Talented Clare makes Carnegie Hall debut

Clare Celine Quinn.
Clare Celine Quinn.

Arts Week with Judy Murphy

Talented mezzo-soprano Clare Celine Quinn from Renmore, who is just 15 years old, will make her international debut at Carnegie Hall, New York, on Easter Sunday.

While major commemorations marking the 1916 Rising will take place here at home on Sunday, March 27, the Galway City girl will be flying the flag for Ireland in the world-renowned venue, when she will perform Parla Piu Piano (the love theme from The Godfather).

Clare received the honour of performing in the iconic Manhattan concert hall after she submitted a performance video to the prestigious American Protégé International Music Talent Competition. She won a first place and Judge’s Distinction Award.

Her parents, John and Elizabeth and younger sister Maeve, as well as other family members will accompany Clare to New York for the latest highlight in the teenager’s singer career.

Understandably, her dad John who is also her manager is thrilled for his talented daughter. Her latest achievement is down to hard work, he says.

“You know the old question about how you get to Carnegie Hall – the answer is ‘practice, practice, practice’. She works extremely hard and she is constantly discovering new material. She has a fantastic repertoire of songs,” explains John, who is one of Galway’s best known auctioneers.

While Clare practises constantly, this would count for little unless she had talent – and talent is something she has in abundance.

She began her singing career in the local church and also sang in her local primary school, Scoil Chatríona in Renmore, where teacher Anne O’Flaherty, who runs the choir, marked her out as having a special voice, recalls John.

Two years ago Clare won the All-Ireland Schools’ Talent Search, a competition run by TV3 which attracted more than 1,200 entrants. Singing Nella Fantasia by Ennio Morricone from the film The Mission, she defeated the other nine finalists at the event, held in the University of Limerick Concert Hall.

Just over a year ago, Clare sang Nessun Dorma on the Late Late Toy Show, when host Ryan Tubridy declared she would “be a big name in years to come”.

For more, read this week’s Connacht Tribune.