Galway Music Residency Apprentice Ensembles 2019 / 2020

The Galway Music Residency have announced their 2019 / 2020 Apprentice Ensembles including two Junior Ensembles!

GMR’s Apprentice Programme, now in its 14th year, offers frequent mentoring sessions with ConTempo Quartet and performing opportunities to emerging, talented performing groups. In addition, GMR partners with Music for Galway to deliver additional workshops to the Apprentice Ensembles with visiting national and international artists as part of their International Concert Season.

Following a competitive audition process, three talented groups were chosen to participate in the 2019/20 Apprentice Ensemble programme.

Senior Ensemble: The Zephyr Clarinet Trio

Dina Ryan, James Middleton, and Marcella Barz formed the Zephyr Clarinet Trio at the Technological University of Dublin while studying with Dr Paul Roe. All three members are multi-clarinettists and have arranged a variety of music for clarinet trio. Originally from Kamloops, Canada, Marcella moved to Ireland to specialize on the bass clarinet and is now working on her Doctor of Music at TU Dublin. Dina and James, both from Dublin, graduated from the Bachelor of Music Performance degree in 2019 at TU Dublin. James is a member of the Army No. 1 band and Dina plays with a wide range of ensembles from orchestras to chamber groups. The Zephyr Clarinet Trio is excited to be one of the Apprentice Ensembles of the Galway Residency in 2019 – 2020. They will be working on a variety of repertoire from Purcell to present day, including a contemporary work by Irish composer Jane O’Leary.

Junior Ensemble: RFM Trio

Founded in October 2018, the RFM Trio is comprised of three good friends who love making music together: Rachel Kelly, age 9, violin; Fionna McKree, age 9, violin; and Mark Kelly, age 7, violoncello.

While they hail from different parts of Galway, the Trio members travel several times a week to Athenry Music School for individual lessons and orchestra rehearsals. After initially meeting in the school’s Creation Orchestra in September 2018 and discovering that they shared an affinity for climbing old stone walls, Vivaldi, hot chocolate, and playing their respective instruments “really, really fast,” the RFM Trio members decided they needed more playing time and began to meet regularly under the mentorship of director Katharine Mac Mághnuis. The Trio has performed at various concerts and community events around Galway, including the Three Rings Festival in Tuam; the annual collaborative Athenry Music School and Coole Music ‘Spring into Music’ concert in Loughrea; and the BiaLover Food Festival in Athenry. Although they have not been playing long, the members are enchanted and intrigued by the various sounds their instruments can produce alone and together as an ensemble. The RFM Trio is thrilled to be selected as a 2019 – 2020 Apprentice Ensemble by the Galway Music Residency and is looking forward to exploring further the world of chamber music, together.

Junior Ensemble: Burren Con Brio

Burren Con Brio is made up of three siblings, Shónagh, Mia & Euan who live in the Burren, Co. Clare.

The eldest, Shónagh, plays the violin and is entering her Leaving Cert year. Shónagh loves music and singing, is involved in the Symphonic Waves orchestra project for Galway 2020 and is a regular helper with younger orchestras in Coole Music. 15-year-old Mia plays viola and is in transition year. She is very artistic, and enjoys singing with her sister. She too is beginning to help out with younger orchestras this year. Euan, the youngest of the trio, is 12 years old and plays the cello. He loves reading, science and playing outside and is also a member of the Voldemort String Quartet.

The trio have been studying with Coole Music in Gort since they were each 5 years old and are all members of Coole Music’s Sonic Strings & Youth Orchestra. They enjoy arranging fun pieces to play together and though they have not had much experience playing formally together, they have played for a few weddings and other functions.

You can hear this trio of trios perform twice during their time on the programme:

Winter Recital
Sunday, 26 January 2020, 3pm
Emily Anderson Concert Hall, NUI Galway (no step-free access)
FREE – Donations Welcome

Summer Recital
Sunday, 17 May 2020, 3pm
Lower Aula Maxima, NUI Galway
FREE – Donations Welcome

For further information, please see