Teachers's Bios

Noreen McManus

Noreen McManus has been actively involved in Traditional Music in the Northeast of Ireland for over twenty years. She started fiddle under the tutelage of the legendary Martin Mulvihill, New York, USA.

 

Noreen has travelled extensively, having performed at Festivals and Irish Embassies in Africa, Saudi Arabia, Europe, United States and Scandinavia and also gave Presidential and Royal performances. As well as being a musician with various Folk and Traditional bands throughout the years, Noreen has also been sought after to teach Fiddle, Grupai Cheoil and Ceili Bands. Many of her students have had tremendous success at County, Provincial and National Level including being the musical director of All-Ireland u12 Grupa Cheoil Champions, CCE Dundalk at Fleadh Cheoil na hEireann, Derry 2013. She also held the position of Fiddle Tutor for two years at Dundalk Institute of Technology, Co. Louth.

 

Her dedication to the promotion of Traditional music among children in the area has led her to form “Cuchulainn Celtic Strings,” a community-based music group that performs at various festivals, sessions, sporting, and charity events. The fact that she has played, taught and appreciated the cultural heritage within the Oriel region, has led to her co-founding the “Oriel Traditional Orchestra” of which she is co-Musical Director and strings Tutor. The Oriel Traditional Orchestra is a cross border, intergenerational ensemble based in the Northeast and concentrates on Irish Traditional Music repertoire from the Oriel Region.

 

Eimear McGeown

Eimear started Irish flute at a young age with the legendary Seamus Tansey and won two All-Ireland titles. She moved to London to study Classical flute at Trinity College of Music and was awarded a 1st Class Honours degree. She has appeared as soloist on BBC's Last Night of the Proms and in Carnegie Hall, New York performing on both Classical and Irish flutes. Eimear launched her debut album 'Inis', at the Irish Embassy in London hosted by Ambassador Adrian O'Neill and has performed compositions from it in the Kennedy Centre, Washington, and Forbidden City Concert Hall in Beijing. She has performed as soloist throughout USA, South America, South Korea, Japan, China, The Philippines, Russia, and Europe and played on BBC Radio, Classic FM and RTE Lyric FM.

 

Her diverse credits include recording at the Abbey Road Studios, for the World's largest video game, ‘Runescape’ with over 200 million players and in Lord of the Rings in the West End, London. Eimear is involved in the Pop music scene and has played support for Ed Sheeran, with Jennifer Hudson on TV show 'The Voice', with folk rock band 'Amsterdam' at the Glastonbury Festival and played support to The Pogues in the Echo Arena, Liverpool.

 

Declan Magee

Declan began playing traditional Irish music at the age of 6, attending tin whistle classes in his local primary school alongside his brother and sister. Shortly thereafter, he began learning the piano accordion and joined the Mayobridge marching band playing throughout Ireland in parades and competitions. He was a member of the band when they won three-in-a-row Senior All-Ireland Fleadh titles and later made his debut TV appearance featuring on the Late Late Millennium Toy Show with the band at the age of 9.

Declan started learning classical piano at the age of 8 and soon incorporated Irish music into his piano repertoire, going on to win his first solo All-Ireland Fleadh title at the age of 11, and winning numerous other Provincial & All-Ireland medals in the following years. Declan picked up the Button Accordion in his early teens, and went on to play at numerous Fleadhanna, concerts, international festivals, and various events over the coming years, including winning All-Ireland Scór titles and performing for former-President Mary McAleese at Aras an Uachtaráin.

Declan went on to perform music around the world with various bands and Irish Dance shows playing both accordion and piano on the international stage. Himself and five friends formed the group Ioscaid who went on to win the 2010 All-Ireland Siansa Gael Linn competition in the National Concert Hall, Dublin, and subsequently were awarded the BBC Young Folk Award in 2012. The band performed at festivals across Ireland, UK and Europe and on BBC, RTÉ and Sky TV on different occasions.

Lately, Declan has been teaching, recording, and performing music throughout Ireland – informally in sessions or with various groups and bands at concerts or céilithe. Most recently he recorded a CD in memory of his late-tutor Brendan Gaughran “Dílchuimhne”with all proceeds going to the Alzheimer Society of Ireland’s day care centre “The Birches” in Co. Louth. He can often be found on piano in the line-up of a Céilí Band or accompanying a group of musicians and has developed a unique and recognisable style throughout his years of playing.

 

J Eoin

JEoin comes from Limerick City – the historical cathedral city made famous in the film ‘Angela’s Ashes’. He has performed widely and travelled extensively – from Kazakhstan to Norway.

His commitment and dedication to live performance and his passion for the art of songwriting and song interpretation has sustained and nurtured a long-term music career that began at an open door in Ireland and has continued to break on the city shores and the far away oceans across the world today.

JEoin moved to London in the late ‘80’s to pursue a career as an independent musician. While living in Ireland he established himself as a solo performer and toured with some of the finest Irish folk revivalists of the time including the Traditional band Clannad and the contemporary Folk Rock band Scullion. It was the merging of these distinctive influences in the early days that has informed J Eoin’s individual sound throughout the years.

Following a number of independent record releases including Sean One Shoe’ (1994), Claws’ (1997) and ‘Eve Of Solution’ (1999), J Eoin began recording a full-length studio album in 2001. Released as ‘Exiles’ on the Natural5Four label, it was showcased at the 12 Bar Club in London’s West End in December 2005.

The second studio album ‘Acrobat’, produced and recorded by Gerry Diver, was released at the Irish Cultural Centre in London in January 2013.

In 2017 JEoin relocated back to Ireland close to his native city Limerick. He has released two new albums on the Natural5Four label. ‘Sunshowers’ (2018), a solo voice and acoustic guitar project, was recorded ‘live in the Rua Room’ in Belgium, ‘Toogenblik – JEoin In Concert’, recorded live at the Toogenblik Folk Club in Brussels, was released July 2019.

 

Åse Kristine Waglen

Åse Kristine Waglen teaches Irish dance at the dance school Sound-Irish dance Factory in Oslo and is a member of the Sound- Irish Dance Company.

 

She started Irish dancing at 16 and has since then been traveling to Ireland and Europe to compete and work with renowned Irish dance masters and teachers, such as Breandán de Gallaí and Ronan McCormack. Åse started teaching only a short time after taking up Irish dance. First her peers through various school activities and projects before starting as a teacher at the Sound Irish dance Factory in 2006. In addition to the dance school, she’s been teaching at numerous social events, and also organized dance events like Feiseanna.

 

Her main motivation is always to give people the opportunity to enjoy Irish music through dancing and community building.

 

Brendan T. Monaghan

Brendan is from Banbridge in Northern Ireland and has worked as a professional folk musician since 1991. He is a multi-instrumentalist specialised in uilleann pipes (Irish bagpipes) and tin whistles.

Back in Ireland, he was teaching in primary and secondary level schools as well as in several Comhaltas branches, primarily Warrenpoint and Annaclone Comhaltas, both individuals and groups. He has several years of experience teaching music to children and adults alike.

Brendan has toured extensively in the USA, Canada, and most of Europe, notably with the famous show Celtic Thunder. Since 1992, he has performed regularly with Phil Coulter in venues such as Carnegie Hall, Boston Symphony Hall, Radio City NY, the Lincoln Centre NY, and at the White house for President Clinton in 1998. He has also performed with artists like Justin Hayward, John Prine, Emmylou Harris, Elvis Costello, Steve Harley and Nanci Griffith.

Since 2020, Brendan has established himself in Oslo, where he is currently performing and teaching Irish music. He is a founding member on the band Muintir and the duo Dúchas.

 

Cecilie Stensrud

Cecilie started out with modern Irish dance in 2008 and has since then developed her passion for Irish music and more traditional dance styles. She is currently the only one in Norway to teach Irish ‘sean nós’ or ‘old style’ dance. She is a member of “Sound Irish Dance Company” as well as a teacher at the dance school “Sound Irish Dance Factory”.

 

Together with the dance company, she has had the possibility to work with world renowned dancers and choreographers like Ronan McCormack, Breandán de Gallaí, Zara Curtis and Dearbhle Lennon, as well as performing with several bands and artist, among which is a guest performance with The Chieftains at their Oslo concert in 2018.

Cecilie has a Ph.D. in Norwegian opera history from NTNU and has studied theatre and song at the Conservatory of Dijon in France. When not performing, she is working as a producer for the contemporary music ensembles Cikada and Oslo Sinfonietta.

 

Marie Nivel

Starting out on the violin at age seven, Marie Nivel took up Celtic harp in 2008 and has since deepened her passion and skills for Irish music. In 2021 she released her first album The Road Less Travelled a personal selection of traditional Celtic and Scandinavian tunes, as well as her own compositions. Marie Nivel is known for her sensitive playing and beautiful song writing. She has been performing solo and with a wide variety of musicians since 2012 at concerts, festivals and for private events.

Marie believes that everyone can learn the harp and is very passionate about finding the right approach for each of her students. Apart from teaching traditional Irish music, she loves to empower her students to create their own music by teaching them the same simple but practical skills that kickstarted her own journey of song writing.

 

Marie Nivel is a therapeutic harpist, wilderness awareness mentor and holds a Bachelor in dance and pedagogy from the University in Leiden, NL. When she is not performing with or teaching the harp, she works as a dance teacher and wilderness mentor at Arendal Steiner School. She also works at Oslo Fjordskole where she brings together music and nature awareness in a approach to develop a new marine pedagogy.