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Dr. Éamonn Costello (Chair)

Éamonn is an Irish traditional musician and native Irish speaker from the Conamara Gaeltacht (Irish speaking district) in Co. Galway. His PhD, awarded in 2016 by the University of Limerick, is concerned with the relationship between the Oireachtas na Gaeilge festival and vernacular Irish language song; it is titled 'Sean-nós singing and Oireachtas na Gaeilge: Identity, Romantic Nationalism, and the Agency of the Gaeltacht Community Nexus'. He received an MA in Ethnomusicology in 2008 from UCC, and a BA in Irish Music and Dance from the University of Limerick in 2007. Éamonn lectured on Irish traditional music, ethnomusicology, and world music at the Irish World Academy from 2010 to 2015, and is currently working as an Irish language teacher in the School of Culture and Communications at the University of Limerick.

Éamonn has published reviews in academic journals such as Ethnomusicology: Journal of the society for Ethnomusicology, and the World of Music (new series). As a musician, Éamonn has collaborated widely with other musicians and groups; in 2010, along with Limerick fiddler, Cathal Clohessy, he released a duet album of Irish traditional music, Bosca Ceoil and Fiddle, which has been lauded by critics both nationally and internationally.


 Dr Helen Lawlor (Secretary)

Dr Helen Lawlor is a musician and academic, specialising in Irish harping.  She lectures in music at Dundalk Institute of Technology. Helen holds a Bachelor in Music Education (TCD), Masters in Musicology (UCD) and PhD in Music, for which she was awarded an Ad Astra Research Scholarship.

Helen is co-editor with Sandra Joyce of ‘Harp Studies, Perspectives on the Irish Harp’ (Four Courts Press, 2016).  In 2012 Helen published her research on the harp tradition in a monograph entitled ‘Irish Harping 1900-2010’ (Four Courts Press).  Helen has also contributed articles to the Encyclopaedia of Music in Ireland, The Companion to Irish Traditional Music, Ancestral Imprints and Sonus.  While a doctoral student at UCD she co-edited Issue 3 of The Musicology Review. She has given guest lectures at Harvard University, the New England Conservatory, the American Irish Historical Society and the Royal Scottish Conservatoire, Boston College, New York University and the Irish Arts Centre, New York.

Helen has performed and taught traditional Irish harping at numerous international music festivals including the Interceltic Festival (Lorient), Scoil Samhraidh Willie Clancy, Blas and The Gaelic Roots festival in Boston.

Anaïs Verhulst (Treasurer)

Anaïs Verhulst is in the final year of her PhD in Ethnomusicology at University College Dublin. Her research focusses on the violin and the ways in which it is used across the world. For her doctoral thesis, she is investigating the violin in Karnatak music, Norwegian folk music, and heavy metal. She has worked as a tutor and occasional lecturer in UCD, teaching about music theory, music in Ireland, and musics of the world. Anaïs moved to Ireland in 2012 to begin an MMus in Ethnomusicology in UCD. Before this she studied in her Belgian hometown at the University of Leuven where she gained a BA and MA in Musicology. As a musician, she is a classical pianist, fiddler, and plays with the National Concert Hall Gamelan Orchestra.


Stephanie Ford (Education Officer)

Stephanie is a musician and academic originally from Castlebar in county Mayo. A current Irish Research Council Government of Ireland Postgraduate Scholar at Maynooth University, her doctoral research focuses on new identity perspectives in collaborations between sean nós singers and Irish contemporary composers in the 21st century. She also holds a B. A. in Music and French (2012) and an M. A. in Musicology (2013) from Maynooth University. Stephanie currently works as a tutor and occasional lecturer in the music department at Maynooth, contributing to undergraduate and postgraduate modules on music and identity and music in Ireland.

Her most recent article, published in New Perspectives: Postgraduate Symposium for the Humanities - Reflections, Volume 1 (2017), explores the negotiation of marginalised and emerging identities in works such as Donnacha Dennehy’s Grá agus Bás.  Stephanie has also published on music in Ireland for a general audience, including online articles for RTÉ and other websites.

Stephanie was the chair of the organising committee for the joint annual SMI/ICTM postgraduate conference, held in January 2018. She also has experience in arts administration, having worked for the Contemporary Music Centre as Information and Communications Coordinator from 2015-2017.


Jack Talty (Membership Officer)

Jack Talty is a traditional musician, composer, record producer, academic, and educator, from Lissycasey in west county Clare. As a performer Jack has travelled extensively throughout Europe, the United States, Australia, and Asia, and has contributed to over 50 albums to date as a musician, producer, composer, arranger, and engineer. Jack founded the traditional music label Raelach Records in 2011, and in 2013 established the award-winning Ensemble Ériu with former schoolmate Neil O’ Loghlen. Since 2013 Jack has performed as a section leader with the Irish Memory Orchestra.

A music graduate of University College Cork, Jack has been awarded the Mary V. Hart Memorial Award, The Seán Ó Riada Memorial Award, a University College Cork Societies Guild Bene Merenti award, and a University College Cork Comhaltas Ceoltóirí Éireann award. In 2009 Jack completed an MA in Music Technology at the Department of Computer Science and Information Systems, University of Limerick.

An Irish Research Council Government of Ireland Postgraduate Scholar, Jack’s never-ending doctoral research at the Irish World Academy, University of Limerick, explores the Institutionalisation of Irish traditional music pedagogy in Irish higher education. Elements of this PhD research contribute a chapter to a forthcoming (April 2017) Oxford University Press publication entitled College Music Curricula for a New Century, edited by Robin D. Moore.


John Millar (Communications Officer)

John received his BA degree from University College Dublin in 2013, followed by a Master’s degree in Musicology the following year, specialising in ethnomusicology. He has lectured in musicology at University College Dublin and St. Patrick’s College, teaching modules on the analysis of popular music, world music, and on the discipline of ethnomusicology. As a musician, John is a member of the National Concert Hall Gamelan, as well as being active in the country music scene in Dublin. Currently pursuing a PhD in Ethnomusicology, his research interests include the practice of country music in Ireland, cultural appropriation and adaptation, and the philosophy and phenomenology of music.

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