Principal Conductor - Andrew Synnott

Andrew Synnott is a Dublin-based composer, arranger, conductor and pianist. Synnott was organ scholar in Christ Church Cathedral and the Pro-cathedral while studying Music at Trinity College Dublin. He has conducted for Opera Theatre Company (The Marriage of Figaro, The Magic Flute, Il mondo della luna, Orfeo, Bastien and Bastienne, Xerxes, Acis and Galatea, Diary of Anne Frank, Orfeo, Carmen, Susanna’s Secret); Co-Opera (La traviata, Carmen, Die Fledermaus), Glasthule Opera (Die Zauberflote), and the Royal Irish Academy of Music (The Telephone, Hand of Bridge, For A Look Or A Touch, Renard, Greed, Sensational and Suor Angelica). In January he conducted the premiere of his own opera, Breakdown, in the National Concert Hall in Dublin. His arrangements of La Bohème and The Magic Flute have toured extensively in Ireland and the UK. His latest arrangement of Susanna’s Secret was successfully premiered at this year’s  Kilkenny Arts Festival, and will tour nationally in November. He has conducted at the Buxton Opera Festival, the Huddersfield Contemporary Music Festival and in Australia, Portugal and France. Other recent conducting engagements include the Maria Callas show here in the NCH and a concert and recently released recording of a Betty Ollivero piece for the Louth Contemporary Music Society. Andrew is the resident composer for Opera Theatre Company’s Opera Hub and has written music for The Abbey Theatre, Pan Pan Theatre,  Irish Modern Dance Theatre and, most recently, Finghin Collins and the WhistleBlast Quartet and Music Generation. His organ and choral music has been performed and broadcast worldwide. He has conducted for many theatre productions and musicals including several Derby Playhouse productions of Sondheim shows, which he also arranged. He is a former artistic director and conductor of Crash Ensemble, a group he co-founded in 1997. Andrew is a member of the vocal faculty in the RIAM. He is also a member of the tango quartet Le Grand Tango.
Deputy Conductor - Dara Pender
Dara Pender is from Dublin and holds a Bachelor in Music Education from Trinity College Dublin and a Bachelor of Arts (Music) from the DIT Conservatory of Music and Drama. Dara studied the French Horn with Ian Dakin and Fergus O’Carroll. She has played in many ensembles over the years such as the DIT Wind Band, DIT Symphony Orchestra, RIAM Symphonic Wind, RIAM Symphony Orchestra, Wexford Sinfonia, Greystones Orchestra, Dublin City Chamber Orchestra, Dublin Concert Band, and St James Brass and Reed Band. She has played at many shows, musicals and The Late Late Show Band when required. Dara’s interest for conducting began in college but she didn’t pursue it until later. She completed an Advanced wind band conducting workshop in RIAM with Brendan Breslin, with his encouragement and mentorship her passion grew. Dara was chosen as a participant for the London Conducting workshop with John Farrer and Howard Williams. Dara was then chosen as a participant for the Female Conducting Programme in the National Concert Hall, Dublin. Here she completed many intensive weekends of workshops with Alice Farnham, Course Director, David Brophy, Robert Houlihan and Emer Noone. Here Dara had the opportunity to conduct the National Symphony Orchestra, she has also conducted Dublin Concert Band, UCD Symphony Orchestra and is presently a band tutor and conductor in Artane School of Music and Deputy Conductor of Dublin Orchestral Players.

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