MARIAN CHAMBERS HIGGINS
Marian is a qualified Solicitor who operated her private legal practice in Headford for 20 years, subsequently was a Legal Consultant and later was appointed as Legal advisor to the Board of Directors at Ireland West Airport Knock. Marian was appointed as County Registrar and Returning Officer for Elections for County Galway in 2013 and currently operates both of these full time roles. She is Chairperson of Luminosa Music CLG and a member of the Board of Directors of COPE and is on the Board of Management for a primary school. She was involved with Corinthians Rugby Club becoming its first female Vice President, and was also a fundraiser for Concern and Galway Mental Health services. Marian has a wide range of interests in many aspects of the Arts, public affairs and travel and is active in a number of sporting activities.
Carmel Garrett has been involved in music since starting to play the piano when she was six years old. Totally committed to the idea that all children should learn music literacy and how to play instruments she sent her children to the VEC Music Education scheme 1986 where they learned, flute,clarinet and violin. She became a member of the VEC Music committee in 1988 and served as member of that committee and as a full member of the Galway City VEC for 17 years.
Following the path of her children who became members of Galway Youth Orchestra in 1987 she has been in involved with orchestra and has been its administrator for 25 years.
As a founding member and former chairman of the Irish Association of Youth Orchestras she has seen the development of the youth orchestra movement over the past 25 years. Her aim now is to see a pathway for Ireland’s musicians into the professional field of performance.
PROFESSOR ROD STONEMAN
Rod Stoneman is an Emeritus Professor at the National University of Ireland, Galway, a Visiting Professor at the University of the West of England, and an Honorary Professor at the University of Exeter. He was the Director of the Huston School of Film & Digital Media from 2003-15, Chief Executive of Bord Scannán na hÉireann / the Irish Film Board from 1993-2003 and previously a Deputy Commissioning Editor in the Independent Film and Video Department at Channel 4 Television from 1983-93. He has made a number of documentaries, including Ireland: The Silent Voices, Italy: the Image Business, 12,000 Years of Blindness and The Spindle. He is the author of Chávez: The Revolution Will Not Be Televised, A Case Study of Politics and the Media; Seeing is Believing: The Politics of the Visual and Educating Filmmakers: Past, Present and Future with Duncan Petrie.
DR AIDAN THOMSON
Dr Thomson is a musicologist with a particular interest in British and Irish music of the early twentieth century, particularly Edward Elgar, Ralph Vaughan Williams, Arnold Bax and the ‘Celtic North’. He is also an experienced violinist (having led the National Youth Orchestra of Scotland while at university), pianist and organist.
Dr Thomson co-edited The Cambridge Companion to Vaughan Williams (Cambridge University Press, 2013). In 2016, he wrote and presented ‘Bax, Ireland and 1916’ for RTÉ Lyric FM’s ‘Lyric Feature’ programme, which looked at Bax’s relationship with the leaders of the Easter Rising. As part of the centenary celebrations, he also gave a public lecture in Dublin about Bax’s friendship with Pádraig Pearse.
Before coming to NUI Galway, Dr Thomson was Lecturer in Music at Queen’s University Belfast, where he taught music history, theory and analysis, and some performance. He has also taught at the universities of Oxford and Leeds.