Elaine grew up on a farm in County Antrim and spent most of her childhood riding horses and playing the piano. When studying music at university she was encouraged to write her own music for all different instruments, giving each piece a title, then listening to someone else playing it followed by the audience applauding! That’s the best feeling in the world. Now she’s a real composer and gets paid to write music for all sorts of professional orchestras and young musicians including the RTÉ orchestras and choirs, the Irish Chamber Orchestra and many Music Generation ensembles. Check out her music at www.elaineagnew.com.
At the age of four Jayne recalls playing her violin to earn a Friday night chocolate treat. Today Jayne earns her rewards from directing and conducting the Music Generation Louth string orchestras who perform locally and nationally. Her love and passion for good music has contributed to her reputation for excellence in developing young musicians.
Sheena grew up in Carlow and started playing violin at the age of 4. All her brothers also played instruments so they would often play together and still do today. When Sheena finished school she went to study music in Cork where she got to got to try some really exciting things like composing, orchestration and conducting and to play music with all kinds of musicians. Sheena also plays the cello and recently started learning the double bass with her old-time string band.
Kathrine was born in Belfast and grew up in Hull, East Yorkshire, she began playing the violin aged 6. As a teenager she joined several bands and lead her local Youth orchestra. Later in life Kathrine was delighted to be able to fuse her love of all things musical together by joining the RTÉ Concert orchestra, playing with James Galway, the Coronas, the Chieftains and Opera Ireland. Kathrine has always enjoyed swapping ideas with musicians of all ages and genres and has a new job as community engagement manager with the Irish Chamber Orchestra, where she can do this all day!
Mary-Jane plays and teaches the cello, but before becoming a teacher Mary-Jane had to learn how to do this. She began by learning the violin and after a while decided this was not the instrument for her, so Mary-Jane moved to the cello instead. Her family used to laugh at her and said she was too lazy to stand all the time to practice and only wanted to learn the cello because she could sit down. Secretly Mary-Jane didn’t always like the squeaky ‘E’ string. Mary-Jane had been very lucky to travel all around the world playing her cello with different orchestras and ensembles. She has been places such as America, Germany, Spain and England. Mary-Jane’s cello is French and very very old, she calls him Maurice. Mary-Jane is currently studying to become a secondary school music teacher so that she can bring the joy of music to many children every day.