PRESS RELEASE 14th August 2017


This year’s lucky winners will perform with the Cross Border Orchestra of Ireland to audiences of over 30,000 people in iconic venues including the RDS, Dublin; the Odyssey Arena, Belfast; the Echo Arena in Liverpool, the Kingfisher Hall, Galway and the Hub in Kilkenny. In addition to this unique opportunity, the winners will also receive the coveted Soloist Trophy and a €1,000 cash prize. We are thrilled to be showcasing the talent of these two stellar performers to audiences across Ireland and the UK in the coming year.

Huge congratulations to everyone who took part in The Soloist Competition this year. From over 300 on-line entries, 40 of Ireland’s most promising and talented young performers made it through to the semifinal which was held yesterday afternoon (Sunday 13th August) at the Mill Theatre, Dundrum.

Our panel of judges had the unenviable task of selecting 14 performers to go through to the final which was held directly after the Semis yesterday evening at the Mill Theatre.  The finalists were (Back Row L-R) Deirdre Higgins, Alan Clarke, Melissa Anne Murphy, Aimee Kearney, Caolann Haughton, Anabel Sweeney, Ros Scanlon (joint winner). (Front Row L-R) Abbey Marie McGiff, Aimee Banks, Marby Ariola, Diarmuid McShane, Katie Weir (joint winner), Alissa Keating, Fiona McErlane.

All of the finalists give outstanding performances and any one of them would have been a worthy recipient of the title.  However, at the end of a very intense and wonderful competition, joint winners were announced – Katie Weir and Ross Scanlon.

Katie Weir is 16 years of age and has been singing, acting and dancing as long as she can remember. She attends classes at Talented Kids Performing Arts School, Dublin and is also a member of MVW Talent Agency. Katie receives vocal tuition rom Maureen-Victoria Ward and most recently received a Distinction in her Grade 8 Musical Theatre Singing and a Higher Achiever Award from the RIAM.

In 2015, Katie represented Ireland at the World Championships of Performing Arts and won a Gold medal in the Opera category and was awarded a scholarship to the New York Film Academy to study Musical Theatre and Singing. She has deferred her studies until she finishes her Leaving Certificate. Katie has featured in multiple TV shows and commercials as well as musicals. Katie has played Blousey Brown in ‘Bugsy Malone’ and Beth in ‘Oliver’ both produced by Festival Productions at the NCH, Dublin. She has also played Eliza in ‘My Fair Lady’ and Cosette in  ‘Les Miserables’ at The Helix Theatre, Dublin

Tenor Ross Scanlon trained at the DIT Conservatory of Music and Drama where he was awarded the Michael McNamara Gold Medal of excellence in performance. He continues his studies with Philip Doghan at the Royal Academy of Music, London. Ross sings widely in concert. Engagements have included Alexander’s Feast, Messiah and The Creation with the RTÉ Concert Orchestra and Messiah at the Halle Festival, Germany, at the Handel Music Festival, Dublin, and with the Irish Philharmonic Orchestra.

Ross’s roles include Lurcanio Ariodante, Masino La vera costanza, Monostatos Die Zauber öte and Scaramuccio Ariadne auf Naxos. Le Thérière L’Enfant et les sortlièges with the BBC Symphony Orchestra. Hot Biscuit Paul Bunyan for Welsh National Youth Opera, Male Chorus The Rape of Lucretia for Irish Youth Opera, Bookkeeper The Rise and Fall of the City of Mahagonny for OTC, Dublin, Remendado Carmen for Lyric Opera, Dublin, Bill A Hand of Bridge, Remendado Carmen and Tamino Die Zauber öte for Glasthule Opera.

Huge thanks to our judges whose impossible task it was to select the winners: Greg Beardsell, Conductor and Music Educator; Sarah McCann, TV and Radio Producer; Patricia Treacy, Virtuoso Violinist and Paul O’Callaghan, CBOI Director.

The Voice of the Irish – Newry Cathedral

The Voice of the Irish – Newry Cathedral

The CBOI and all our wonderful soloists star in ‘The Voice of the Irish’ a St. Patrick’s Festival at Newry Cathedral on Sunday 19th March 7:30pm. DON’T MISS IT! Tickets are just £10 from the Sean Hollywood Arts Centre, Newry. TEL: 028 30313180. Presented by Armagh and Down District Councils.

2nd Feb. 2017 PRESS RELEASE and PHOTO OP.

2nd Feb. 2017  PRESS RELEASE and PHOTO OP.



  • • Saturday 2pm & 8pm //Sunday 2pm & 8pm
  • • Simmonscourt Arena, RDS, Dublin


Sharing a love for music and passion for peace 

Peace Proms 2017 kicked off last weekend with an epic sell out performance at the Echo Arena, Liverpool, and returns to Irish shores for concerts at the RDS, Dublin this Saturday and Sunday, before moving on to the SSE Arena Belfast on Feb. 26th and Limerick University on March 4th & 5th. Almost 500 schools (25,000 children) from right across the island are preparing to let their voices be heard in this year’s Peace Proms concerts.

Peace Proms 2017 promises to be a celebration of youth, music, energy and sheer talent on a monumental scale.  Symbolically dressed in white to represent Peace and Harmony, the Children’s Peace Choirs will perform alongside the critically acclaimed Cross Border Orchestra of Ireland in a programme filled with family favourites and powerful peace anthems like Michael Jackson’s ‘Heal the World’ and John Farnham’s ‘You’re the Voice’. These entertaining and breathtaking choral and orchestral productions are suitable for all the family – young and old. The programme has something for everyone from ‘Pirates of the Caribbean’ to a 90’s House Dance Club Mix. It is impossible to leave Peace Proms concert without feeling uplifted, renewed and full of hope for a brighter future.

Peace Proms 2017 will be conducted by internationally acclaimed music educator Greg Beardsell who is renowned for his extraordinary ability to lead powerful and exhilarating performances. Prepare to be entertained by all-Ireland champion Uilleann Piper Cormac Keegan; blown away by power-house vocalists Zena Donnelly and Lauren Murphy; dazzled by local virtuoso rock-violinist Patricia Treacy, and captivated by tenor Eoin Hynes.

The line up of performers also includes a spectacular array of champion dancers from the Michelle Johnston School of Highland Dance in Belfast and the Rooney, O’Malley, Maguire School of Irish Dance in Newry; as well as champion solo Bagpiper Grahame Harris and the World Champion Colmcille Pipe and Drum Corps from Derry/Londonderry.

Peace Proms is an internationally recognized Arts & Peace initiative, which actively engages almost 30,000 school children in Ireland and the UK. CBOI is a registered charity in Ireland, the UK and the USA and is totally NOT-FOR-PROFIT. We are deeply indebted to all our supporters and sponsors for helping us to bring the joy on music and peace to children, families, schools and communities throughout the world.