About Siobhán

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Siobhán O' Donnell

Musician, Singer, Songwriter

Siobhan O’Donnell is a singer, songwriter and multi-instrumentalist from Co.Sligo.
She started learning music from the age of nine and was greatly influenced by the local South Sligo style of traditional music and song, learning tunes on the whistle and fiddle from her father Colm.

She picked up the Bodhrán (by accident) one Summer when she found one in her grandmother’s house belonging to her Auntie who had emigrated to Boston. She played along to her Dad’s album for hours on end listening to two old friends of his that played the bodhrán (hand style) on some tracks; once she was able to keep up, that was is it, she was ‘hooked’ for life!

Over the next few years she competed in the Fleadh Ceoil competitions winning multiple All- Ireland titles in Music, Singing, and won the coveted Senior All-Ireland Bodhran title in 2005.

Siobhan is a well respected Bodhran player and Teacher. She has been invited to teach the Bodhran at music workshops and festivals across the world, some include: South Sligo Summer School (Tubbercurry), Joe Mooney Summer School (Drumshanbo), Craiceann (Bodhran School, Aran Islands), Ceol Aneas (NZ), National Folk Festival (Australia), Brittany Winter School (France), Celtic C’imes (Italy), Belfast Tradfest, (Belfast) to name but a few.

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Siobhán is also highly regarded as a performer and a recording artist on the Traditional Irish music scene. She has been part of some excellent bands and music projects down through the years. In her early years she joined the group The Border Collies, and recorded an album ‘Unleashed’. She also formed a band called Cruniniu with some of Ireland’s leading young musicians at the time. She featured on a number of albums as a guest artist most notably featuring on Gerry ‘Banjo’ O Connor’s album ‘High Up-Low down’. She finally got around to making a solo album of songs and tunes and released her first solo album ‘A Beautiful Affair’ in the Summer of 2016.

Siobhan went to college to train to become a secondary school teacher in 2004, studying Music, Economics and Geography. In her spare time she taught the Bodhran at local CCE branches and Adult education centres while in the Summer months travelled across Ireland teaching at music schools. Siobhan emigrated to Australia in 2010 when she was commissioned by the Irish National Association in Sydney to promote Irish music, song and culture in the city. She set up a music school for adults and children and performed at folk festivals across Australia with her band, The Shamrock Sheilas.

In 2013, Siobhan moved to London to pursue her Secondary school teaching career. There she met with more influential musicians and was inspired to write original songs and music over the next few years.

The call of home was far too strong which saw Siobhan eventually return to Ireland in 2016 , working as a teacher and a gigging musician in Dublin’s Temple bar music scene and a regular musician in the world famous ‘Johnny Foxes’ show in the Dublin Mountains.

Siobhan is now happily living back home in the West of Ireland. She works as a Secondary School teacher and absolutely loves it. Best of all she is delighted to be close to family and friends and to reconnect once again with her Sligo roots. She teaches Bodhran lessons every Tuesday night in the Coleman Music Centre, in Gurteen, Co.Sligo- which happens to be the place where she gave her first ever musical performance on stage!!

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