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Siobhan part of Clare Concerto world premier

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TWO Cork musicians - Niamh Varian-Barry and Rathcoole native Siobhan Buckley - joined forces with the Clare Memory Orchestra to perform the world premiere of the 'Clare Concerto' at a sell-out concert in Glór Tíre, Ennis.

Two Cork musicians - Niamh Varian-Barry and Rathcoole native Siobhan Buckley - joined forces with the Clare Memory Orchestra to perform the world premiere of the 'Clare Concerto' at a sell-out concert in Glór Tíre, Ennis.

The Clare Memory Orchestra is a uniquely Irish orchestra founded by composer Dave Flynn, who has combined some of Ireland's leading traditional and classical musicians to create a distinctive new sound. While the orchestra is based in Clare, it truly is an All-Ireland group with musicians coming from all corners of the country.

It gets its name from the fact that the musicians play from memory without the barrier of sheet music on stage.

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This orchestra has a core group of 20 musicians, one of which is Niamh Varian-Barry, born in Cork but living in Lispole, and she takes up the role of principal viola in the orchestra. Niamh holds a degree in performance from the Royal Irish Academy of Music in Dublin and has toured internationally to venues such as Soeul National Theatre and Carnegie Hall (New York).

Rathcoole's Siobhan Buckley spoke of a wonderful experience being part of the CMO

"The opportunity of getting to perform together with musicians such as Brid Harper, Mick O'Brien, Anne-Marie O'Farrell and Martin Hayes, to name a few, doesn't come around too often and when it does you have to grab it with both hands. To be part of an orchestra that performs a world premiere of a piece is amazing even if it did mean endless hours of rehearsals both in Ennis and in Dublin and memorizing the score. It is experience I'll never forget", she said.

Siobhan began studying trad and classical music at aged eight and she's also an accomplished pianist. She studied harp with Damhnait Nic Suibhne at County Cork School of Music and in recent years she has been tutored by CMO's principal harpist Anne-Marie O'Farrell.

Currently studying for a degree in music and maths in NUI Maynooth, Siobhan has performed in the National Concert Hall and Edinburgh Harp Festival with Kylemore Harp Ensemble and has also participated with the ConTempo String Quartet.

A multiple prize winner at the All-Ireland Fleadh, the O'Carolan Harp Festival and ESB Feis Ceoil, she enjoys performing on stage.

"It was an amazing experience to play with the CMO orchestra. We got to meet people from all over Ireland and performed the world premiere of the 'Clare Concerto", she said,

" I'm delighted to have been selected as deputy harp leader to Anne Marie O'Farrell and as a full member of the Clare Memory Orchestra, I am looking forward performing to performing with them in the future".


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