective Ireland.

He has sung in choirs all his life, and is currently a lay-vicar at Christ Church Cathedral Dublin, the musical director of Ireland's leading barbershop quartet 4 in a Bar, co-director of the early music specialists Peregryne, and a deputy member of top European choirs Collegium Vocale and Det Norske Solistkor. He also works as an accompanist and arranger, with pieces published by Seolta Music and Cailíno Music Publishers.

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Aoibhinn Bannigan

Piano Tutor

Aoibhinn studied piano under Michael T. Dawson at Fingal Academy of Music before joining the faculty as a piano tutor in 2017. She is currently studying clinical speech and language therapy.

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Becky Gilbert

Pre-Instrumental

Becky is a talented multi-instrumentalist, conductor, arranger and coach. She studied voice, flute, and piano, achieving ABRSM Grade VIII distinction in all three, and holds a performance diploma from the ABRSM in recorder playing. She is a founder member of both Lady Barbalade and Honey Tones, Ireland's top Barbershop Quartets, and is the founding director of Blingmasters, Ireland's highest ever scoring Barbershop Chorus. 

Becky studied medicine in college and worked for 6 years in hospital medicine after graduation. She never lost her love of music and has gradually found her way back to it. She puts her knowledge of child development together with her passion for music education to teach our youngest students in Pre-Instrumental and Sing to Your Baby classes. 

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Eoin Kearns

Flute & Uileann Pipes Tutor

Eoin Kearns hails from Balrothery has been playing flute for over 12 years, and Uilleann Pipes for the past 7 years. He is currently a student in Music Education in Trinity College Dublin and in the DIT Conservatory of Music & Drama. He has played with the Cross Border Orchestra in first flutes, and in St. Patrick's Brass and Reed Band on Piccolo. 

He has extensive performance experience playing concerts and has toured many venues around Ireland and abroad, from the National Concert Hall, Dublin to Carnegie Hall, New York.  In 2018 he performed Shaun Davey's infamous piece, The Brendan Voyage, on Uileann Pipes with the Trinity Orchestra in Dublin. 

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Liz Stears

Piano & Vocal Tutor

Liz completed a joint major Bachelor of Arts degree in music and drama from University College Dublin, then graduated from Trinity College Dublin with a Masters in Music Education. She completed voice and piano training in the Royal Irish Academy of Music and Parnell School of Music. 

FAM

Feel free to get in contact to find out more about booking lessons, masterclasses, choirs and events.

Email: info@fingalacademyofmusic.com

Phone: 089 614 7211

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