Tutors

EILEEN NOLAN – Founder & Director AMAC, ATCL

Eileen Nolan founded the Montfort College of Performing Arts in 1962. Eileen qualified at Trinity College London and also at Sion Hill, Ireland. She worked as a peripatetic teacher working with students in Cork and Waterford. The school became recognised as one of the leading drama schools in Ireland and in 1963 singing and dancing classes were introduced to the curriculum.

Eileen is a member of the Association of LAMDA teachers, British Federation of Festivals and the Society of Speech & Drama teachers. Eileen has been twice nominated for the 'Cork Person of the Year' Awards for her contribution to the Arts over the last 50 years.

Eileen has thrilled Cork audiences over the years with countless award winning productions that has produced including 'West Side Story', 'No No Nanette', 'Mame', 'Hello Dolly', 'The Wizard of Oz', 'Oliver', 'Anything Goes', 'Camelot', 'The Best Little Whorehouse in Texas', 'The Music Man', 'Godspell'. 'Camp Rock', 'Pippin'  and Joseph and his Amazing Technicolour Dreamcoat to name but a few. 

She continues to teach in Midleton and Clonakilty secondary schools.

Over the past 55 years Eileen has worked to instill and foster a love of theatre to all students of the college that leads to enjoyment, and an enjoyment that will last a lifetime. She continues to inspire all who surrounds her.     

TREVOR RYAN – Director FLCM, LLAM, ALAM (act), ALAM (rec)

Trevor is a partner and joint Artistic Director of the Montfort College of Performing Arts.

He is a speech and drama teacher with over 30 years experience. He has worked both as a teacher and mentor to hundreds of young people, many of whom are now working professionally in the Arts both at home and abroad. In his professional life as a director, actor and producer he has been involved in over 100 productions both locally, nationally and internationally. He is also an award winning actor, director, producer and examiner.

Trevor’s love for the arts began at 12 years of age when he joined the Montfort College of Performing Arts. His first thread the boards in the children’s chorus of 'I Pagliacci' in 1984. Trevor's acting credits include Uncle Max in the critically acclaimed 'The Sound of Music', one half of the Ugly Sister’s in 'Cinderella' in 2007 and 2011 and most recently in 2014 as Jafar in 'Aladdin' - all at Cork Opera House. In all Trevor has performed, scripted and directed 26 pantomimes to date.

Trevor toured the country for 18 months in the smash hit hurling comedy 'The All Star Wars' directed by Bryan Flynn. Most recently Trevor directed 'Legally Blonde' and 'Tell Me On A Sunday' at the Everyman Theatre, the highly acclaimed 'Lost In Yonkers' for the Cork Repertory Company, 'Fame' the Musical, Disney's 'The Little Mermaid', 'Camp Rock', 'Joseph and the Amazing Technicolour Dreamcoat', Relatively Speaking', 'Philadephia, Here I Come', An Enchanted Evening – A Tribute to Eileen Nolan', 'Suessical the Musical', 'The Witches', 'Bugsy Malone', and 'The Communication Cord' all at the Everyman Theatre. Other directing highlights include Cork Operatic Society’s critically acclaimed production of 'Sweeney Todd' at the Cork Opera House and Everyman Theatre, three sell-out runs of 'I Love You, You’re Perfect, Now Change' at the Cork Opera House and 'Joseph and his Amazing Technicolour Dreamcoat' in Rennes, France.  He has also directed several award-winning shows including 'Brighton Beach Memoirs', 'Sylvia', 'The Gingerbread Lady', 'Bad Seed', 'Extremities', 'One Flew over the Cuckoo’s Nest' and the world premiere of the musical 'Say It Ain’t So Joe' in the Everyman Theatre. Trevor has been nominated on three separate occasions as Best Director in the Cork Critic Theatre Awards.

An accomplished actor Trevor has appeared in countless dramas, comedies and musicals over the years, favourite roles include Ralph in 'Our Country’s Good' for which he won a Best Supporting Actor award from ISDA, Martin in 'Brimstone & Treacle', Martin in 'Dangerous Corner' and Voltaire in 'Candide'. 

Trevor holds three diplomas in teaching, acting and speech with the London Academy of Music & Dramatic Art and a fellowship with the London College of Music - the highest level external diploma awarded by the college. 

Currently Trevor is the resident co-writer and director of the Cork Opera House pantomime. He has directed the last 6 pantos - 'Sleeping Beauty', 'Beauty and the Beast', 'Cinderella', 'Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs' 'Aladdin' and 'Peter Pan'. He looks forward to scriptng and directing 'Sleeping Beauty' in Cork Opera House in 2021.

VALERIE O' LEARY - ALAM

Valerie is qualified with the London Academy of Music & Dramatic Art and has been teaching drama at the Montfort College for 34 years. Valerie has achieved huge success with her pupils, many of whom are now working professionally in the Arts. As well as a highly accomplished drama teacher Valerie is one of the most recognised actor’s in Cork. She has appeared on Cork stages in over 100 productions over a 40 year career. Previous roles include the character of Missus/Lady Gaa Gaa in the 'All Star Wars', a role she originated and nurtured since its inception in 2011 and throughout its national tour in 2012. Favourite theatre credits include 'Private Lives', 'An Ideal Husband', 'Crimes of the Heart', 'Bad Seed', 'Hamlet', 'Many Young Men of Twenty' and 'The Wake'.

More recently Valerie was seen in 'Alice In Wonderland' ,'Calendar Girls', 'Sunbeam Girls 1 and 2', 'The Good Sisters', 'Barefoot in the Park' and 'All My Sons' for which she won the Best Actress Award at the All Ireland Drama Festival. Musical and pantomime performances include 'Singing in the Rain', 'High School Musical', 'Man of La Mancha', 'Nunsense', 'Fiddler on the Roof', 'Carousel', 'Aladdin' and 'Sleeping Beauty'. She has also directed numerous school productions of her favourite musicals, most recently 'Aladdin' and 'Once Upon a Mattress'.

KAREN COTTER - ALAM

Karen is qualified with the London Academy of Music & Dramatic Art and has been teaching drama, dance and musical theatre with the Montfort College of Performing Arts for over 27 years. Karen is a member of the Association of LAMDA teachers. Karen is a well-established dancer, choreographer and actor and has appeared in more than 40 pantomimes in both the Cork Opera House and Everyman Theatre. Most recently she choreographed and directed 'Joseph and the Amazing Technicolour Dreamcoat' in Crosshaven National School.

SARAH MORIARTY

Sarah Moriarty began her training at Cork Arts Studio and continued her studies for 3 years at the CSN Dance course under the direction of Alan Foley. On graduating from CSN Sarah taught at the Alan Foley Academy of Dance and at the Cork School of Dance.

Sarah teaches dance in various secondary schools across the city and county and has choreographed many school shows including 'Hairspray', 'Sweet Charity' and 'Flashdance'. Sarah holds a modern dance qualification from the ISTD (The Imperial Society of Teachers of Dancing). Sarah specialises in modern,contemporary, commercial and lyrical dance.

LAURI O' DRISCOLL - BA hons, Hdip in ed (hons), ALCM, LLCM (TD) (hons)

Laurie is a qualified English and history teacher working in Cobh Community College. She is the head of the English department and  the director of adult education. Laurie co-ordinates courses designed to increase her students' work potential in the wider working world. Laurie has directed 'High School Musical' and 'Annie' in Cobh Community College and was instrumental in the setting up of the Glee project in association with the local primary schools. As a student of Montforts Laurie was a regular medal and cup winner in Feis Maitiu and the Ringaskiddy Youth festivals. She studied vocal performance with Francis Reilly. While a student in the Montfort College under the tuition of Valerie O' Leary Laurie performed in numerous pantomimes in the Cork Arts Theatre and Everyman Palace. Her favourite musical theatre roles in the college include Anna in 'The King and I', Beth in 'Oliver', Charity in 'Anything Goes and Taylor in 'High School Musical'. Laurie's passion is musical theatre. She instils a love of same in her students. Laurie's solo students and groups have been regular prize winners in Feis Maitiu. She directed 'Snow White and the Seven Dwarves' in the Firkin Crane 2013 and was Assistant Director on 'Beauty and the Beast' in 2014. Laurie has directed and choreographed 'Broadway Kidz' 2013, 2014 and 2015. Laurie is currently preparing for her fellowship diploma with the London College of Music; the highest degree in teaching and performance. Laurie most recently played the role of Goneril in King Lear with the Cork Shakespearean company directed by Declan Wolfe and Sinead Dunphy. She also directed Broadway Kidz 2016 and 2017. Laurie looks forward to a fun and creative year ahead with her students.

PAULA WHITNEY - ALAM

Paula has been on the Montfort staff for the past 11 years. In addition to her qualifications with the London Academy of Music & Dramatic Art se also holds a diploma in both Theatre Studies and Sound Engineering and has completed courses in Accents and Dialects along with Performance in Theatre. Paula has worked with a number of schools in preparation for their Whole School Evaluation in designing their drama curriculum to reach the department of Education’s requirements. 
She has taught language development as a resources teacher for a number of years.Paula is also an accomplished costume designer and has received awards for her costume and stage design. Since her early teens she has been an accomplished singer, performing as a lead vocalist regularly in various venues throughout the country.   

Margaret McCarthy - BA (Hons) Drama and Theatre Studies UCC. FLCM (Awarded) LLCM (Hons) ALCM TD (Hons) Diploma in Music (Hons) UCC. TEFLA RELSA. 

Margaret is an Alumni of UCC with both an Honours Degree in Drama and Theatre Studies and an Honours Diploma in Music.  She has an Associate, Licentiate and a Fellowship from Thames Valley University.  She also has a Certificate in Music Management and Sound, CSN. Margaret is a teacher of Theatre for Young Audiences.  This involves preparing productions in schools and studio for plays and examinations including auditions, research, casting, choreography and musical direction.  Margaret also prepares students for the LAMDA examinations and Feis Maitiu Cork and has also been an examiner for the Crawford Council for Drama Communications. Margaret has worked extensively in the theatre in both amateur and professional productions.  Her film credits include the award-winning short film ‘Razor Fish’ where she starred opposite Brenda Fricker.  She has also worked with Cork Disability Support Service for the Visually Impaired as a narrator of audio books.

KAREN WALSH - Ass. IDTA Tap and Freestyle. ISTD Cert, Liberal Arts in Theatre, ME. Edu. Theatre, BA in Human Services


Karen began dancing as a tiny tot with Eileen Cavanagh at the age of two and a half, appearing in her first show at the tender age of 3. Since the age of 5 she has appeared pantomime every year throughout Cork City. She has studied dance not only under Eileen Cavanagh But also under the direction of Donna Daly (Donna's Dance Studio), Mary Madden Gibson, Eric Gibson (Ballet Theatre Ireland) and Mary Weston (Montfort College) plus completed her studies with the Royal Academy of Dance. She also studied for her Gold Medal with LAMDA. As a Child she appeared on RTE’s children’s show :Anything Goes as Well as winning VJ competition on RTE’s Jo-Maxi. Karen was a member of the Irish Operatic Society where she appeared in many of their productions and was assistant choreographer for “Me and My Girl'. For many years she was a regular Medal and cup winner at the Ringaskiddy Youth festivals.She taught tap and Ballet for Ballet Theatre Ireland and for the Montfort’s before she moved to the US. While in the US she gained degrees in Theatre, Sociology and a master’s degree in Theatre Education.
While living in the States she studied dance under the direction of Keith Mottola (Steps off Broadway, The Tap Guru) in Boston. During this time, she also starred in many musicals, including the role of Nancy in 'Oliver', Mrs. Johnson in 'Blood Brothers', Anytime Annie in '42nd Street', Mini Faye in “Hello Dolly” and The Orange Girl in “Shout the Mod Musical”. Karen taught ballet and tap for - Once upon A Ballet, in Charleston, South Carolina. She has now returned to Ireland to pass on the knowledge, experience and training she gained while living here and in the US. Karen is a qualified dance teacher through the (I.D.T.A) - International Dance Teachers Association.

MAJELLA CULLAGH - MA

Majella Cullagh is one of Ireland’s foremost international sopranos. She graduated from London’s prestigious National Opera Studio in 1993 and has had a twenty year career on the operatic stage. Her performances have brought her to many of the important houses in Europe; she’s performed in New York, Dallas, California and as far afield as New Zealand. Highlights include performances at the Royal Albert Hall and Royal Festival Hall, at the Royal Swedish Opera, the Royal Danish Opera, Opera di Verona, Opera de Toulon, Edinburgh festival and the Donizetti Festival in Bergamo.
While Majella’s career has been concentrated on the operatic stage, she also performs extensively in oratorio and on the concert platform. She has sung recitals in London, Milan, Amsterdam, Catania, La Coruna, Pesaro and Stuttgart.
Majella has an impressive discography with over thirty recordings on the Opera Rara, Chandos and Naxos labels. Her latest release, on the Naxos label, is Rossini’s Le Siege de Corinthe, recorded live at the Rossini Festival in Bad Wildbad, Germany.
Majella received first class honours in her Taught Master’s Degree from the CIT Cork School of Music in 2009. She has recently entered the education arena and has adjudicated at the Royal Academy of Music and the DIT Conservatory, Dublin. Majella is a member of the board of directors at the Cork Opera House.

 

 

EMMA NASH - MA (Advanced Opera Performance), BA

Irish soprano Emma Nash has been described as “outstanding...with a vivid stage presence” by The Arts Desk (Orpheus in the Underworld 2014), “splendid” by Opera Magazine (Der Vampyr 2014) and a soprano with a “exciting, individualised vocal colour” by Opera Today (Hansel and Gretel, Wexford Festival Opera 2015). Emma graduated with distinction from the M.A in Opera Performance course at the Royal Welsh College of Music and Drama where she was winner of the Lee Freeman Scholarship Prize, the Dolan Evans Award and a Leverhulme Scholarship. Recent engagements include the role of Valencienne in a concert performance of The Merry Widow at the Cork Opera House. This was the second instalment of The Cork Opera House Concert Performance Series following the success of La Traviata (June 2016) in which Emma sang the roles of Aninna and Flora. In 2015 Emma made her Wexford Festival Opera debut as Gretel in Hansel and Gretel and chorus in the mainstage productions of Koanga and Le Pré aux Clercs. She also made her solo debut with the RTE National Symphony Orchestra in December at The National Concert Hall under the baton of Christopher Bell. In May 2015 Emma enjoyed great success as Gilda in Opera Theatre Company’s national tour of Rigoletto directed by Selina Cartmel. She went on to cover Gilda for Longborough Festival Opera in July. In March 2017 Emma travelled to Naples Florida to sing at the Kind Mariners Charity Gala and appeared on CBS TV. In June she will premier a new opera Front of House by composer Tom Lane at the Cork Midsummer Festival before returning to Wexford Opera Festival for their 2017 season. There she will sing the role of Polly in the world premier of The Dubliners by Andrew Synott and the role of Handmaiden in Medea directed by Fiona Shaw.
Emma is passionate about contemporary opera having performed in a workshop performance of Irene Buckleys new opera Lament for Art O Leary as part of the 2015 Midsummer Festival in Cork. She played the role of Narrator in Brian Irvine’s new opera The Oldest Woman in Limerick with Wide Open Opera in 2014. She created the role of Joan in Irene Buckleys live score for The Passion of Joan of Arc which since premiering at the Cork French Film Festival has enjoyed successes at Glasgow Film Festival and Union Chapel London among others.
A student of Suzanne Murphy other notable roles include Lucia in The Rape of Lucretia (Irish Youth Opera) and Janthe in Der Vampyr (The Everyman/Cork Operatic Society).
Emma has appeared as a guest soloist for the Welsh National Opera with David Pountney at the Vale of Glamorgan Festival where she showcased the work of contemporary opera composer Elena Langer. She sang the role of Moppet in the Royal Philharmonic Society opera award winning production of Paul Bunyan with the Welsh National Youth Opera (Wales Millennium Centre).
Other highlights include soprano soloist with the RWCMD Badinerie Ensemble (St Martin in the Fields), Pamina in the The Magic Flute (RWCMD), Lucia in The Rape of Lucretia (RWCMD), The Controller (cover) in Flight (RWCMD), Eurydice in Orpheus in the Underworld (Opera’r Ddraig), First Niece in Britten’s Women at the Bath International Music Festival (RWCMD) and scenes from Ariadne auf Naxos (Zerbinetta), The Cunning Little Vixen (Vixen), and Falstaff (Nanetta) with the RWCMD Concert Orchestra all conducted by David Jones.
An alumna of Opera Theatre Company's Young Associate Artist Programme Emma is a recipient of a Help Musicians U.K Sybil Tutton Award and two Arts Council Travel and Training Awards.

EMMA POWER - BMus

Emma, a Waterford native, was introduced to music through the WIT’s Choral Programme at a very young age. Progressing through the choirs in the programme, combined with individual lessons and musicianship classes – both provided by her director, Niall Crowley – lead Emma to studying music at third level.

In 2014, Emma graduated from the Cork School of Music with first class honours, having focused her studies on vocal performance with Mary MacSweeney and conducting with Alan Cutts. During her time in Cork, Emma was a member of Madrigal ’75 and Voci Nuove, two internationally acclaimed choirs (the latter of which she was directly involved in its founding), and was a member of the Irish Youth Chamber Choir for the ‘15/’16 season. She has enjoyed performing and competing in places like Toronto, Switzerland, Italy, Austria and Northern Ireland as a chorister. As a soloist, Emma has worked with Cor Cois Abhainn (‘Messiah’), Cork Orchestral Society (‘Faust’) and Eat My Noise Productions (‘INCHOIR’, ‘Carinae’).
Since 2014, Emma has been a member of Ensemble Dagda, Ireland’s newest historically informed Baroque ensemble, specialising in works from the 17th Century. The Ensemble has enjoyed residencies at West Cork Chamber Festival, East Cork Early Music Festival, and have accepted a place as Apprentice Ensemble for the 2017/18 season as part of the Galway Music Residency.

As a professional chorister, Emma spent three years as a recipient of the Choral Scholarship awarded by St. Finbarre’s Cathedral, Cork. During the 2015/16 season, she was awarded a second scholarship by St. Peter & Paul’s Church, Cork, and split her time between both churches.
Emma has been teaching privately since 2015 in Waterford and Cork, giving lessons in musicianship, harmony and singing. She takes part in annual educational music workshops provided by West Cork Music for primary and secondary schools around Cork City and County during the school year. Emma is looking forward to starting work as part of the team at the Montfort College, meeting new students and making good music.

KEITH GREENE - MA, BMus, PDGE. DipLCM. ATCL

 


Keith hails from Clonmel Co. Tipperary and is currently living in Cork city. Keith is a member of Defence Forces Ireland Band 1 Brigade, playing flute and piccolo. He also regularly performs as a vocalist with the band. Keith is co-owner and director at Bellvue Academy of Performing Arts in Clonmel Co. Tipperary. Keith undertook his professional training in University College Cork with an honours bachelor of music degree and continued his studies at Trinity College Dublin with a Post Graduate Diploma in Education. Keith also holds a first class honours masters degree in Musical Theatre performance from CIT Cork School of Music. Keith's primary interests lie in musical theatre, a field in which he has worked extensively, both on and off the stage. He has taught with many stage schools in the south of Ireland, working in capacities of Musical Director, Choreographer and Producer. Performance credits include Reilly (Our Day Out), John The Baptist (Godspell), Billy Crocker (Anything Goes), Topper (Scrooge), Prince Charming (Cinderella), Pish Tush (Mikado), King Herod (Jesus Christ Superstar), Molokov (Chess), Moose (Crazy For You), Mr.Primm (Sleeping Beauty) Ensemble (Orpheus), Zack (Bare) and most recently he played the part of Riff in West Side Story.

 

 

 

NAOMI LUTTRELL

Naomi Luttrell began her training at the age of four studying many different styles including ballet, modern, jazz, tap, commercial, hip-hop and Irish. Naomi has performed in many different professional productions including many pantomimes and the touring cast of the All Star Wars.
On completion of her Leaving Certificate she attended UCC for four years. During her time there she was a member of the UCC jazz squad and each year attended, competed and won the inter-varsities competition. For the 2016 college year Naomi went back to the jazz squad and choreographed the squad’s routine for the inter-varsities competition.
After her time in UCC she attended the CSN Dance course under the direction of Jane Kellaghan studying many different styles of dance. She is a passionate and dedicated teacher with 6 years’ experience in the Sinead Sheppard School of Dance and more recently Cork Arts Studio, UCC Dance and Billie-Jean’s East Cork Stage School Rhythm Dance Company. As well as her experience in teaching; ballet, modern, jazz, commercial, hip-hop and dance gymnastics, she also has 6 years’ experience coaching in a gymnastics club. Naomi is a qualified dance teacher through the International Dance Teachers Association (IDTA). She also holds a modern dance cert from the Imperial Society of Teachers of Dancing (ISTD), a qualification to teach Progressing Ballet Technique (PBT) and DDMIX (Diverse Dance Mix).
Naomi is very much looking forward to joining the Monfort’s team.

ANTHONY PALMER

Anthony started as a student at Stage One Theatre School, London back in 1992. Having the passion for performing he went on to study at The Italia Conti Academy Of Performing Arts.
After three years of training Anthony was already working as a professional. His credits include, ‘The Paul Daniels Magic Tour’, ‘Rave On’ Rock and Roll National Tour, and various dance variety & commercial shows.
Theatre credits include ‘Eddie’ in ‘A Slice of Saturday Night’, ‘Mark’ in ‘A Chorus Line’, ‘Dave’ in ‘Viva Ibiza’ and a tour of ‘Shakespeare around London’.  
Commercial dance credits include a national tour with ‘Will Young’ & ‘Gareth Gates’, dancing for ‘Blue’ and the ‘Sugarbabes’ including their Brit Awards appearance.
His TV & Film credits include ‘Tom Riddle’s’ double in ‘Harry Potter & The Chamber Of Secrets’, ‘Clockwork Mice’, and ‘The Bill’.
Anthony has performed on shows such as SMTV, CDUK and other ITV and BBC productions, and in various music venues such as Wembley Stadium, Birmingham NEC, The Hammersmith Appollo and West End Theatres such as the London Palladium and Drury Lane.
His work also includes choreographing and starring in musical productions, music festivals, and fashion shows around London and Essex.
Prior to joining the Montfort's, Anthony has spent the last 8 years as a drama and dance teacher for Stage One Theatre School and Productions in Essex. Throughout his teaching career, he has supported many students to reach their full potential, leading to successful careers within the industry.

NIAMH KELLEHER - Dip VCM (Hons), VCM, LVCM

Niamh Kelleher has been studying elocution, speech and drama since she was 4 years old pre-dominantly with Miriam Daly and subsequently with Declan Wolfe. During her years attending classes she took part in several productions including 'Annie', 'Oliver', 'Matilda', 'The Wizard of Oz' and 'Grease'. Niamh continues to perform and is a member of her local drama group where she played the lead this year in Jimmy Keary's play "Mother Knows Best".
In 2004 Niamh was awarded a scholarship to travel to Los Angeles for 6 weeks to work with Clair Sinnett, a well known casting director to the stars. During this time Niamh gained invaluable experience with Celtic Talent whilst also attending many acting workshops.
In 2014 Niamh began her final studies to qualify as a Speech & Drama teacher with the Victoria College of London. Since then she has been awarded a Dip VCM (Hons) AVCM and LVCM. Niamh has been working with a Cork based music, movement and drama company for the past 3 years teaching drama to pre-school children all over Cork and has gained vast expertise working with this age group in particular. Niamh looks forward to inspiring and developing the young stars of the future. 

MICHELLE COOKE – BMUS, MA, PMEP

Michelle completed her third level training in CIT Cork School of Music, where she was awarded First Class Honours in both the Bachelor of Music Degree and Master of Arts in Piano Performance. During her time there, she studied with Eleanor Malone and Gabriela Mayer, and also received piano masterclasses from John O’Connor, Barry Douglas, Finghin Collins and Ewan Poblocka. Michelle was the winner of the Sligo Feis Ceoil for two consecutive years and performed in Dublin’s Mansion House for the Alpha One Chopin Awards. In 2015, she also had the pleasure of performing Grieg’s Piano Concerto in A minor with the Clonakilty based Allegria Concert Orchestra. For seven years, Michelle toured Ireland with renowned wedding and function band, The Heebie Jeebies. Her previous choral accompaniment experience includes ensembles such as CSM chamber choir Capella Lyrica, the CSM Junior Choir, and UCC Choral Society. Michelle moved back to her hometown of Castlerea, Co. Roscommon in 2015 to complete the Professional Master of Education in Primary Education with Hibernia College. There, she was delighted to take on the role of Musical Director for Castlerea Youth Stage School. Having grown up with a love for musical theatre, Michelle has been involved in shows with Castlerea Musical Society and CIT Musical Society. Previous roles include Little Red Riding Hood (Into the Woods) and Kate Murphy (Titanic – The Musical). Now, returned to Cork as a primary school teacher, Michelle also teaches piano in Kinsale Music Academy, and is very excited to take on the position of Musical Director with Montfort Youth Choir. 

RACHEL TWOHIG 

Rachel began her dance training with the Montfort College of Performing Arts at the age of 8. Since then she has taken classes in ballet, modern, tap, jazz and musical theatre and has also been a teaching assistant for 5 years. She has completed several examinations across a wide variety of styles of dance with the IDTA (International Dance Teachers Association). She has performed in many Montfort College productions including ‘Once Upon A Mattress’ , ‘Aladdin’, ‘Camp Rock’, ‘Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat’, ‘The Little Mermaid’, ‘Cinderella’, ‘Fame’, ‘Broadway Kidz’ and numerous ‘Applause’ 

Her love for theatre was strengthened when she assisted with set and prop design for ‘Beauty and The Beast’ in the Cork Opera House. She has loved assisting with backstage work throughout the years with the Montfort College also. She is thrilled to be able to share her love for the arts this year and is really looking forward to it.  

AISLING MCCARTHY

Aisling started off her journey with performing with the Montforts at the age of four. Over the years she has taken classes in Drama, Dance and Musical Theatre as well as taking part in many of the school's productions. Here, she spent a few years working with the teachers of the school as a classroom assistant and also took various LAMDA exams, receiving her Gold Medal in Acting among others. 

She is currently a student in UCC studying Irish and History. Her passion for the Irish language has led to her being chairperson of the college's 'Cumann Drámaíochta '. Here she has directed  three plays through Irish. For the 2018/19 academic year she was UCC's Irish Department's recepiant of Gradam na Gaeilge.

She also spent the summer of 2018 working in an overnight summer camp in Ontario, Canada. Here she worked as a Creative Arts Counsellor teaching Drama, Dance and Music daily. She also co-directed/ choreographed the camp's summer musical 'Mamma Mia '.

 

CAITLIN MULCAHY

Caitlin began her training in Montforts at the age of four where she took classes in Musical Theatre, Jazz, Ballet, Tap, Drama and Singing. 

Here she has completed multiple exams with LAMDA, IDTA and the London College of Music. 

Caitlin has been involved in a number of productions with the school over the years with some of her roles including Elle Woods in 'Legally Blonde' (The Everyman Theatre), Sandy in 'Grease', Cinderalla in 'Cinderalla' (The Firkin Crane), Princess Jasmine in 'Aladdin' (The Firkin Crane), Narrator in 'Joseph and his Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat' (The Everyman theatre) and Carmen in 'Fame' (The Everyman Theatre). 

Caitlin is so excited to get back into the studio, meet all the kids and to create some amazing pieces. She hopes her love for theatre will rub off on her students and they will love their time with the school as much as she did.

 

ALI FITZGERALD

Ali began her training in the Performing Arts at the age of 2 in the Joan Denise Moriarty School of Dance for Ballet, and Donna’s Dance Studio for Jazz and Modern Dance, before joining the Montfort College at the age of 12. Here, Ali has had the opportunity to perform in many musicals, plays, Panto’s and end-of-year performances with the Montforts, as Flounder in “The Little Mermaid”, Iris Kelly in “Fame”, Boy in “The Witches”, Mustapha Napp in “Aladdin” and The Moon in “The Addams Family”. 

In 2014, Ali was chosen to play Fairy Liquid in the Cork Opera House Pantomime “Sleeping Beauty”, and returned to the Cork Opera House Panto once more in 2018 as an Intermediate Dancer in “Aladdin”. In 2018, Ali was selected as a member of the Cork Youth Ballet Company. She has also trained in the prestigious Urdang Academy in London, as part of their Accelerate Musical Theatre and Dance Programme. In drama, Ali has won multiple awards each year in Feis Maitiu, and placed 1st in the James O’Donovan Memorial Perpetual Cup. 

Ali has achieved honours in all her exam results, holding her Silver Medal in drama with LAMDA, her Gold Medal in Musical Theatre, Intermediate Performers Cert in Modern Jazz and Diploma in Anatomy and Physiology with the IDTA. While training as a Class Assistant in the Montforts for the past 6 years, Ali discovered her love and passion for teaching, and is excited to join the staff at the Montforts this year. She is eager help the next generation of Montfort students on a path she herself took so long ago.

 

RUTH MURRAY

Ruth began her ballet training at the age of three and began taking jazz classes with Montfort College at age five. Since then she has developed a passion and love for contemporary, lyrical and commercial dance and believes that ballet is vital to provide the fundamentals to all styles of dance and she hopes to help children find a love for the craft in a fun learning environment. 

Ruth has trained in a wide variety of dance genres throughout the years and has taken several classes a week at the Montfort College where she has completed many IDTA examinations in modern jazz and ballet. She also has completed examinations in ballet under the Royal Academy of Dance. She has been a teaching assistant since the age of sixteen. In 2019, Ruth accepted a place in the Cork Youth Ballet Company where she further developed her ballet skills taking weekly classes at intermediate and advanced levels. 
Ruth frequently travels to London to enhance her training. She had been a part of the summer course at the Urdang academy for the past two summers and in summer of 2019 she attended a ballet intensive course under the direction of former Royal Ballet member, Claudia Dean. Ruth is frequent visitor at Base Dance Studios and Pineapple in Covent Garden where she attends classes in various styles with well-known choreographers. She has also had the opportunity to train for five days at Broadway Dance Center in New York City. 
Ruth was awarded a scholarship to train at the summer course at the Institute of the Arts Barcelona after attending a workshop with one of the alumni from the college. 
Ruth has used the time of lockdown to continue to work on her craft. She trained in ballet six days a week through interactive online platforms with former Royal Ballet member Patricia Zhou in Los Angelas as well as Urdang tutor Charise Renouf in London. She also had the opportunity to train weekly with some well renowned dancers and choreographers such as Briar Nolet from the Next Step, London choreographers Danielle Barton, Adam Scott and Amber Morgan as well West End professionals Jane McMurtrie, Georgie Ashford and Matthew Banks. She has gained a huge knowledge and insight into dance and theatre through these classes.
Ruth has performed in many productions, most recently ‘Legally Blonde’ at the Everyman and ‘Jack and the Beanstalk’ at the Firkin Crane where she took on the role of dance captain.
Ruth hopes she can share her love of dance with many children and help them to build confidence and find enjoyment in ballet. She is delighted to be part of the teaching team at the Montfort College.

 

LORRAINE CROWLEY BA, DipLCM, BAST

Lorraine Crowley is a professional singer and vocal coach based in Cork city. She graduated in 2019 with first class honours from Cork School of Music where she studied the B.A. in Popular Music (Voice). Lorraine is currently studying a Master of Arts in Music under the guidance of Laoise Leahy. As lead singer of Motown Big Band, The Papa Zitas, Lorraine regularly performs in venues around Ireland. She also works regularly as a backing vocalist and has performed on television shows for RTE, TG4 and BBC including The Voice of Ireland as a backing vocalist. She has a keen interest in musical theatre performance, holding a Diploma of the London College of Music in Music Theatre Performance, and has played lead roles in productions such as The Sound of Music, American Idiot and Bad Girls in Ireland, as well as a number of featured ensemble roles. Lorraine’s love for musical theatre goes beyond the stage, and in 2018 she produced the sold-out Irish premiere of Bad Girls the Musical. Lorraine has a huge interest in vocal science and pedagogy and has completed a Vocal Coach Teacher Training course with Dr. Trish Rooney and the BAST course with Kaya Herstad-Carney.

 

REBECCA KENT 

Rebecca Kent began her training at the age of two and has gone on to train in a variety of different styles. In her early years she attended The Performers Academy and Cork School of Dance before moving to the Montfort College. 

Rebecca has performed in many Montfort productions such as Legally Blonde, Broadway Kids and Applause. Rebecca has also been very fortunate to have been cast in many Cork Opera House Productions since beginning her training. Credits include- The King and I, Michael Collins, All Star Wars, Hey Mr. Director, Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs(2010/2016), Cinderella, Alice in Wonderland, Aladdin and Peter Pan. 

Recently, Rebecca has been involved in the Dance Moms World Tours. She assisted in Masterclasses and Q&A events around Europe with the cast of Lifetimes hit reality tv show ‘Dance Moms’. In 2016 and 2017 Rebecca travelled to LA on scholarship and got the opportunity to train with many of LA’s top choreographers.

Not only has Rebecca a lot of theatre experience but she also has the knowledge and experience of working in the music video industry. Rebecca was cast as one of the main dancers in Mackenzie Sol’s ‘Blow Your Mind’ Video which was released in 2017!! 

Thanks to the Montfort College, Rebecca has gained many opportunities such as performing at the Brown Thomas Christmas Window Launch in 2019, Musgrave’s Mood Ice Cream Promotional Photoshoot, Participated in 5678 Elite Dance Competition and Barbara Sharples Choreography Competition in Manchester, Main Stage performances at Perform Ireland in 2018/2019 and Received a Hollywood Summer Tour scholarship.

Rebecca is looking forward to joining the Montforts team.