Featuring Our Up and Coming Talent
Michael is a sophomore at Central Catholic High School and a member of the Central Catholic Crew team. Michael began playing classical violin at the age of 4 because of his innate love of music. He has studied with Ramona Coppage and is a violinist with the Westmoreland Youth Symphony Orchestra and with the Central Catholic String Ensemble. His younger sister began Irish dancing when he was 10 years old which inspired him to learn Irish fiddling. He began to study with Rose Flanagan, of New York. He has subsequently won the 2014 North American Feis Commission Music Scholarship, the Shaffer Irish Music award in 2016 and 2017, accompanied the Murphy Roche Grupa Cheoil Group from Chicago and the Pearl River Ceili Band from New York. He also enjoys playing the bodhran, a traditional Irish drum, and loves to join in with the Pittsburgh sessions when he is able.
Margaret is currently in 8th grade at Mother of Sorrows School in Murrysville, PA and will enter Oakland Catholic next year. Like a true little sister, Margaret followed her brother and began playing the violin when she was 2 years old. She is under the tutelage of Ramona Coppage and a 1st violinist with the Westmoreland Youth Symphony Orchestra. She slowly began to learn some Irish tunes though her dance and through her brother’s playing. With her Irish dance she has achieved the status of a Champion level dancer, following her mother who was also a dancer. Through her fiddle, under the direction of Rose Flanagan, of New York she became the 2016 All-Ireland champion for Irish Slow Airs in her age category. She has also won the 2016 and 2017 Shaffer Irish Music Awards, the 2017 and 2018 Greater Cleveland Feis society music scholarship and has placed at the MidAtlantic Fleadh in both 2016 and 2018. She has played with the Pearl River School of Irish Music Ceili Band. She always enjoys joining the welcoming Pittsburgh sessions as well.
Kieran Flanagan is a 19 year old college Freshman, currently studying engineering at Manhattan College, from Pearl River New York. Kieran comes from a very musical family which includes his mom Rose and dad Mike both Irish musicians, and his older sisters Maeve and Bernadette, who play in the Irish band Girsa, and brother Liam. Kieran grew up in a household where Irish music was the norm. He started piano lessons at the age of ten under the tutelage of renowned pianist Brendan Dolan, son of the late famed Felix Dolan.
Kieran is the recipient of many North American title's in piano accompaniment under the tutelage of Brendan Dolan. In August 2016 Kieran won first place in the 15-18 age category at All Ireland Fleadh Cheoil in Ennis, Co Clare. Just this past summer Kieran placed third in the senior accompaniment competition in Drogheda, Ireland. Kieran has played accompaniment for many Irish musicians including his Uncle Brian Conway and plays in various concerts and Ceili's in the NY area. Kieran also plays whistle and flute, taught to him by Margie Mulvihill in Pearl River.
Hollie Greenwood is a freshman at the Cleveland Institute of Music studying double bass performance. Along with the bass, Hollie has played traditional Irish music for the past 7 years learning from New York fiddle player and music school director, Rose Flanagan. Hollie is a former member of the Atlanta Irish Music School and has played around the Metropolitan Atlanta area in several capacities. She also has a background in competing, holding medals from both the Midwest Fleadh and the Fleadh Cheoil na hEireann in fiddle dance tunes and slow airs. Hollie enjoys sessions and the community aspect of traditional folk music. She hopes to play wherever she goes, teach both bass and fiddle, and play in an orchestra in the future.
George Balderose—has been playing and teaching the bagpipes in Pittsburgh for more than 35 years and has studied with several of the world’s great piping masters in both Ireland and Scotland. He co-founded the Balmoral School of Piping in 1979 and serves as its executive director, producing the annual Balmoral Classic in November, which features the US Junior Solo Championship in Piping and Drumming. George is the Pipe Major and founding instructor of the Pittsburgh-based Balmoral Pipes and Drums and also directs the Balmoral instructional summer sessions at various locations. A New York Times reviewer described George as having a “virtuoso’s gift,” and the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette identified him as “The Dean of Pittsburgh pipers.” He also performs with the ensemble Road to the Isles. His piping has been recorded on several CDs, including: A Celtic Christmas; The Way Home (with Road to the Isles); Garden of Daisies (with Road to the Isles); Bagpipe and Organ Music (with Ed Norman); Live at the Knitting Factory. www.PittsburghPiper.com