Name: Roisin Heenan
Year finished school: 2015
Instruments studied: Voice, Violin, Piano & Harp
Tell us about your time at St Angela’s: I studied voice, violin, piano and harp at St Angela’s Academy of Music from 2009 to 2015. I owe a huge amount of my musical achievements to St Angela’s Academy, the teachers there really made me the musician I am today. Through their constant encouragement, in my six years in the Ursuline, music for me developed from merely a hobby to my main passion. As a boarding student, I adored not only the hours spent in lessons, at choir and orchestra rehearsals, but also the times spent in the practice rooms in the mornings before school and also in the evenings when you would be surrounded by students of all ages practicing everything from bassoon to timpani. The atmosphere in the building was inspirational, and I found so much of my love for music inside those walls. I would like to extend my deepest gratitude to Sr. Cecilia and all the teachers there for everything they gave me.
Name: Eimear Kinsella
Year finished school: 2014
Instruments studied: Piano & Violin
Tell us about your time at St Angela’s: During my time at the Ursuline, I completed Grade 8 in piano with the Royal Irish Academy of Music and also Grade 8 in violin with the Associated Board of Music, which I could not have done without the help of my two amazing teachers. I was a member of both orchestras in the Ursuline, as well as a member of the National Youth Orchestra and leader of the Midlands Youth Orchestra. I have travelled to various locations, such as Germany and Abu Dhabi, with these orchestras. Having decided not to take part in the school musicals, I chose instead to play in the band instead, which was an extremely enjoyable experience. I also sang with the Chamber orchestra during my senior years in the Ursuline. I have won three High Achiever awards and taken part in competitions such as Féile an tSamhraidh.
I graduated from University College Dublin with a degree in Psychology in 2017. During my three years in University, I was a member of the UCD Symphony Orchestra. I performed with the orchestra on numerous occasions and had the experience of travelling to Sweden in my first year to perform with the orchestra. I am currently preparing for a Diploma in Music Performance with the Associated Board. Although I only studied music as an extra subject for one year of college, it is something that I find extremely interesting and it is always nice to get away from work or study to play for a couple of hours.
Name: Chris Larkin
Year finished school: 1999
Instruments studied: Cello & Piano
Tell us about your time at St Angela’s: I studied piano and cello at the Ursuline from the ages of 8 to 18 and music turned out to be one of the most important parts of my education. While I was pretty useless on a hockey field, playing music opened up opportunities to be a part of another kind of team, playing in the school orchestra and musicals, and performing at the National Concert Hall as part of the Kildare Symphony Orchestra. Years later in London I played again with a local London orchestra as well as in friends’ bands, bringing the cello tone to their guitars. Beyond the enjoyment of music though, one of the things I credit to learning is building confidence to present and perform. I didn’t like those exams at the time but they taught me how to deal with nerves and get out there!
Name: Mary Stakelum
Year finished school: 1978
Instruments studied: Piano & Violin
Tell us about your time at St Angela’s: I have very fond memories of the time I spent learning music at school. I can still remember the sense of delight my weekly violin and piano lessons brought me, the endless patience and encouragement of my teachers, the enthusiasm they showed when introducing me to a wide range of musical repertoire and the enjoyment I had when performing as a member of the school orchestra and choir. I continue to marvel at how profoundly supportive the music education environment was at the Ursuline. I think it was because the quality of student experience was central to the development of the musician at every level and I am confident that this has prepared me well for my professional life as a musician and music educator.
Are you a past pupil of St Angela’s Academy of Music? We would love to hear your thoughts about learning music at our school! If you would like to contribute a testimonial, just fill in the form below and we will add your comments to this page. Thank you, we look forward to hearing from you!