Ciara McCrickard, Niall McCrickard, Stephen Rooney
Individually, the County Down trio of Ciara McCrickard, Niall McCrickard and Stephen Rooney have toured their song and music all over their world. However, they are now combining their musical talents to collectively create a new sound which pays tribute to their traditional roots. Look forward to hearing traditional songs both in English and in Irish sang with Ciara’s unique tone and crystal ornamentation, complimented by the creative accompaniment of the very talented duo of Niall McCrickard and Stephen Rooney, who both bring experience of traditional, folk and other musical genre influences to the fore.
A native of Castlewellan in County Down, traditional music and singing is in Ciara’s blood. From a family of musicians and singers, Ciara grew up within the Comhaltas tradition and now passes on her fiddle and singing skills to a new generation by teaching Primary school children through the medium of the Irish language, song and music when at home in The Mournes. Ciara has been influenced by many of Ulster great traditional singers, such as Cathal McConnel, Catherine Nugent and also Irish folk singing greats such as Dolores Keane and Paul Brady. Ciara’s many years of studying the techniques of unaccompanied seán nós singing laid the foundations for success at home and abroad at festivals and competitions. Indeed Ciara continues to build her profile throughout Ireland via live shows, television and radio appearances and has won much admiration for her delicate and emotional treatment of both famous Irish traditional ballads and modern folk songs. Her most recent performance on Irish language / country music television show, “Opry Dhoire” has gained a wider audience for appreciating her traditional Irish singing. An accomplished musician in her own right, as a member in various bands, including her stage and recording appearances with At First Light, the value of her much enjoyed singing is captured at home and over sea. “In addition to providing supporting fiddle, Ciara McCrickard enchanted the audience with two songs…sung in her own husky style that seems to carry even more clearly in a live setting than in the studio.” (Folk Radio UK, Celtic Connections Review). Ciara is married to the established traditional guitar / banjo player Stephen Rooney and often sings and plays with him as a duet and with other musicians. She also is often accompanied by her brother Niall, a multi-instrumentalist who is currently producing Ciara’s forthcoming singing album.
Stephen RooneyStephen Rooney has been playing music from a young age and has performed for audiences all over. He first began his musical journey on guitar before moving onto the banjo and has won All Ireland titles on both instruments. Stephen was a member of the band Ciorras put together by traditional music legend – Donal Lunny. With Ciorras he toured China , France , Germany, Switzerland, and Luxembourg. In 2010 he released the album ‘Silver Linings’ . More recently , Stephen is a member of Rianta (formerly The Trí Tones) playing along side Tara Breen, Conor Moriarty and Eamon Rooney a dynamic quartet of four All Ireland winners. Their debut album was awarded Trad Connect Album of the year. Stephen has toured France, Germany and Russia with the band and recently played at the Oulu Irish Festival , Finland in 2017. Stephen comes from a musical family where he has toured Canada , Slovenia, France and has previously won the Danny Kyle competition and has performed at Celtic Connections on a number of occasions. Stephen has performed in bands such as Beoga and has performed with Pauline Scanlon. Stephen is a sought after composer and his music has been used in documentaries and television programmes on both RTE and TG4. Stephen is also a qualified music teacher having studied at St Mary’s University College, Belfast.
Supported by The National Lottery through the Arts Council of N Ireland