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St Brigid’s National School Choir

Saint Brigid’s National School Choir comprises children from fifth and sixth classes. Over the past 22 years it has competed successfully in many festivals and fesieanna, frequently achieving first prize at Cork International Choral Festival, Bangor Choral Festival, Wesley Interschools’ Music Festival and Feis Ceoil. At Feis Ceoil, the choir has won the Dr O’ Reilly trophy for 2-part choir on 17 occasions. Moreover, since the ESB sponsorship initiative in 2009, the choir has been awarded ESB School Choir of the Year five times – 2010, 2014, 2016, 2017 and again this year - 2018; the choir has also achieved the Ite O’ Donovan award for the best primary school choir on eight occasions during this period. 

In April of this year, the choir travelled to the Cork International Choral Festival and  achieved first place in the Primary Schools’ competition. It also received a special  award from the Association of Irish Choirs for its performance of ‘Can You Hear Me?’ by Bob Chilcott.

In recent years, the choir has performed as guests of Culwick Choral Society and Dublin County Choir at their annual Christmas concerts at the National Concert Hall. It has also performed the part of Ragazzi in Orff’s ‘Carmina Burana’ on two separate occasions with Dublin University Choir and Culwick Choral Society. Last Christmas the choir was invited by New Dublin Voices, conducted by Bernie Sherlock, to sing at their Christmas Concert in the Draíocht Theatre, Blanchardstown. This was a wonderful opportunity to perform to their local Dublin 15 community. The choir is delighted to share its beautiful singing yet again with the local community at Castleknock Music Festival.

The choir is very busy throughout the school year, providing music for all the key events that occur, including Confirmation, carol service and school masses. 

Castleknock Community College Music Department

Since Castleknock Community College was established in 1995, the school community strives to make music an integral part of the formal and informal curriculum.  Students work hard each year to develop the characteristic musical life of the College.  There are many varied opportunities for students to develop and showcase their talents.  There is a College Choir and a Chamber Choir who perform at all College events as well as the annual DDLETB Festival of Music in the National Concert Hall.  The College was very privileged to be invited to perform for our President and Mrs. Higgins at Aras an Uachtarain.  In addition to choral opportunities, students are encouraged to perform as soloists or as part of groups in a variety of different events including our College talent competition, Starsearch.  Currently, the staff and students are working with The Celtic Tenors which will culminate in a concert in Laurel Lodge on the 19th October.  Tonight, we are delighted to be part of this Festival of Music in our local community

Alana McManus


Alana McManus commenced classical guitar studies with Professor John Feeley and piano with Padraic O' Cuinneagan at the age of 8. On both instruments she has consistently achieved ‘distinction’ status at DIT in all her grade examinations, has been awarded scholarships at DIT and been a first-prize winner at Dublin’s Feis Ceoil and most other major national competitions. She has forged a successful guitar (and piano) duet partnership with her older brother Liam, winning the Piano Duets (u13) competition in Feis Ceoil 2011.  In 2012, she was judged the ‘Best Young Musician’ at Newpark, Malahide (2012 and 2015) and Sutton Park Music Festivals, while still only 10 years old. In 2013, at the age of 11, Alana won the coveted Rhona Marshall Cup (u14) for piano repertoire at Feis Ceoil. In 2013, she won the ‘under 15’ guitar competition at Feis Ceoil.  She has been awarded a music scholarship for her secondary school education at Sutton Park School, where she is in her fifth year of education. Alana has also performed on both guitar and piano in many national venues, including the National Concert Hall, Dublin. In 2017, she was specially awarded the Senior Irish Contemporary Music prize in CMC, and the Irish Contemporary Medal at DIT. Alana was also awarded first place in the most prestigious Junior Strings competition in Dublin’s National Feis Ceoil, the St. Cecilia Cup, and the u18’s guitar competition. This enabled her to win the Junior Strings Rosebowl, receiving the highest marks overall in Strings.

Aidi Bao


Aidi Bao (age 8) has been playing the piano and violin since the age of 5 under
Shirin Tobin, Mary Breslin and David O’ Doherty at the DIT Conservatory of Music and
Drama, Dublin. In 2017, she won 1st prize in DIT Junior Piano Solo Under 8, 1st prize in
Newpark Music Festival Violin Under 8, and in 2018, she was awarded 2nd prize in Newpark
Music Festival Piano Under 10 and 2nd prize in DIT Junior Violin Solo Under 10.
Aidi has performed in many concerts and events including the DIT and Newpark
Winners’ Concert and Prosperous Music Festival. She has also sung for the DIT Junior
Choir at DIT’s annual All-together Concert in the National Concert Hall and plays in the
DIT Sinfonietta Orchestra. Aidi loves sharing her music with her audiences.

Denny Stupakov

Alto Saxophone

Denny Stupakov is a young talent, who has been playing alto saxophone since the age of 9. His first teacher of saxophone was Anton Peteltchits, who has inspired Denny to play jazz.  Denny had the ability to memorize whole pieces of music from his first lesson.                                                                                                
“Denny is an exceptionally capable musician and has excelled in all aspects of his studies in music continually achieving high results in examinations and competitions”- said Ms Balfe, his music teacher. "Denny is very conscientious, professional in his approach....I can honestly say that Denny is, without a doubt one of most impressive capable students I have had the pleasure of teaching " said D.Mooney, a musician and a teacher of Walton's New School of Music. Over the years, Denny studied saxophone with Michael Buckley, Serge Stavila and Ciaran Wilde. Denny has been awarded Diocesan Prize 2016, 1st Class Honors at Interschools Music Festival 2017 and RIAM High Achiever Award 2017. Denny has been trying to collaborate with many musicians who play different styles from jazz, pop, funk to rap. He has played at Harold's Cross, Rathmines and Dublin Soul Festivals. He has had the chance to play at "Sugar Club" and "Workman's Club".  

Alexander Krylov


Alexander was born in Ireland in 2005. He started playing  at the age of 7 and studies the classical guitar with Andrii Kryzhanivskyi. He attends the music theory in Castleknock School of Music. He participated in several competitions in Ireland and abroad. He won the first place in his age category in Feis Ceoil 2017. Also he was the third in the strings competition in New Park Music Festival 2017. Last year Alexander won the third prize in his age category in the 3rd Festival/Concurso International de Guitarra de Amarante,  Portugal. Last November Alexander received the High Achiever Award 2017 from RIAM. Alexander has been constantly developing his musicianship and skills – recently he took a master class from Craig Ogden. Alexander is in the 1st class in LCC and also plays soccer for Castleknock Celtic FC. 

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Liam McManus


Born in Ireland in 2000, Liam McManus first started playing the guitar at the age of 7. He has won numerous awards and has performed in many national venues in Ireland, including the National Concert Hall, and in his Carnegie Hall debut with the New York Concerti Sinfonietta, presented by Artistic Director/Founder, Julie Jordan.   Liam has studied the guitar for eight years under the tuition of world renowned guitarist Dr. John Feeley, and has achieved success in numerous competitions. 

In 2015 he won the classical guitar section of Sky Arts 'Guitar Star'. The competition, which had over a thousand entrants, was open to guitarists from England, Scotland, Wales and Ireland and was broadcast on television worldwide. As part of this competition he recorded at Abbey Road studios and performed at the Barbican Centre in London, and also featured in the well-known music festival, Latitude.

At the age of eleven, Liam won the under eighteen category in the national Feis Ceoil guitar contest and at the age of twelve he won the senior Bach prize in the same competition. Grammy award winning guitarist, Milos Karadaglic, said "Liam has a unique way of expressing the phrase, and drawing us into his world. I think he can become something quite special".

Stan O'Beirne


Stan was born in 2003 and has been playing piano from age 5. He is studying with world-renowned pianist Dr. Archie Chen at the Piano Academy of Ireland. He has performed on television as well as in venues such as the Roman Baths, the Lighthouse Cinema, An Táin Arts Centre the Pavilion Theatre, the RDS Concert Hall, Christ Church Cathedral and the O'Reilly Theatre, performing in the RIAM High Achiever Awards Gala concert for four consecutive years, with distinction in Grades 3,5,6,7 and 8. 
He was Gran Prix winner of the John Field International Competition. He has also received numerous first prizes in festivals including the ESB Feis Ceoil, Piano Academy of Ireland Piano Festival, Feis Shligigh and Newpark Music Festival. He loves to partake in many masterclasses with pianists from around the world, including Evelyn Brancart, Frederic Chiu, Lance Coburn and Joanna McGregor. Stan attends Gonzaga College SJ and is currently in 2nd Year. He enjoys playing tennis, soccer, ultimate Frisbee and has an interest in all sports. He also enjoys gardening and walking in the park with his dogs or hiking in the mountains and playing chess.

Maria Nasypanaya


Maria Nasypanaya was born in Ireland on the 23rd of October 2006. She has been studying piano since the age of 5, with her mum, pianist Anna Kiselyova, and from September 2014 she is also a student of Royal Irish Academy of Music, Dublin, with teachers Reamonn Keary (2014 to 2016), and Lance Coburn (since September 2016).  Maria has been awarded 1st prizes at the International Piano Competitions “Piano Talents” (Milan, Italy) and “Lia Tortora” (Cita Della Pieva, Italy), 2nd prizes at the International Piano Competitions “Cezar Frank”(Brussels,  Belgium), “Clavicologne” (Aachen, Germany) and “John Filed” (Dublin, Ireland) and 3rd prize at Malta International Piano Competition . She attended masterclasses with acclaimed pianists John O’Connor, Emanuel Krasovsky, Yuri Didenko, Juliano Mazzocante, Andreas Frölich and Arkadi Zenziper.  Additionally, Maria has won prizes in numerous national competitions in Ireland, the most recent achievements were a Junior Piano Repertoire cup in category under 16 years old and the Stanley Cup for the best overall performer at Newpark Music Festival in February 2017. Maria has recently started taking vocal lessons with Máire-Íde Clíodhna.

Orna Collins


Twelve-year-old Orna Collins, from Ballina, Co. Tipperary, commenced her vocal studies with Máire Keary-Scanlon in Limerick in 2015 and currently studies with Dr Imelda Drumm. She has also had the privilege of receiving vocal coaching from Dr Veronica Dunne at the RIAM. Orna has won prizes at various feiseanna throughout Ireland, including the Patricia Black Cup (U12, 2016) and Jeannie Reddin Cup (U 14, 2018) at the ESB Feis Ceoil. She was a member of the children’s chorus in the 2016 Ellen Kent production of Puccini’s Tosca at ULCH and will make her operatic début as Aninku in the Irish première of Hans Krása’s opera for children, Brundibár, at this year’s Killaloe Chamber Music Festival. She also studies cello and piano.

Max O’Neill


Max O’Neill (17) studies clarinet with Dr Paul Roe at the DIT Conservatory of Music & Drama.  He plays 1st clarinet with both the DIT Concert Band and the Gonzaga College Orchestra.  Max  won the Paul Ryan cup and gold medal

for Clarinet at Feis Ceoil 2018 and was also awarded the Rose Bowl prize for

the best overall woodwind performance.

Max is also an accomplished singer, holding a Diploma with distinction from Trinity College London,  an Advanced Recital Gold Medal from the Royal Irish Academy of Music, and several Feis Ceoil  prizes.  Max has had many singing opportunities at home and abroad including the Yorke Trust Opera, Opera in the Open and the Snowman at the National Concert Hall and he is a member of Dubin Choral Foundation’s Lassus Scholars.

Max also studies recorder at DIT, piano at the Piano Academy of Ireland,  Organ with Dr Paul McKeever and Conducting with Robert Houlihan.

Catherine Cotter


Catherine Cotter is fifteen years old and studies cello with Aisling Drury Byrne at the Royal Irish Academy of Music. She has won a number of prizes at the ESB Feis Ceoil , including Violincello (A) (B) and (D) categories, and the Junior Strings Rosebowl. She is a member of the National Youth Orchestra of Ireland, and recently performed at the London Cello Festival in Greenwich. She has won a number of scholarships to the RIAM , and has been admitted to their Young Scholar Programme.

Ryan Keogh


Ryan Keogh only had his 7th birthday party last week. He started studying piano at very early age, his mother was his first teacher. After 5, he studies piano with pianist Anna Kiselyova. He has been awarded the 2nd prize in Piano Academy of Ireland National Piano Festival 2017 under 6. In  2018, he was awarded the 2nd prize in Piano Academy National Piano Festival and 3rd prize in Newpark Music Festival Piano Under 8. He has also performed in Russian Cultural Festival for two consecutive years.
Ryan is also a ballroom dancer.

Anita Han


Anita Han is 8 years old, she only formally started studying piano with pianist Anna Kiselyova in May 2017. She has been awarded 3rd prize in New Park music Festival 2018 piano under 10 and in Piano Academy of Ireland National Piano Festival 2018 under 10. Anita has a wide range of hobbies, she likes reading, painting, calligraphy, arithmetic and Taekwondo, nevertheless, piano is her favourite, she wants to be a pianist and teaching piano like her teacher in the future.

Jennifer O’Donovan


Jennifer O’Donovan is a final year Music and Irish student in Maynooth University, studying classical flute with Dr. Julie Maisel. Jennifer has extensive experience playing both ensembly and as a soloist. She has been a member of the ‘Clarion Winds’ flute ensemble under the direction of Dr. Julie Maisel for the past five years. The ensemble has competed in both the Feis Ceoil and the Newpark Music festival as well as performing at the Five Lamps Arts Festival in the Custom House. Jennifer has also played with the Irish Youth Wind Ensemble and toured with them to Austria in 2017. She recently performed the Mozart Flute Concerto in G major with the Maynooth University Orchestra who she has been playing with for the last three years. As a soloist, Jennifer has competed and placed at the Feis Ceoil in previous years as well as at the Newpark Music Festival. Jennifer will be performing her final recital for her undergraduate degree in May playing works from J.S Bach, Charles Marie Widor and Katherine Hoover.

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