Audrey McKenna

Founding Director

Audrey McKenna, Founding Director of the Kingston Academy of Music, formally began singing on the stage at the age of four. Her interest in music and performance was nurtured in her junior school where she regularly performed both in choirs and as a soloist in the Dublin Feis Ceoil and the Sligo Feis Ceoil. She also had the opportunity to perform regularly in Slógadh (National Traditional Performance Completion) winning many All-Ireland awards of distinction.

Audrey’s love of music and culture was developed and harnessed in her secondary school where she achieved her diplomas and Licentiate and Associate in performance and teaching of Piano from the Associated Board of the Royal School of Music, London (ABRSM) and the Victoria College of Music, London.

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Johanne Heraty


Johanne Heraty began playing piano at the age of four in her hometown of Westport, Co. Mayo. This interest in music led her to Dublin at the age of nineteen. In 1999, Johanne attended UCD to study music and in 2003 and 2004 graduated with a B. Arts and B. Music respectively. In 2006 she completed a Masters in Musicology at UCD. Currently, Johanne is a PhD candidate at UCD, under the supervision of Dr Wolfgang Marx, studying the microtonal music of the American composer Ezra Sims. During September to December 2009, Johanne was a visiting scholar at Dartmouth College, New Hampshire, where she conducted interviews with Ezra Sims in Boston. Johanne is editor of a collection of writings by Ezra Sims, which will be published through FrogPeak Music in New Hampshire.

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Christopher Nery

Trombone, Euphonium and Trumpet

Christopher Nery began the euphonium at the age of nine in his elementary school band in Pittsburgh, USA. Two years later, his family moved to Paris, where he studied trumpet and solfège. He eventually returned to the States, studying euphonium and trombone with Robert Hamrick from the Pittsburgh Symphony Orchestra.

He studied at the Eastman School of Music in Rochester, New York as well as at Duquesne University in Pittsburgh, where he earned a Bachelor of Arts in Music Performance and the Artist's Diploma. Christopher then travelled the US for two years with River City Brass, a brass and percussion ensemble based in Pittsburgh.

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Antonello D'Orazio

Flute, Clarinet and Saxophone

Antonello D’Orazio is a multi-instrumentalist, he plays: tenor and alto saxophone, concert and alto flute, and clarinet.

Antonello was awarded a Masters Degree in Alto Saxophone at the Conservatory of Music in Italy, his home country. He has a classical background with extensive knowledge of jazz and rock music. This is his fourth year with the Kingston Academy.

His career as performer includes a long collaboration with the "Universe Orchestra" and the "RAI (Radio and Television Italian Network) Jazz Orchestra". He has also taken part in many theatrical musicals.

Based in Dublin since 2008, he is an active soloist and performs regularly in numerous bands and musical projects.

Junshi Murakami


Originally from Tokyo, Japan, Junshi Murakami has been living in Ireland since 1999. He studied the harp with Áine Ní Dhubhghaill at the Royal Irish Academy of Music, where he was awarded a Diploma in Irish Harp performance in 2005. This is his ninth year at the Kingston Academy.

Junshi has been involved in a number of events and recordings in Ireland, Denmark, Italy and Japan, including a critically acclaimed debut album from Lisa O'Neill, Lisa O'Neill has an Album (2009) and performances at the Dun Laoghaire Festival of World Culture and Electric Picnic. He is widely regarded as one of the finest harpists currently working in Ireland.

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Rachel Schmoyer


Rachel Schmoyer is a pianist who is passionate about using her love of music to connect with others, and aims to encourage her students in their enjoyment of music through interesting repertoire and good playing technique.

Rachel has nearly 20 years of experience teaching students ranging in age from four to 74, and enjoys the unique perspectives and opportunities each student brings with them to the piano. This is her fourth year at the Kingston Academy.

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Jessica Valiente


Jessica Valiente is a violinist who is passionate about teaching and performing. She comes from Spain and this is her third year at the Kingston Academy.

She has Degrees in the Pedagogy of Violin and in the Interpretation of Violin awarded by the “Conservatorio Superior de Navarra” in Pamplona, Spain. Among the other courses and master classes she has attended are with Natalia Lomeiko, Yuri Zislin and Professor Yuri Nasuskhin in Oviedo in Spain; courses in rhythm and chamber music at the Conservatory of Terni in Italy; she has also attended courses in fiddle playing with Comhaltas Ceoltori in Dublin.

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Fiona Flavin


Fiona Flavin is a lyric soprano and honours graduate of the Cork School of Music where she studied voice with Robert Craig (MMus Juilliard).

A native of County Limerick, Fiona began her music education at the Limerick School of Music where she studied piano and later began studying voice with Olive O'Brien. After receiving numerous awards as a young soprano at competitions such as Feile Luimni and Feis Maitiu she decided to pursue her vocal studies full time. During her undergraduate degree, Fiona excelled in vocal pedagogy and performance studies.

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Anna Mulhall


Anna began playing piano at the age of 11 in her hometown of Carlow. Her interest in music developed quickly and led her to the Royal Irish Academy of Music where she also completed a BA in Music Performance. Her teachers included Majella Swan, Deirdre Doyle, Hugh Tinney and John O’Conor. As part of her undergraduate degree, Anna performed Beethoven’s piano concerto in C minor, Op. 37 at the National Concert Hall and gave numerous solo and chamber music recitals at the National Gallery, Áras an Uachtaráin, St. Ann’s church Dawson St., Alliance Francaise, the Goethe Institut and through Feis Ceoil.

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Maja Rumianowska

Piano & Double Bass

Maja Rumianowska is a piano and double bass player, with a Master’s Degree in Music and a Teaching Diploma.

She graduated from the Feliks Nowowiejski Academy of Music in Bydgoszcz, Poland. She has years of stage and teaching experience in her native country and in Ireland.

Maja is a winner of numerous music competitions in both piano and double bass. She is also a qualified accompanist performing with vocalists, choir and many instrumentalists. As a double bass player Maja has performed with many different orchestras around Europe and worked with the best conductors and soloists. She has also participated in numerous international summer master classes as a piano soloist, double bass soloist and chamber music player.

Neil Keenan


With over twenty years’ experience as a corporate lawyer, Neil is a partner at one of Ireland’s largest law firms. Neil has acted on many significant and complex transactions and has extensive experience advising on the legal challenges facing businesses and organisations in the private and corporate sectors.

Neil regularly lectures in the Law Society including the series of seminars during 2015 on the Companies Act, 2014. Neil has also authored a chapter in the Law Society's Business Law manual, and regularly contributes articles in national media and specialist publications. He is a regular speaker on company and commercial law related topics.

Neil is Chairman of the Chamber of Arts, Heritage and Culture.

Patrick Lennon


Patrick Lennon is an experienced, London and Dublin based marketing and communications professional in the travel, leisure and sports industries in the United Kingdom, Ireland and overseas.

He is owner and director of a successful London based consultancy, Patrick Lennon Associates, established in 1985 that has advised many leading national and international companies and organisations on marketing and communications strategies and structures and their implementation.

Patrick has also been involved with Irish community organisations in the charity, cultural and sports sectors in Britain for many years. He has written and broadcast extensively about rugby union and other subjects.

Sarah Roche

Piano and Violin

Sarah Roche is a gifted pianist and violinist.

Sarah comes from Dublin and undertook her music education at Newpark Music Centre and Leeds College of Music. She obtained a Diploma in Contemporary Performance from the former and graduated with an honour degree in classical music from the latter.

Sarah, who also has an Associate Diploma in Teaching Classical Piano from the RIAM, has been teaching piano to students from beginners to advanced level for RIAM examinations for five years.

While in Leeds, Sarah was a member of the Leeds College of Music Camerata Orchestra and performed with the College’s Chamber Orchestra as well as singing with the Gospel Choir. She has also performed with members of the Royal Philharmonic Orchestra at the National Concert Hall where she also participated in master classes with Therese Fahy.

Aran O’Grady

Piano, clarinet and saxophone

Aran O’Grady is talented pianist, clarinet and saxophone player and composer. Aran was born in Dublin and completed his BA in Composition at the Royal Irish Academy of Music where he graduated with a first class honours degree.

Aran has been teaching for many years and his students have enjoyed success in State and RIAM examinations.

Aran’s music has been performed by Bill Dowdall, Paul Roe, Alluna Ensemble, Aurelia Quartet, David Adams, Con Tempo, Kirkos ensemble and Guildhall Opera Company. He was a finalist in the Alkema Composition Competition and was selected to participate in Voix d'Éte, a summer programme for opera makers and writers in Fontainebleau, France. He is also a keen arranger and has arranged music for Trinity Orchestra on several occasions.

He performs in jazz and wind bands in Dublin and is a member of the Contemporary Music Chamber Ensemble.

Paddy Groenland


Paddy Groenland who teaches guitar at the Academy, is a songwriter, multi-instrumentalist and lead singer of Paj, his original band that draws from rythm and blues, soul and jazz.

He has played guitar in a variety of crossover bands like traditional Irish award-winners, Ensemble Ériu, Congolese guitarist Niwel Tsumbu's RiZa, West-African group Manden Express, Dave Flynn's Clare Memory Orchestra alongside Martin Hayes, groups Loah, Fehdah and Danny G & the Major 7ths, playing support to Thundercat, Hiatus Kaiyote, Taylor McFerrin, M People and Billy Ocean, while his own folk/jazz group, Leafzang, released their eponymous album in 2011.

A Fulbright student at the Berklee College of Music, Boston, he recently completed a Masters degree in Global music and pedagogy at the Sibelius Academy inHelsinki.

Mary Kavanagh

Violin and Piano

Mary Kavanagh is a violin and piano player and teacher with a B.A. Hons in Music Performance and a Post Masters in Education.

Mary comes from Carlow where she began her tuition with Carlow College of Music. She has played in the National Concert Hall and across Europe with the Carlow Youth Orchestra.

While completing her piano exams, Mary also completed her B.A. in Music Performance (Violin) at Maynooth University under the tuition of Sebastien Petiet who performs with the National Concert Orchestra. Throughout her degree Mary played with the Maynooth University Orchestra and the Maynooth University String Ensemble. She has also participated in master classes with Istvan Barnacz and Mícheál Ó Súilleabháin. Following her degree, Mary went on to pursue a Post Masters in Education in Music and History which she achieved in 2018.

For the past four years Mary has been teaching violin, piano, theory and junior orchestra at the Carlow College of Music, while also gaining teaching experience in post-primary schools

Sarah Luttrell


Sarah Luttrell who teaches voice at the Academy, is a mezzo soprano and honours graduate of the DIT Conservatory of Music and Drama where she studied voice with Colette McGahon-Tosh. Sarah majored her degree in performance and vocal pedagogy.

Sarah began her musical education in Kilkenny College under the direction of David Milne. After receiving numerous awards and prizes from Kilkenny College, The Kilkenny Music Festival and Wesley College Interschool’s Music Festival, she decided to pursue a career in music and continued her studies at the DIT Conservatory of Music and Drama.

Sarah is a member of the award-winning DIT Chamber choir, The Guinness Choir and has also been a member of the Irish Youth Choir and Irish Youth Chamber Choir in recent years. She has performed both as a soloist and as part of Choral ensembles in numerous venues around the country, including the National Concert Hall, RDS Concert Hall, Christ Church Dublin, St. Patrick Cathedral Dublin and St. Mel’s Cathedral Longford.

Sarah has recently performed as a soloist for Handel’s ‘Messiah’ with the Dublin based choir ‘The Occasional Singers’ in Our Lady of Victories Church, County Kildare and Britten’s ‘A Ceremony of Carols’ with The Guinness Choir in St. Patrick’s Cathedral Dublin.