Southern Gazette (Belmont) - - LIFESTYLE -

AS a child grow­ing up in Derry, North­ern Ire­land, Mairead Car­lin’s babysit­ter used to get her to sing Some­where Over the Rainbow and then asked her what she wanted to be when she was older.

Her re­sponse was al­ways the same – a singer.

But fate has a funny way of work­ing and af­ter her de­but al­bum as a solo artist was shelved on the eve of its re­lease, Car­lin thought her ca­reer was headed to­wards teach­ing singing in­stead.

“Then out of the blue I got a call from the Ire­land Amer­ica Fund, which is a char­ity in Amer­ica that does fundrais­ers for any­thing Ir­ish,” she said.

“They asked me to come to New York and sing some songs off that al­bum at a fundrais­ing party they were hav­ing. I was chat­ting af­ter­wards to a fel­low who I had no idea worked for Celtic Woman’s record la­bel.

“I was telling him about what hap­pened and he asked for a copy of my al­bum.

“About four months later, Chloe Agnew, one of the orig­i­nal girls, de­cided to leave so I got a call to au­di­tion.”

Car­lin joined Celtic Woman in 2013, the move prov­ing to not just have a mon­u­men­tal shape on her ca­reer but also her per­sonal life as she met former ensem­ble mem­ber Ro­nan Sco­lard, who she mar­ried last Septem­ber, with Celtic Woman’s Eabha McMa­hon as her brides­maid.

“It’s a real fam­ily and I have a lot to thank Celtic Woman for,” Car­lin said.

“I’ve al­ways looked up to Celtic Woman and how they sit as a clas­si­cal cross­over with Ir­ish folk mu­sic on the world mar­ket. I’ve al­ways seen Celtic Woman as am­bas­sadors for Ire­land and they’ve al­ways done it in a very classy way be­cause the mu­sic in­dus­try is full of very short skirts.

“It’s given me the op­por­tu­nity to see the world and sing the mu­sic I love with the peo­ple I love.”

Sco­lard, who has now signed to the same la­bel at Celtic Woman “to spread his wings and show what he can do as well”, will not be join­ing Car­lin when she re­turns to Aus­tralia for the Celtic Woman Voices of An­gels Aus­tralian tour.

“This show is quite dif­fer­ent from our other shows be­cause our al­bum Voices of An­gels is much more clas­si­cal than we’ve ever done and we recorded with the big­gest orches­tra Celtic Woman has used,” she said.

“And there’s old favourites that we’ve re­ar­ranged in Amaz­ing Grace, Danny Boy and You Raise Me Up; we’re not go­ing to leave those out. We ac­tu­ally took You Raise Me Up out for about a month and it was re­ally missed. We could never do that again.”

Join­ing Car­lin and McMa­hon in the line-up is Su­san Mc­Fad­den and new ensem­ble mem­ber and vi­o­lin­ist Tara McNeil. Tanya MacNaughton

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