Meet the Teachers
Adam Buttimer is our brass teacher. He is currently studying in the Royal Irish academy of music. Adam began his musical journey at age 5 when he began learning piano. He first started playing brass instruments at 8 in his local band. After a year of moving around on instruments he finally settled on the tuba.
Adam has played with ensembles such as the National youth orchestra, Cork school of music symphony orchestra and Irish chamber brass. He is extremely enthusiastic about expanding our brass department and creating a platform for young people to perform.
Alex FelleDouble Bass
Alex has recently completed a Bachelor in Music Performance at the Royal Irish Academy of Music, studying with Seamus Doyle. During his studies he has played regularly with orchestras such as the RTE Concert Orchestra and Ulster Orchestra. He has a keen interest in historical performance practice, playing with various early music ensembles on the baroque double bass and violone.
Claire WallacePiano, Flute and Vocal studies
A native of Dundalk, Claire studied flute, voice, and piano at third level and is an honours graduate of the DIT Conservatory of Music (now TU Dublin) and Trinity College Dublin.
Since graduating she has managed to combine her love of teaching with numerous performance engagements. As a flautist she has performed as soloist/chamber musician in venues such as the National Concert Hall, Royal Hospital Kilmainham. As a vocalist she has worked with the National Chamber Choir and was a chorus member and soloist with Opera Ireland. She has also sung with jazz groups in several Dublin venues including the legendary JJ Smyths.
Claire has worked both as flute player and keyboardist on over forty musicals throughout the years. As a former tutor with Music Generation Louth she has collaborated with numerous youth orchestras and choirs on various projects.
Claire is particularly interested in both music theatre and contemporary classical vocal music. She was a board member of the Louth Contemporary Music Society for a number of years and has given several lecture recitals on extended vocal techniques. She continues to research the latest advancements in vocal pedagogy.
Darragh O'Neill has earned an international reputation as a brilliant performer and composer. His career as a concert guitarist has taken him to many of the great music venues around the world. Highlights include Carnegie Hall New York, Wigmore Hall London, Oude Kerk Amsterdam, the Manggha Theatre in Krakow and numerous performances back home in his native Dublin's National Concert Hall.
His highly acclaimed performances are always noted for their stylistic awareness, with equal measures of delicacy and virtuosity, "...firing the imagination and touching the heart." Carlos Bonell
His original compositions for solo guitar have been described by The Irish Times as:
'Descriptive, openly charming, and so based on traditional guitar techniques that they seem to spring from inside the instrument'
Darragh's musical life began at the age of seven, studying violin with David Lillis at the Royal Irish Academy of Music in Dublin. Later changing to classic guitar, Darragh studied many different styles of music before attending classes with Carlos Bonell at Royal College of Music London.
During his time in London, Darragh earned his Bachelor and Masters degrees in performance and composition. Upon graduation from London College of Music, Darragh took both their British Reserve String Prize and the Louis Krasner Award for most outstanding string recitalist, being the first Irish musician to receive these coveted awards.
His debut CD Fountain features Darragh's own original compositions for solo guitar alongside a collection of his arrangements of some of the guitar's best-loved baroque classics, including music by J.S.Bach, Domenico Scarlatti, Gaspar Sanz and Turlough Carolan.
Together with his solo guitar pursuits Darragh is also a member of Dublin Guitar Night Quartet along side Hugh Buckley (Jazz), John Walsh (Flamenco), and Pat Farrell (Blues) and has been invited to share the stage as featured soloist on numerous television broadcasts with such international acts as Enrique Iglesias, (MTV Awards) West-end's Michael Ball, and Russel 'The Voice' Watson, and for Vanessa Amorosi for her televised live appearance at the O2 arena Dublin.
Currently based in Dublin, Darragh, in addition to teaching his beloved students at Blackrock College and Rathdown Music School, is currently working on a new set of compositions for his forthcoming book and album entitled Shadow Box.
Ella is a pianist who completed her Bachelor of Music degree through TU Dublin Conservatoire, studying piano under Siobhan Kilkelly and organ with Simon Harden. She has performed in several chamber music concerts in the John Field Room in the National Concert Hall, the Pepper Cannister Church and St. Ann's Church in Dublin.
Ella has also successfully participated in the Feis Ceoil and TU Dublin Conservatoire competitions. In Feis Ceoil 2018, she won first prize in the Senior Duet and more recently was commended in the Esposito Cup and the Senior Organ competition. Since completing her studies, Ella enjoys teaching piano in Rathdown Music School and giving students an opportunity to engage with the wonderful repertoire of the instrument.
Jack holds an Honours degree in piano performance, specialising in instrumental pedagogy from TUDublin, under the tutelage of Dr Mary Lennon.
He is a deeply passionate teacher of all levels, with many years experience. He has a particular interest in the field of early childhood development, and the beneficial links between cognitive development and music education in young children.
A recipient of in house performance awards and having received masterclasses from artists such as Barry Douglas, Jack also has extensive performance and accompaniment experience.
Jack is delighted to have joined the faculty at the Rathdown School of Music.
John FinucaneClarinet, Saxophone and Piano
Clarinettist John Finucane, who has been Principal Clarinet with Ireland's RTE National Symphony Orchestra since 1995 has also had an active career as a soloist, chamber musician and conductor in Ireland and abroad.
Described by Gramophone magazine as 'an outstanding virtuoso', on the release of his CD ''Clarinet Variations,'' he has worked with the Ulysees Ensemble, the Irish Chamber Orchestra, Welsh National Opera, Opera North and Irish Film Orchestras. He has appeared regularly on radio and on television programmes, including RTE's The Symphony Sessions and Britain's South Bank Show. He has a particular affinity to chamber music and has worked with many groups, including the Ysaye, the Navarra and the Vanbrugh Quartets.
Jude StamperPiano, Percussion and Drums
Jude studied piano and percussion at the Royal Welsh College of Music and Drama in the UK. She is a highly experienced, dedicated musician and music teacher. She has taught in numerous music schools and colleges throughout the UK, USA and Ireland. Jude joined Rathdown Music Department in 2005, teaching keyboard and percussion.
She is also the Orchestral Director of the School, teaching and leading both the Junior and Senior school orchestras. She has successfully tutored numerous students through the Associated Board/Irish Academy of Music examinations and GCSE/ALevel /Junior/Leaving Certificate recital examinations.
She is also a highly competent accompanist, having worked with many choirs, soloists and instrumentalists (including the Feis Ceoil), and for the Associated Board of the Royal School of Music, (both in the UK and Ireland) and the Irish Academy of Music. She has played percussion and orchestral piano with numerous orchestras and brass bands and has worked as a session musician with RTE.
Justyna was born in Poland and attended the Lipinski School of Music in Lublin, where she studied violin and piano. She graduated with a Masters of Music Degree at the Fryderyk Chopin Music Academy in Warsaw, studied with Professor Jan Stanienda.
Justyna taught violin students in Poland who ranged 6-18 years old.Since moving to Ireland, Justyna has taught violin as well as being a Kindermusik Educator.
She started teaching violin in Rathdown School in 2021. She is a violin teacher in Alexandra College since 2017 and also works as a deputy teacher at the Royal Irish Academy of Music and the Technological University Dublin.
In addition to this, Justyna regularly plays with some of Ireland's most prestigious orchestras including the RTE NSO, the RTE Concert Orchestra, Camerata Ireland, Wexford Festival Opera Orchestra, and the Irish National Opera, both at home and abroad.
Justyna is very happy to be part of the great team at the Rathdown School and to share her passion for music.
Kara Lord-BissettIrish Harp
Kara Lord Bissett is a harpist from Dublin. She commenced her musical studies at Kylemore College Music Centre, where she undertook Associated Board Examinations in harp, piano and music theory.
She is currently in the final year of the Bachelor of Music degree at TU Dublin Conservatoire, studying under Professor Clona Doris and Paula Hughes. During her degree, she has specialised in performance and pedagogy, and she has performed as a member of the TU Dublin Harp Ensemble and the TU Dublin Traditional Ensemble.
Kara has been a prizewinner at Feis Ceoil and at the TU Dublin Conservatoire competitions, and she has performed in masterclasses with Elinor Bennett at the Wales Harp Festival and with Jean Kelly as part of the National Concert Hall Masterclass Series.
Cellist Lioba Petrie studied in Dublin's Conservatory of Music and Drama, and NUI Maynooth. She enjoys teaching, performing, composing and is passionate about chamber music. Recent endeavours include composing and performing music for theatre (Limbik Theatre Co.). Lioba is a member of Unshaped Form with whom she composes and performs soundtracks for old silent movies and modern film.
Lioba is the artistic director of the monthly music series Kaleidoscope Night and co-artistic director of Spike Cello Festival.
September 2015 took Lioba to Paris where she enjoyed an artist's residency at the Centre Culturel Irlandais and was commissioned to compose and perform a new score to Chris Marker's film La Jete (1967).
Lioba can often be seen leaping around the hills of Wicklow where she enjoys hiking, swimming, and sitting in front of open fires.
Rachel TalbotPiano and Vocal Studies
Rachel Talbot holds an honours degree in Music from Trinity College Dublin and graduated with a PhD from TU Dublin Conservatoire in 2014. Her research interests led her to direct student opera productions at Rathdown School and TU Dublin.
She is a former member of the National Chamber Choir, Christ Church Cathedral Choir, Opera Ireland Chorus and a number of Early Music ensembles. As soprano soloist she has performed in oratorio and recitals and she was vocal tutor to the choristers of St Patrick's Cathedral for thirteen years. She is an Assistant Lecturer at TU Dublin Conservatoire where she teaches Musicology, Singing, Keyboard Skills, Recorder and Musicianship.
Victoria WarwickVocal Studies
Victoria Warwick is a classical and musical theatre singing teacher at Rathdown music school with 10 years of experience as a music educator.
Victoria began her musical life after being selected to receive a violin scholarship for lessons at the age of 5.
It wasn't until the next school when Victoria would be drawn towards singing; choral singing in particular. She participated in many orchestral and choral programmes in these formative years, including Ulster youth choir, Charles wood and national youth orchestras. Victoria attended Queens University Belfast, studying music and specialising in performance. During this time, she began to venture into professional musician life with work in Northern Ireland opera and professional musical theatre companies. It was during this time that Victoria received an invite to audition for the world renowned vocal group, Anuna. The commitment to this group is what lead Victoria to create a new base in Dublin.
Today Victoria enjoys a thriving performance schedule to complement an equally busy teaching life through work with leading ensembles and her own projects including the establishment of award winning a cappella group, Ardu who represent Ireland all over the world.
Victoria has experience teaching in a wide variety of contexts and settings and has established school and workplace choirs and performance platforms such as The Irish International A Cappella Festival for emerging Irish and international vocal groups.
Victoria approaches each student with their individualism at the core of each lesson. She strives to unlock their potential and confidence through collaborative creativity, an open, honest and safe performance space, concert opportunities and motivational, goal orientated structures - Victoria's lessons are energetic, inspirational and uplifting.