People

Music Network Executive

Sharon Rollston

Sharon Rollston - Chief Executive

With over 15 years of experience working in Ireland’s cultural sector, Sharon leads the implementation of Music Network’s strategic plan, and manages the organisation’s operation.

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Former positions she has held include Touring and Outreach Manager at Moving on Music Ltd. and Education Programme Manager at the Crafts Council of Ireland, before joining Music Network initially as Performance Programmes Manager and later serving as Acting CEO. Sharon’s role includes Artistic Direction, leading the implementation of organisational policy and programmes, fundraising, management and development of relationships with strategic local partners and key external bodies at national level, and financial and general management of the organisation.

Helen Grant

Helen Grant - Finance Manager (P/T)

Helen Grant as Finance Manager is responsible for developing, maintaining effective accounting/budgeting procedures and producing management accounts/reports.

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Helen, who is CPA qualified has over ten years experience in Finance. Prior to joining Music Network in January 2006, Helen worked with various different companies, from service to manufacturing and from medium to large multinational corporations. Helen acts as company secretary.

Deirdre Moynihan

Deirdre Moynihan - Programmes Manager

With a history on both sides of the performance platform, Deirdre brings a wealth of experience to the role of Programmes Manager.

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As both a performer and project curator across a wide range of genres, she has managed many tours and projects within Ireland and abroad. She is an accomplished soprano specialising in Early and Contemporary music and is also the inspiration behind the popular choral website, Choirs Can. As Programmes Manager, Deirdre is responsible for the activities of Music Network’s national touring programme, and associated audience and promoter development initiatives. She also manages artist liaison, artist support schemes and special projects along with building and maintaining relationships with cultural organisations and other stakeholders.

Andreas Ziemons

Andreas Ziemons - Operations Administrator

Andreas Ziemons studied classical singing at the Robert Schumann Conservatory in his home town of Düsseldorf, and holds a Degree in Musical Stage Performance from the Bavarian Theatre Academy in Munich.

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He has over 25 years experience in Musical, Opera and Concert performance in Germany, The Netherlands, Austria, Italy and Ireland. Joining the Music Network team in 2007, Andreas is currently Operations Administrator, assisting in the planning and delivery of Music Network Programmes and supporting the work of the Programmes Manager and the PR and Marketing department in sustaining positive working relationships with promoters and other key stakeholders. Andreas also has responsibility for co-ordinating operations in the busy Music Network office.

Sarah Cunningham

Sarah Cunningham - Programmes Administrator

Sarah Cunningham holds a B.Mus and an MA in Computer Music from NUI Maynooth, and has several years of experience in choral performance and piano teaching.

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She was previously an administrator at the Royal Irish Academy of Music, and Senior Administrator and Outreach Co-ordinator at Waltons New School of Music. As Programmes Administrator at Music Network, she works closely with the Programmes Manager to support the effective planning, delivery and management of Music Network’s programmes. In addition to providing key administrative support, Sarah’s role focuses on enhancing the music education and audience development impact of programmes through targeted initiatives and engaging and supporting musicians, promoters and other stakeholders.  

Louise Walsh

Louise Walsh - Communications Manager (P/T)

Louise Walsh is a Business Studies graduate and holds a Higher Diploma in Arts Administration from UCD.

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She has over 10 years experience working in the cultural sector and is experienced in event management, sponsorship, PR and marketing. Previous posts in the arts include Marketing Manager Dublin Dance Festival 2006, Sponsorship Manager St. Patrick's Festival and festival marketing consultant at Edinburgh Mela and Waterford Spraoi. In her role as Communications Manager at Music Network, she is responsible for the implementation and ongoing development of Music Network’s Communications Strategy, including internal and external communications relating to a diverse portfolio of activities.

Patron

Michael D. Higgins - President of Ireland

Music Network Board of Directors

Peter Finnegan - Chairman (view profile)

Re-Appointed 20/09/2016

Managing Director of Communiqué International, Peter Finnegan designs and directs a wide range of communications consultancy and skills-development projects across the public and private sectors. He works in Ireland, Europe, Western Balkans and Africa. In addition, he acts as a facilitator of strategy development including the development and implementation of internal and external communication strategies.

Acknowledged as a leading expert in the area of media communication, crisis communication, persuasive communication and the communication of change, Peter acts as communications advisor and strategist to a wide range of companies and organisations and is the consultant of choice for many of the leading public relations companies. A key part of his work involves message development and spokesperson preparation for media encounters.

Peter works extensively with companies preparing for big ticket sales pitches. He has devised pitching principles and pitch preparation methodologies for organisations and consortia in the highly competitive sectors of Professional Services, Financial Services and Foreign Direct Investment.

Peter presents regularly at conferences and seminars where he has focused on topics as diverse as ‘Media Communications in Political Campaigns’, ‘The Power and Influence of the Media in a Contemporary Environment’, ‘The Public Face of Risk & Crisis Management in Ireland’, ‘Defence of the Corporate Realm – Managing Media Communications in a Crisis’, ‘Taking the Selling out of Selling’ and ‘Winning Business through Communicating Value’.

Peter holds an MSc in Executive Leadership from the University of Ulster and Boston College.

He is a member of the board of Fishamble Theatre Company.

Peter Browne (view profile)

Re-Appointed 22/09/2015

Peter Browne learned traditional Irish music at an early age, first playing the tin whistle and concert flute and then graduating to the uilleann pipes at the age of ten. His teachers included Leo Rowsome, Willie Clancy and Séamus Ennis: three of the foremost exponents of uilleann piping at that time and he played with and learned from many of the celebrated musicians of that period at Fleadhanna Ceoil and other musical gatherings.

He progressed to being a skilled player of the instrument and spent time as a member of 1691 and later the Bothy Band. He has played on commercial recordings by artists such as The Chieftains, The Dubliners, Paul Brady, Mick Hanly, Mary Black and Cór Chúil Aodha and has also performed as soloist with various orchestras including the RTÉ NSO, RTECO and the Ulster Orchestra.

He has worked as a radio producer/presenter with RTÉ, the Irish national broadcasting service, for over thirty years and is regarded as knowledgeable in the field of traditional Irish music. He is involved in a wide variety of music programmes including traditional, jazz, classical, world music and documentaries and has also produced a series of commercial recordings of archived traditional music and has lectured on the subject.  At present, he works for both RTÉ Radio 1 and RTÉ Lyric fm. 

Leo Blennerhassett (view profile)

Re-Appointed 20/09/2016

Leo, an honours BBS graduate of Trinity College, worked for 25 years with Accenture. He was Managing Director of Accenture Ireland for 8 years until 2005, during a period of rapid growth and expansion in the business.

He retired from Accenture in 2006 and undertook a number of roles including;

  • Member of the Business School Advisory Board in Trinity College Dublin
  • Adjunct Lecturer in Company Strategy for the TCD MBA programme
  • Undertook a Corporate Governance strategic review for the St. Vincent de Paul in Ireland/Northern Ireland, in preparation for impending Charities Legislation.

Leo holds a Diploma in Company Direction from the Institute of Directors and is currently Non-Executive Chairman of the Board of Royal & Sun Alliance Insurance Ireland Ltd.

In addition to being a Non-Executive Director of Music Network he is also Acting Chairperson of Music Generation.

Clíona Doris (view profile)

Re-Appointed 20/09/2016

Clíona Doris is Head of Orchestral Studies at DIT Conservatory of Music and Drama in Dublin. She is a graduate of The Queen's University of Belfast and Indiana University, Bloomington, USA, where she studied with the acclaimed harpist, Susann McDonald. She graduated with the Doctor of Music Degree in Harp Performance and Music Literature from Indiana University.

Clíona has extensive experience as a soloist and chamber musician and has performed throughout Ireland, Britain, Europe and the United States. Her broadcasts include performances on BBC Radio 3, BBC Radio Ulster, RTÉ lyric fm, National Public Radio USA, ClassicFM TV, UTV, BBC Television and RTÉ Television.  In 2005, she was the soloist at the BBC Proms in the Park from Belfast, which was broadcast as part of the BBC Last Night of the Proms.

An active exponent of contemporary music, Clíona has premiered works by Elaine Agnew, Enda Bates, Linda Buckley, Donnacha Dennehy, Jason E. Geistweidt, Philip Hammond, Brian Irvine, Deirdre McKay, Neil Martin and Ian Wilson.  Her latest CD, a pale yellow sky released on the RTÉ lyricfM label, features contemporary music by Irish composers.  Other recordings include in blue sea or sky, a solo CD on the Riverrun Label and a performance of Handel’s Harp Concerto with the RTÉ Concert Orchestra recorded for the RTÉ lyricfm label.

She was Chairman of the Ninth World Harp Congress Dublin 2005 and is on the Board of Directors of Music Network, the Contemporary Music Centre of Ireland (Chair), Music Generation: National Music Education Programme and the World Harp Congress.

John McGrane (view profile)

Re-Appointed 22/09/2015

John McGrane joined Ulster Bank in 1974 and his career has ranged widely across the bank’s Retail, Corporate and Risk divisions, in both frontline and strategic roles.  As Head of Product and Service Sales he is responsible for delivering Ulster Bank’s full global service proposition to the SME and Corporate sectors and for the roll-out of key new initiatives. John is a Commerce graduate of University College Dublin, a Fellow of the Institute of Bankers in Ireland and a Fellow of the Sales Institute. John is Vice President of Dublin Chamber of Commerce and a Director of The British Irish Chamber of Commerce, where he chairs its Culture, Arts, Sports and Tourism subcommittee. He is also a director of Dublin City Enterprise Board.

Neil Martin (view profile)

Appointed 27/11/2014

Belfast-born Neil Martin is a composer and musician with an international reputation who enjoys a most varied and rewarding career. Among orchestral and choral commissions are The Great and First Object (2013) for soprano and orchestra; Further Shore (2012), an orchestral and choral setting of part of Seamus Heaney’s The Cure at Troy, for Barry Douglas and Camerata Ireland; an a cappella setting of the Exsultet (2011) for Cappella Caeciliana; an a cappella setting of the Agnus Dei (2010), premiered at Ground Zero, NYC; Lacrimae Rerum - for strings (2008); the choral symphony OSSA (2007), and no tongue can tell (2004), a concerto for uilleann pipes, written for and performed by Liam O’Flynn that opened the Belfast Festival at Queen’s.

Composition for film, television, dance and radio includes the award-winning movie Hell’s Pavement (2009),Trevor Griffith’s RTS award-winning feature-length TV drama Food For Ravens (1998), drama shorts, television series and documentaries for BBC, C4 and RTE. Dance includes Neither Either (2014) and Four Quartets (2009), and Neil is currently collaborating with Jean Butler on a piece for solo dancer and solo cellist, to be premiered in June 2015. He has composed and directed music extensively for theatre, including productions on Broadway – Sam Shepard’s A Particle of Dread (2014/15),and in the West End – Marie Jones’ Women on the Verge of HRT (1996). He has been collaborating with Stephen Rea and Field Day Theatre Company since 1988 - notable productions include A Particle of Dread (2013), Farewell and Half a Glass of Water (2012), Northern Star (1998) and St Oscar (1989). Other recent theatre work includes The Conquest of Happiness (European tour, 2013) and Belfast By Moonlight (2013).

A cellist and an uilleann piper, he has worked with many leading musicians, both on stage and in the studio - these include Liam O'Flynn, Bryn Terfel, Barry Douglas, LSO, RPO, all the principle orchestras in Ireland, Christy Moore, Mícheál Ó Súilleabháin, The Dubliners, The Chieftains, Altan, Shaun Davey, Mary Black and Donal Lunny. In his roles as producer, arranger and musician Neil has contributed to more than a hundred albums and his performance venues range from Carnegie Hall to Mostar Bridge, from the Royal Albert Hall to the Palazzo Vecchio. His compositions for The West Ocean String Quartet have received global acclaim, and the quartet’s fourth album, An Indigo Sky, was awarded The Irish Times “CD of the Year” for 2013. All of the quartet’s albums have been played aboard the International Space Station, and Knocknashee, a song Neil co-wrote with Brendan Graham (author of You Raise Me Up) was in the Top 10 Albums Chart in Billboard (World Music Charts) in 2012.

In 2014, Neil was invited by President Michael D. Higgins to contribute to a concert in The Royal Albert Hall, London to mark the historic inaugural visit of an Irish President to England. The music he arranged and conducted for that evening was viewed by millions worldwide. In recognition of his contribution to music, Neil was made an honorary life member of the Linen Hall Library in Belfast, one of the oldest private libraries in the world. Neil was appointed to the board of Music Network in 2014.

Jenny Sherwin (view profile)

Appointed 27/11/2014