Musical Director, Deirdre O’Brien Vaughan, an internationally renowned harpist, musician and music teacher has been running the Institute for the last 30 years. Deirdre learned traditional music through the aural medium, having been exposed from an early age to some of the finest musicians and singers this country has produced, such as Seán Óg Ó’Tuama. She trained classically on the piano, the harp and the violin and was also a traditional singer and harpist in Bunratty Castle.
Deirdre has performed traditional music around the globe with Comhaltas Ceoltoirí Éireann. She has been featured on numerous RTÉ music programmes including SBB ina Shuí with Seán Bán Breathnach, Trom agus Eatrom with Liam Ó’Muruchú, Comortas and Bring Down The Lamp. She has played with the likes of The Chieftains and Liam Ó’Floinn. Deirdre has also performed on national radio programmes including Ceili House, and has been recorded for Radio na Gaeltachta on many occasions.
Deirdre has toured and taught in the US, Italy, and in Norway with Ciarán Mac Mahúna for RTE and The Golden Harp film group. She was also director of the harp competition for the 1997 International Pan Celtic Festival.
Her successes to date have earned for her a reputation as an expert in her field of traditional Irish music. Currently her students travel from far and wide to benefit from her teaching skills, which are strongly based in the aural tradition. The high standard of excellence is exemplified through the renowned success of Deirdre’s students in competitions including Slogadh, the Fleanna and the Harp Festival.