Committee

Dr Helen Lawlor (Chair)

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.

Dr. Adrian Schaill (Secretary)

Adrian Scahill is a lecturer in ethnomusicology in the Department of Music, Maynooth University. A first-class honours graduate of Maynooth, he studied both piano and organ before completing a Masters in Performance and Musicology (piano) at NUI Maynooth, and a Masters in Music Technology at Queen’s University, Belfast. During this time he was also active as a traditional musician (piano and button accordion), performing and touring both in Ireland and abroad.

His PhD, on accompaniment in Irish traditional music, was completed at University College Dublin in 2005 under the supervision of Harry White. The thesis considers both printed and recorded forms of Irish traditional music, examining how accompanimental techniques and styles are informed by the wider musical context in which they were produced. As part of the largest research project undertaken on music in Ireland, Adrian was subject editor for traditional music for the Encyclopaedia of Music in Ireland (2013), and was also a major contributor to the volume, writing more than forty articles.

Other publications include articles on Irish traditional music and the seventeenth century in Irish Musical Studies 10 (2009), on Riverdance in Music and the Irish Imagination (2013), and on the harp in early traditional groups (2016). He has presented papers at conferences and given invited lectures both in Ireland and abroad, and in 2013 was chair of the organising committee for the Tenth Anniversary Plenary Conference of the Society for Musicology in Ireland. He established the traditional group in the department, and has helped develop and currently oversees traditional music performance within the undergraduate programmes. His teaching includes modules on ethnomusicology, popular music, Irish traditional music, and musicology.

Anaïs Verhulst (Treasurer)

Dr Anaïs Verhulst is an ethnomusicologist and intangible heritage professional. She completed her PhD in Ethnomusicology at University College Dublin in 2017. Her research examined the violin and the ways in which it is used across the world. She focused in particular on the violin in Karnatak music, Norwegian folk, and heavy metal. Upon completing her doctoral degree, she started working in the cultural heritage sector in Belgium. She now works for CEMPER, Centre for Music and Performing Arts Heritage, where she focuses on safeguarding intangible cultural heritage in Flanders. In her work, she uses her background as an ethnomusicologist and her experience with ethnographic fieldwork to help communities, groups and individuals with safeguarding their intangible heritage. As a musician, she is a classical pianist and a fiddler.

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.