Donegal Summer School of Music July
Hannah Gallagher (Piano & Piano Masterclass) is an accomplished musician and piano instructor. Originally from Ramelton, she gained a scholarship to study piano and flute at the Royal Irish Academy of Music. Most recently, she spent three years in Palestine teaching at the Edward Said National Conservatory of Music. She is a member of a piano duo with Palestinian pianist and composer Dina Shilleh and features on Shilleh's album Sudfa. Recent performing highlights include a tour of Palestine to launch the release of Shilleh's album, and a guest performance in Dublin City Hall. Hannah is now based in Dublin where she is a member of the faculty in the Piano Academy of Ireland
Evan McGarrigle (Piano & Voice) is a highly sought after instrumental and choral pedagogue from south-west Donegal. Being an award winning piano soloist, he enjoys a busy performing schedule in collaborative and accompanying projects.
Sarah Ponsonby (Strings) Music and performing has always been at the epicenter of Sarah's life. Starting from a young age of 5 learning piano and violin, Sarah has always had a clear vision of a career in music performance, composition and teaching. She has performed in many different ensembles throughout her time at university studying Music at Queen's University Belfast and she taught at various music academia and summer schools, in both the western classical style and Irish traditional style. She has also recorded an album and EP of predominantly original music in 2020 and 2021. Sarah is an enthusiastic friendly teacher who strives to nurture each student for their uniqueness and individuality in every lesson. She aims to put the child's musical education and enjoyment of the instrument and subject at the forefront of her teaching.
Declan McClafferty (Teenage Kicks/Guitar) Declan is a multi-instrumentalist session musician and songwriter based in Ramelton. Declan works with a variety of artist and studios as a session guitarist and pedal steel guitarist - most recently seen touring with Ryan Mc Mullan and supporting the likes of Dermot Kennedy and Tom Jones. He’s just finished producing a solo record and is excited to begin that journey releasing new music later this year!
Jim Mc Dermott (Wind) Has worked extensively in America, Canada, Europe, the UK and Ireland, teaching, performing, TV and recording. Graduated from NUU Trinity L.T.C.L. ABRSM Dip in Teaching.
Victoria McHugh (Semibreves) With a background in childcare spanning over two decades, training in Montessori and experiences in musicals and circus, Victoria brings musical appreciation, movement, art and sensory exploration to her classes. With qualifications incorporating additional needs and early years education, she aims to access the talents of mini music-makers.
Mark Ponsonby (Guitar) is a well known singer and songwriter who has worked with many of the country's top musicians. More info about Mark can be seen at marksblack.com
Finbarr Doherty (Song writing) is a singer songwriter and has released CDs of his own work. Finbarr’s latest CD has been nominated for a Hotpress award.
Seamus Devenny (Drums & Song writing) teaches drums, violin and plays in several bands, performing at festivals, on radio and TV.
Sara Laughlin (Voice & Musical Theatre) completed a masters degree in music, specialising in vocal performance, and is a secondary school music teacher. She is also a voice tutor with Donegal Music Education Partnership and conducts the Donegal Youth Choir.
Thomas Duffy (Music from the Amazon/Samba) is a percussionist and educator specialising in Brazilian popular folkloric music, onstage and on street for almost 30 years. He holds the musical directorship of Maracatu ilha Brilhante National Afro-Brazian Percussion ensemble, RhythmRiotMusic Samba Group and performs with The Absurdist Pipe Band. Usually he can be found at festivals and carnival celebrations throughout Ireland, Europe and Brazil. Over his career Thomas has worked with numerous amazing musicians including: Jeremy Hickey (R.S.A.G); Kila & Emily Conway in Ireland; Jon Hardiman - (Uk); Nana Vasconcelos and Luis Claudio Farias (Br.) as well as Brazilian Music Groups including: Afoxe Loni, (Berlin) Nação do Maracatu Leão da Campina (Brazil), Afon Sistema (Uk) & Maracatu Europa (Paris). In 2021 he was awarded the title: 'Guerreiro de Fé' for his contributions to Brazilian culture and music in Europe.
Gerry Strawbridge (Orchestral Percussion & Handbells)