Tom is an international consultant focusing on higher education and research. In August 2016 he stepped down from his role as Chief Executive of the Higher Education Authority of Ireland (HEA), ending over two decades at the most senior levels in the Irish education system. The HEA leads the strategic development of the Irish higher education and research system and has a statutory responsibility, for the effective governance, regulation and performance of all publicly funded higher education institutions. Prior to his role in the HEA, he served as Director of Strategic Policy and legal adviser in the Department of Education and Skills.
He is currently a member of the advisory board of Asia Matters and has previously served on the boards of HEAnet (Chairman) 2004 – 2013; IMHE – the OECD’s higher education programme (2005 -2016); the Fulbright Commission (3 year term to 2009); the Central Applications Office (2004 – 2016) and Science Foundation Ireland (4 year term to 2012).
He holds degrees in Civil Engineering (NUIG), Law (King’s Inns) and was called to the Bar of Ireland (1989).
Alan holds a Bachelor in Music Education from Trinity College Dublin, a Bachelor in Arts (Music) from the DIT Conservatory of Music and Drama and has recently successfully completed a Masters in Arts (Music). As a clarinet player he has won awards for both solo playing and chamber music. Primarily an educator by profession Alan currently holds the position of Head of Music in Templeogue College Dublin and works in the Artane School of Music, home of the world renowned Artane Band. His career however also includes conducting, composingand arranging.
Alan began his conducting studies in 2006 and studied orchestral conducting with David Brophy and choral conducting with Hungarian conductor Katalin Kiss. His conducting engagements have brought him across Ireland, France and the UK with various wind ensembles and orchestras. He has worked with the Artane Band, Greystones Orchestra, Trinity Orchestra and Fingal Youth Orchestra, as well as working as rehearsal conductor for the City of Dublin Chamber Orchestra, Wexford Sinfonia and previously as part of the National Concert Hall’s Learn and Explore Department. Alan is also involved in Arts administration and has held the role of Chairperson of the City of Dublin Chamber Orchestra for many years.
Alan is heavily associated with youth orchestras and ensembles throughout Ireland. He is currently the orchestra manager of the Irish Youth Wind Ensemble a group with whom he has been working with for many years. He is connected with Dublin Youth Orchestra working as a tutor for their chamber music courses. Alan is delighted to have been working with the National Youth Orchestra of Ireland for many years and is thrilled to have been appointed to the Board of Directors.
Anthony is the General Manager of the RTÉ National Symphony Orchestra. He was appointed to the position in March 2017. Prior to this he was General Manager of the RTÉ Concert Orchestra, a position he held since 2003, where he was responsible for the artistic, business and financial management of the ensemble. Originating and implementing strategy, he devised a diverse and eclectic mix of programmes and events that appeal to the widest audience possible. An ex- member, manager and director of the National Youth Orchestra of Ireland and he was invited to re-join the board in 2016.
A graduate of Trinity College he has worked as a professional musician with the Irish Chamber Orchestra (Principal Clarinet), RTÉ Concert Orchestra, RTÉ National Symphony Orchestra and Irish Film Orchestra amongst others before moving into management at the Artane School of Music in 1999 where he oversaw several initiatives including the introduction of girls into the Artane Band, breaking with a hundred and thirty-year tradition of a boys only band.
While working with the RTÉ Concert Orchestra, he has presided over the resurgence of the ensembles connection with its audience seeing it named ‘The World’s Favourite Orchestra’ in a poll conducted by Bachtrack in 2015. He appointed David Brophy as Principal Conductor and John Wilson as Principal Guest (and subsequently Principal Conductor) focussing on audience facing initiatives, mainstreaming film screenings for Irish audiences with live orchestral performance including the Lord of The Rings Trilogy, Gladiator and Indiana Jones. His tenure also includes the appointment of Navan born film composer Brian Byrne as artist in residence. He was artistic director of the RTÉ Farmleigh Proms and more recently co-produced Jenny Greene & The RTÉ Concert Orchestra at Electric Picnic and the 3Arena. Other highlights include the RTÉ Concert Orchestras premiere performance of Handels Messiah in the Vatican for Pope Benedict in 2009 and producing a live screen performance version of ‘Mise Eire (1959)’ for the 2016 Centenary celebrations in association with Gael Linn and the Irish Film Institute, the premiere of which was attended by President Michael D. Higgins and the film maker George Morrison.
Joan is a cellist and has been Head of String String Studies at CIT Cork School of Music since 2006. Joan is a Cork native and was one of the first students selected from her primary school for the, then experimental, Suzuki String Programme, piloted by Denise and Renee Lane, as an initiative of the CSM and its director Bernard Curtis. The CSM Suzuki Scheme continues to be an integral part of the city’s music education infrastructure under her watchful eye. Joan later studied with Canadian cellist, Paul Pulford, and also Michael Steinkuhler, Ursula Willis and Gerry Kelly.
An honours BMus graduate of UCC, Joan also was awarded an MA in Performance from CIT CSM, having previously been awarded a Dip.CSM – the precursor of the current BMus degree. She combined a career as a freelance orchestral player – RTE National Symphony Orchestra; Galway Baroque; East Cork Choral Society et. – with her teaching for Cork School of Music, Cork County School of Music, and Kerry School of Music. A keen chamber musician, Joan was for many years a member of the Orpheus Trio, among other groups, performing around the country and making several broadcasts for RTE TV. She also lectured and coached chamber music at University College Cork and was, for a time, a member of Jimmy Crowley’s infamous Stoker’s Lodge!
Since becoming Head, Joan has managed a period of change and has kept the String Department as the preeminent centre for string training, at every level, in Ireland. Recruiting all four members of the original Vanbrugh String Quartet, and many professionals from the Irish Chamber Orchestra has been key to maintaining the standard that continues to see students and graduates continue to win national and international awards and prizes and become appointed to positions in professional orchestras around the world.
Deirdre Waldron is a PR and Marketing Professional with over 25 years industry experience in the UK and Ireland in a variety of sectors including hospitality, education, charity, finance, legal and IT.
Deirdre founded Fuzion in 2000 and, as well as managing the PR division of Fuzion in the Cork and Dublin offices, she plays a significant role in any crisis communications projects, public awareness campaigns and she works with many clients on their strategy around communications. Deirdre works with a wide variety of clients across a number of sectors on an ongoing basis in this capacity.
Deirdre's other specialities include Project Management, Internal Communications and Reputation Management. She enjoys making a difference and working closely with clients who also are passionate about being the best within their sector.
Originally from Co. Kildare, David studied trumpet at the Royal Conservatoire of Scotland in Glasgow, Sibelius Academy in Helsinki and completed an MMus in Trumpet at the Royal Irish Academy of Music in Dublin graduating with Distinction. During his studies David won prizes including the Guinness Brass Bursary and Robert McCreath Memorial and was a member of the European Union Youth Orchestra from 2009–2011 touring Europe and performing at the BBC Proms.
Since returning to Ireland, David performs and broadcasts regularly with the RTÉ National Symphony and Concert Orchestras and the Irish Chamber Orchestra. Between 2016–2018 David held the position of Principal Trumpet no. 2 & Principal Cornet with the Ulster Orchestra in Belfast, Northern Ireland and more recently has performed with the World Orchestra for Peace.
David was appointed as Head of Wind, Brass and Percussion at the Royal Irish Academy of Music in September 2019 and has worked with the trumpet section of the National Youth Orchestra of Ireland since 2011. David is the Artistic Director of Dublin Brass Week, Ireland’s international brass festival. He has additionally appeared as soloist in concerti by Haydn, Vivaldi, Neruda as well as Bach's Brandenburg Concerto no. 2.
Emma Morgan has worked in the non-profit sector for 12 years. She has a background specialising in fundraising development and organisational strategy. She is business analyst for Concern Worldwide, the vice-chair and development board member for Helium Arts; career mentor and private consultant and public speaker for strategic development in the non-profit sector.
She holds an MA from University College Dublin in Cultural Policy and Arts Management, the focus of which was how charitable organisations use arts based programmes and products as part of their fundraising mix. In her spare time she is a painter and in the past has participated in community art projects and had illustrations published for a small not profit publication entitled “what not to say”.
Derek Mander is an experienced financial services professional with 30 years of experience operating at senior levels in global financial services organisations including PwC, Bank of Ireland, HSBC, BNY Mellon, Principal Asset Management and his current employer LSEG Group plc. He is a qualified Chartered Accountant and has extensive experience in the fields of financial management, governance, risk management and regulatory compliance.
Derek has also been a member of Dublin Concert Band for over 25 years. He plays clarinet and saxophone and since 2016 has been the Band’s Chairman. In this role he has overall responsibility for the Band’s calendar of engagements, recruitment and retention of new players, engagement with the Musical Director and the development of strategic partnerships and relationships with a variety of stakeholders with a view to ensuring the long term viability and success of the Band. In this role he is supported by a committee comprised of other members of the Band.
Mollie Wrafter has recently graduated with First Class Honours from the Royal Northern College of Music in Manchester. During her time at RNCM, she won the Norman George Violin Competition and the Nossek Prize for Chamber Music. She was awarded the Irish Heritage Performance Bursary for her Wigmore Hall debut performance in 2019. Since completing her undergraduate study at RNCM, she has enjoyed a busy freelance career balancing solo engagements and her quartet. In April 2022, Mollie won the Aileen Gore Cup & RTE Lyric FM Award at the Feis Ceoil in Dublin. Subsequently, she was awarded the RDS Jago Award and a professional solo engagement with the RTE Concert Orchestra. This year, she returned to RNCM with the Treske Quartet to take part in the ‘RNCM Chamber Studio’ residency. The quartet has performed in Ireland, the UK, America and Canada and has worked with a number of emerging composers on new works for the string quartet repertoire. They were awarded 2nd prize at the 2023 Cavatina Competition in Wigmore Hall. Mollie features on Manchester Collective’s debut LP, ‘The Centre is Everywhere’ and was named one of Golden Plec Magazine’s ‘PlecPicks’ in 2021. She is looking forward to joining the Hallé Orchestra for the coming year, taking part in the Advanced Orchestral Strings Programme.