Máiréad Carlin is an Irish singer. She is a member of the ensemble Celtic Woman and is the first-ever member of the group that was born in Northern Ireland.
Máiréad was born in Derry. "Derry, my hometown, is a very cultured and musical place; wherever you turn there's always music...That was especially true in my family... We’d just sit around the fire, sing, and drink tea".
Máiréad began her career at the age of 15 when she won the title role of 'The Rose' in BBC Talents 'Young Singers' competition in the opera The Little Prince, by Rachel Portman. It aired on BBC Two and PBS in America.
Máiréad trained in vocal performance at Trinity Laban Conservatoire of Music and Dance in London. Once she graduated, she was offered a postgraduate scholarship in Musical Theatre by the Royal Academy of Music. She declined the scholarship when offered a deal with Decca Records. Máiréad continued to train with Mary Hammond and Simon Lee.
Máiréad has since performed for the President of Ireland, celebrated the Irish Anthem for the England-Ireland Rugby International to a TV audience of millions. She has shared the stage with Snow Patrol and The Priests at the 2013 BBC TV Gala Concert ‘Sons and Daughters’ to mark Derry's year as City of Culture. She also recorded the City of Culture anthem ‘Let The River Run’ with Glee star Damian McGinty. Carly Simon was impressed by the song, saying "I just played it and cried my eyes out and I'm still crying. It's absolutely stunningly wonderful. Thank you for doing me proud." Carly later invited Máiréad and Damian to perform live with her in Los Angeles at an Oceana benefit concert presented by Hillary Clinton, Ted Danson and Harvey Weinstein. Carly subsequently released the single under her own label Iris Records/Walled City Records.
Máiréad has toured the UK and Ireland with American singer-songwriter Don McLean, including a sold out concert at the Royal Albert Hall. In early 2013, she made her debut with the National Symphony Orchestra in the National Concert Hall for RTÉ TV. She was the featured soprano on 'White Light' in the box office hit Alan Partridge: Alpha Papa with music by Ilan Eshkeri.
"A motto I’ve used throughout my career so far", she says, "is a quote from the award-winning poet Seamus Heaney: ‘Sing yourself to where the singing comes from.’ I think there's a lot to be said for that".
After finishing her degree, Máiréad was signed to Decca Records and recorded her debut album, Songbook with the London Philharmonic Orchestra in Air Studios and British Grove Studios. It was mixed by Grammy award winning engineer Geoff Foster. Carlin describes the album as portraying the more 'vulnerable' side to her sound and a 'transition period in my life where I was finding myself- I guess I was growing up through this album. In every breath and in every note, there's a story...believe me'.
Image Credit: Alanrichardson140 at English Wikipedia / CC BY-SA (https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/3.0)