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Laura Byrne

Applied Music Associate, Irish flute

Kraushaar
410-337-6276
byrnemusic@gmail.com
www.laurabyrne.com/home.cfm


Areas of Scholarly Expertise and Interest

Laura Byrne is highly regarded on both sides of the Atlantic for her mastery of the Irish traditional flute and whistle. Laura began studying flute at age 9 in her native Vermont, and continued her studies at the Peabody Conservatory of Music in Baltimore where she earned Bachelor's degrees in both flute performance and music education in 1995. Though classically trained, she chose to devote her musical career to Irish traditional music and is now considered one of only a handful to successfully cross over to traditional music from another genre.

Laura has committed herself to the playing of the older generation of flute players through countless trips to Ireland and from close study of the emigrees to the United States. Her mentors and influences are many and include East Galway flute player Mike Rafferty, Sligo/Roscommon style flute player, Catherine McEvoy, Matt Molloy of Chieftain's fame, and East Galway style button accordionist Billy McComiskey. Through her direct study of this unbroken musical lineage and because of her devotion to the teaching and promulgation of all aspects of Irish musical culture, Laura is a well-known mainstay in Maryland's vibrant Irish music scene.

Laura has performed at countless festivals, ceilis and concerts in the U.S., Canada and Ireland. She is a three-time 1st place winner in solo flute, duets and slow airs at the North American eastern Fleadh competition. In 2001, Laura was a featured performer in the Emmy nominated Christmas with Choral Arts concert which aired on WMAR-TV ABC2. She has played with Touchstone for their 2004 reunion tour, performed on the Irish Festival Caribbean Cruise in 2006, and was featured on the Eva Cassidy remix album Wonderful World. In 2005 Laura released her first solo album Tune for the Road which received great reviews, was highly praised by Irish Music Magazine, and is played on radio stations across the U.S. and in Ireland. She was a 2008 Maryland Traditions Apprenticeship grant recipient and recently was awarded a Maryland State Arts Council grant for solo performance in 2010.

A versatile ensemble player, Laura has had the opportunity to perform with many of the great masters of Irish music including: fiddlers James Kelly, Brian Conway, Tony DeMarco, Brendan Mulvihill, and Patrick Ourceau, accordionists Paddy O'Brien and John Whelan, pianist Felix Dolan, Zan McLeod, piper Michael Cooney, and folklorist Mick Moloney. She performs regularly with world-renowned fellow Baltimoreans Billy McComiskey, pianist and fiddler Donna Long (formerly of Cherish the Ladies), and guitarist and singer Pat Egan, as a member of The Hedge Band. She runs a weekly session on Sundays at Ryan's Daughter and also plays regularly with fiddler Jim Eagan (of O'Malley's March) with whom she has led a weekly session Tuesdays at J.Patrick's for nearly 10 years.

A sought-after flute and tin whistle instructor, Laura maintains an active private teaching studio and has taught at numerous festivals and workshops, including the Catskills Irish Arts Week in East Durham, NY and for the CCE Mad for Trad Week in Bethesda, MD. She teaches Irish flute at Goucher College in Towson, MD, and founded and directs the Baltimore Irish Arts Center. Laura currently lives in Baltimore, MD and just completed her latest solo project, Lucky Day, which was released in July 2010.

Biography

Laura Byrne is highly regarded on both sides of the Atlantic for her mastery of the Irish traditional flute and whistle. Laura began studying flute at age 9 in her native Vermont, and continued her studies at the Peabody Conservatory of Music in Baltimore where she earned Bachelor's degrees in both flute performance and music education in 1995. Though classically trained, she chose to devote her musical career to Irish traditional music and is now considered one of only a handful to successfully cross over to traditional music from another genre.

Laura has committed herself to the playing of the older generation of flute players through countless trips to Ireland and from close study of the emigrees to the United States. Her mentors and influences are many and include East Galway flute player Mike Rafferty, Sligo/Roscommon style flute player, Catherine McEvoy, Matt Molloy of Chieftain's fame, and East Galway style button accordionist Billy McComiskey. Through her direct study of this unbroken musical lineage and because of her devotion to the teaching and promulgation of all aspects of Irish musical culture, Laura is a well-known mainstay in Maryland's vibrant Irish music scene.

Laura has performed at countless festivals, ceilis and concerts in the U.S., Canada and Ireland. She is a three-time 1st place winner in solo flute, duets and slow airs at the North American eastern Fleadh competition. In 2001, Laura was a featured performer in the Emmy nominated Christmas with Choral Arts concert which aired on WMAR-TV ABC2. She has played with Touchstone for their 2004 reunion tour, performed on the Irish Festival Caribbean Cruise in 2006, and was featured on the Eva Cassidy remix album Wonderful World. In 2005 Laura released her first solo album Tune for the Road which received great reviews, was highly praised by Irish Music Magazine, and is played on radio stations across the U.S. and in Ireland. She was a 2008 Maryland Traditions Apprenticeship grant recipient and recently was awarded a Maryland State Arts Council grant for solo performance in 2010.

A versatile ensemble player, Laura has had the opportunity to perform with many of the great masters of Irish music including: fiddlers James Kelly, Brian Conway, Tony DeMarco, Brendan Mulvihill, and Patrick Ourceau, accordionists Paddy O'Brien and John Whelan, pianist Felix Dolan, Zan McLeod, piper Michael Cooney, and folklorist Mick Moloney. She performs regularly with world-renowned fellow Baltimoreans Billy McComiskey, pianist and fiddler Donna Long (formerly of Cherish the Ladies), and guitarist and singer Pat Egan, as a member of The Hedge Band. She runs a weekly session on Sundays at Ryan's Daughter and also plays regularly with fiddler Jim Eagan (of O'Malley's March) with whom she has led a weekly session Tuesdays at J.Patrick's for nearly 10 years.

A sought-after flute and tin whistle instructor, Laura maintains an active private teaching studio and has taught at numerous festivals and workshops, including the Catskills Irish Arts Week in East Durham, NY and for the CCE Mad for Trad Week in Bethesda, MD. She teaches Irish flute at Goucher College in Towson, MD, and founded and directs the Baltimore Irish Arts Center. Laura currently lives in Baltimore, MD and just completed her latest solo project, Lucky Day, which was released in July 2010.


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