Catherine Byrne B. Mus
From Wexford, I began playing guitar at the age of ten. I had a keen interest in music from an early age and continued on to study for a B. Mus in music at Waterford Institute of Technology. While there I studied classical guitar and minored in performance for my degree year. In 2004 and 2005 I was conductors assistant to WIT Budding Bows and Junior Orchestra. The orchestra played many concerts some of which involved a trip to Germany where we were hosted by a local orchestra. I also developed an interest in African drumming and percussion throughout my college years. Since leaving college I have attended drumming workshops in such places as Australia, New Zealand and various parts of Ireland.
Cathy Purcell B. Mus, M. Mus.
A South Kilkenny native, I have a keen interest in percussion which I incorporated into my composition as my major for my degree. In June 2007 I went to the busy town of Cape Coast, Ghana, West Africa. Here, I studied traditional Ghanian Ewe stick and hand drums under the tuition of the master drummer Okyerema Kwammena Pra. I also took part in learning some traditional dance pieces that coincided with the drumming and participated in some voluntary teaching with the children.
For three consecutive years (2006 - 2008), I was asked to work in Waterford's New Music outreach programme. Here, I was commissioned to compose pieces for pupils with whom I worked with over a number of weeks. In December 2008 I completed with distinction a 10 week FETAC Level 5 cert in Caring for children with Special Needs in Waterford CTI.
In July 2013 I graduated from the School of Oriental and African Studies, University of London with a M. Mus. in Ethnomusicology where my thesis focused on 'World Music in Education in the Irish Primary School music curriculum'. Following on from my Masters I went to study Indonesian gamelan music in Bali in 2016 and I joined the Irish National Concert Hall gamelan orchestra Kyai Jati Roso. We have been afforded the opportunity to perform at the National Concert Hall, Electric Picnic, All Together Now and our highlight was travelling to Indonesia with Culture Ireland to perform at the International Gamelan festival in Solo, Java in 2018.
My most recent musical study trip was in April 2019 where I was lucky enough to attend the West African Cultural Expedition in Lac Rose, Senegal. This trip was sponsored by the Arts Council where I got to study the music and culture in more dept through djembe and sabar drums under the tuition of Mohamed Gueye and Mass M'baye.
While Catherine and Marese are taking a secondary role with Rhythm & Shakes to further their professional development the World Music in Education programme is primarily led my myself.
Marese Howley B. Mus, H. Dip Ed.
Born in Mayo, I graduated from Waterford Institute of Technology with a B. Mus. majoring in composition. In 2008, I went on to complete a Postgraduate Diploma in Education from Trinity College Dublin. I have also conducted both church and school choir's. I teach acoustic guitar and grades from the Royal Irish Academy of Music for piano. In college, I became interested in African drumming and have performed in various venues throughout Ireland playing support to bands such as Kila. I have also played at The World's Ocean Festival and Spraoi.