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Profiles of the band members

DNO are:
Elisabeth McCarran:
piano, synth, vocals
Linda Andrews: fiddle, back vocals
Guinevere Hughes : airs
Susan Jameson: harp
Donovan McCormack: percussion
Mary Vaughan: vocals, strings (violin)
Desmond FitzMaurice: guitar, songwriting
Mic Mahoney: banjo, bass
Sean Power: bagpipe, effects, mixing

Liz

Elisabeth McCarran
Liz is, unanimously, the leader of the troupe, together with Des and Linda. It is then no surprise that these three members of the group are its actually founders. Draioicht na hOiche, meaning 'Magic of the Night' was formed not far back in time - on 1.May 2002, as a successor of the previously University-supported group The Leprechauns. In the beginning of April 2002, Elisabeth and her old friend Desmond FitzMaurice whom she knew from the UCL sessions and musical festivals, decided to begin a new project separatedly from the University College of London cultural program. In a week Linda joined DNO after seeing the three musicians (together with Mic) perform at Cavendish Sq. Linda soon brought her best friend Guinevere and Mic contacted Harry Staunton, who on his turn recommended Sean Power as the best pipe-man one has ever seen. Come end of May, the two final members of the troupe joined too, Ellen Butler from Glasgow and half Icelandic-Irish summer student Anita Gudmundsdуttir completing the number of nine.

Elisabeth instantly took things in control and managed to organise several rehearsals at Cavendish Hostel. The place soon became the troup's headquarters and the nine fellows started to gather there twice a week. The first public appearance of DNO was in front of UCL audience, at the 2002 graduation ball. The 'Niters have so far held half a dozen gigs at local London clubs and are planning to participate in the Royal Eisteddfod in mid August.

Lin

Linda Andrews
Raised by feminist goats in the wilds of Gwent, Lin came to London to work on a major in Mechanical Engineering at KCL with minors in Women's Studies and Literature. She can honestly say she left school to dance in Albert's Hall, but only for a weekend with the KCL Ballroom Dance Team. She now works as an engineer while pursuing her fascination/obsession with all things metaphysical and beadwork, from which she is occasionally diverted by the SCA, role-playing games, and Celtic music, all of which are necessary to distract her so she does not take over the world. (She insists that she would be a benevolent dictator. Really. All we can say is, beware the goat voice!)

Starting with the guitar and cello at the age of 6, Lin has developed her hobby into proficiency and has shifted to more 'traditional-sounding' instruments such as the typically Celtic fiddle. Lin is known as one of the most fast-fingered fiddlers around the place. In 2000 she won the Royal Eisteddfod competition for violinists performing an etude by Paganini which made the audience forget their own names!

Gwen

Guinevere Hughes
Gwen makes it her life's work to be left-of-centre. Being Buddhist from birth was a good start; she has expanded that to being vegan, green, sans tv, and a diehard Mac enthusiast (having, at last count, five under her roof). By the time she decided to play in the UCL, asking the DNO to take her in was a logical step. She's played woodwinds of some shape since before her own memory, and then in high school and beyond dabbled in voice, piano and flute. Now she spends all day crawling around various classrooms fixing computers (and practising handspinning), and off-times playing computer or other games, sewing and other needlecrafts, twiddling on her whistles, gardening, making middlin' bowls out of porcelain, and trying to figure out how to read in her sleep.

The sound of Gwen's flute is often compared to the falling of the yellow autumn leaves or the drops of tears of Luthien Tinuviel, the beautiful elven princess. She has been practicing this tender instrument since her 12th year of age and has taken part in various school and student's festivals around England, Scotland, Wales and even France

Sue

Susan Jameson
Susan Jameson studied Music at Balliol College, Oxford, where she participated in the Richard Lewis Nettleship Instrumental Exhibition. During her time there, she was Principal Harp with both the Oxford University Orchestra and the Oxford University Chamber Orchestra. Before this, she was a student of Daphne Boden at the Royal College of Music Junior Department, where she was successful in many competitions. She went on to continue her studies with Imogen Barford at Trinity College of Music, where she was generously supported by awards from the Musicians Benevolent Fund, the Countess of Munster Musical Trust and the Martin Musical Scholarship Fund. As a soloist, she has given many recitals at venues throughout the UK and Ireland. Susan also enjoys composing and has written several solo and chamber works.

Don

Donovan McCormack
Drummer and percussionist, American of Irish descent, Donovan McCormack's middle name should be versatility. Whether accompanying song stylists and symphonic orchestras like the one of University Colleage of London, Don's exciting rhythmic energies add color and mood to any musical performance. He's also comfortable playing in the pit of a Broadway show or with the New Jersey Symphony.

Mary

Mary Vaughan
Irish-born Mary Vaughan came in the end of 2004 from the Folk chorus of University College London. She instantly made an excellent impression with the wide range of her voice and added a deeper scale to the Niters' sound.

Mary spent her first ten years living with her family in a remoted farm in Co. Tipperary in Southern Ireland, but when her mother moved to Dublin, she joined her into the Bohemian artistic world in the Irish capital. Four years later, she was granted a full scholarship in UCL. She continued to exploit her gift with the University chorus and earned a number of music awards, including an Eisteddfod award for best young female singer in 2002.

In DNO, she performs the female vocals in the band's latest album.

Des

Desmond FitzMaurice
Also known as Desmond Morris (legally), he grew up singing with the choir at the First Unitarian Church of Downtown Dublin. He was briefly (for two shows) involved with a band called Security Blanket, which performed the songs of Crosby, Stills, and Nash, among others. He also wrote execrable songs which he played at the piano. Fortunately, he got better. As a twenty-first birthday present to himself, he turned the piano in for a guitar and started writing classics like "Amadea" and "Princes, Friends, and Lovers," which DNO still perform, occasionally to his dismay. He is the proud owner of four guitars: 1) a brand new Sunlite (never heard of 'em, but they seem to make great guitars!) gifted to him by his friends; 2) a 1960 rosewood and ebony 3/4 size Martin which once belonged to his mother; 3) a Martin "Backpacker" acquired from former 'Niter Kate Carran; and 4) a Takamine Jasmine which he picked up at a ridiculous price on eBay.

Des has also been spending time developing a solo act and has performed three shows, only one of which had any attendance to speak of. He has a website for his solo music at MP3.com and his own mailing list. His first recording project, a cassette tape entitled Me And The Guitarr, has recently been re-released as a CD and is available at his MP3.com site

Mic

Mic Mahoney
"Mic Mahoney is an infamous liar, who would rather falsify a document for free than accept pay for the truth, and yet he aspires to teach history to the children of Kent. Should this execrable person achieve this goal, we shall soon see the truth of Napoleon's assertion that 'history is lies agreed upon.' I have even seen him, in order to lend credence to his own opinion, attribute to me quotations I have never even considered speaking. No doubt he expects that I will never read his work, or that, as a generator of so many authentic quotes, that I will simply forget that I never uttered the words that he has placed in my mouth."

--Mark Twain

Apart from the prolific academic life, Our Mic does perform quite well in front of the mic. All kinds of string instruments are like obedient kittens in his strong arms. The things he does with the banjo would make Dan Harris blush with embarrassment (which he surely is doing up there, may he rest in piece)

Sean

Sean Power
Sean doesn't like cameras. Furthermore, he seems to be able to jinx everyone into forgetting to bring one to rehearsals. Therefore, we had no picture of him, until a couple of weeks ago, when he finally decided to bring one of his late high-school pictures.

As to his biography, it is rich in wild performances around the pubs in Dungarwan and Waterford, Ireland. According to the local police office, Sean is still staying at the top of their list of watched persons. Sean is though very hard to keep an eye on, which he can confirm with the frequency of his appearance on the DNO gigs (he claims that the reason is that he usually likes to sleep until 11am). However it remains a mystery what sort of activity forces him to take the night shift ;)

On the stage, Sean possesses a charizmatic presence, probably due mainly to the unique way he communicates with his Uillean bagpipe - a thing one should see live in order to understand.

Former members

Mark

Mark Beasley
Mark is our 'ears and eyes' abroad. His travels around the world are so frequent that, if he spared one penny after each, he would be now richer than Bill Gates!

Mark is a well known composer and has done hundreds of adaptations to old traditional folk songs. Currently he works for UNICEF in China, but he never misses a chance to send us some new idea. Special thanks to Mark

Ani

Anita Phelan
Officially known as Anita Gudmundsdottir, the beautiful harper of DNO is the latest (and youngest) member of the troupe. She joined the 'Niters at the end of May when Gwen, her colleague at UCL, invited her to take part in the group's rehearsals. She brought her old grandmother's harp from Iceland and demonstrated exceptional skills. The group were enchanted by the sound of her harp. They instantly fell in love with the mysterious Icelandic fairy and accepted her in the troupe.

Much of Ani's past still remains a mystery to most of the group's members. It is known that her deceased mother was an Irish from co.Galway, and her father is from South-West Iceland. She arrived in England at the end of April to pass a summer course in journalistics, but apart from the busy times at school she was able to find some time to give freedom to her passion - Celtic music and playing the harp.

Ellen

Ellen Butler
The most silent of them all, Ellen Butler is yet probably one of the brightest talents. Born in a Scottish-Pakistani family and adopted as a child to her parents-in-law, she built a strong character during her hard childhood, to become a shining diamond in the crown of DNO. In 1990, at the age of 10, Ellen won the Stapleton Award on the Young Talents Contest in Glasgow. Following this success, she has so far built on her talents to claim four more medals from various singing competitions.

Nowadays Ellen plays traditional instruments in non-traditional ways, including didjeridu, gusle, saz, and mandolin, as well as singing. Perhaps eventually we'll get her to say more about herself. ;-)

Harry

Harry Staunton
Despite his young age, Harry has proved himself as a very experienced saxophonist. During the period 1998-2001 he performed in a jazz quartet named 'The Black Cats' in Birmingham. One year later, when he was accepted in Royal Guildhall College, he had to leave his friends and move to London. However he soon found his best surrounding and mixed with artists of his calibre who shared his obsession for the beautiful music.

Harry's presence in DNO adds a more modern approach in the group's otherwise quite traditional and 'classic' sounding. His main instrument is saxophon but he performs equally well with other brass air instruments, the trumpet and sackbut among his favourite ones.