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Waltons New School of Music

John Mardirosian


John founded Waltons New School of Music together with his wife Aideen Walton in September 1994. He comes from a musical family; his mother was a concert pianist and his grandfather and great-grandfather were both composers. John received his BA from Harvard University and an MPhil from Trinity College Dublin. Although ‘classically’ trained (his main instrument is viola), he has always felt that different music genres have much to offer each other. For this reason, the New School’s approach embraces musical diversity, and students are encouraged to engage with music genres outside their main focus. John also founded and directs the Waltons World Masters Series and the Waltons Music for Schools Competition.

Read a profile of John in the Sunday Tribune.

Sarah Walsh

Assistant Director • World Masters Series Coordinator

Originally from Co. Mayo, Sarah graduated with a BA in Music and Sociology and a BMus from University College Dublin before moving to Leeds to complete a Masters in Music and Management. She has had a passion for music from a young age, with a particular interest in somewhat unusual percussion, joining a handbell ringing choir as a child and a number of Javanese Gamelan ensembles while studying in Dublin. While at the University of Leeds, Sarah volunteered at Leeds Music Hub, the focal point of music education and performance in Leeds, and also set up her own Gamelan group, teaching the tradition to students with varied musical backgrounds as well as performing with the University of York’s Gamelan Sekar Petak. In addition to her work as Assistant Director of the New School and coordinator of our Waltons World Masters Series concerts, Sarah is a member of the National Concert Hall Gamelan Orchestra.

Hannah McGrath


In addition to her work at the New School, Hannah is a composer and sound design artist and has been studying music and sound since she was nine years old. She studied classical flute and voice (both classical and musical theatre) and received a Diploma in Musical Theatre Singing from the London College of Music, going on to receive an Honours BA in Music with Dance from Ulster University and a Masters in Sound Design and Audiovisual Practice from the University of Glasgow. Hannah has predominantly worked with music and composing for screen, but in the last few years she has developed an interest in electroacoustic composition and sound art. She worked with the Walled City Music Festival, Derry in 2015 and was on the student committee for Sound Thought 2017 in Glasgow, a three-day sound art installation and performance event, nominated for Best Creative Programming at the Scottish New Music Awards 2018. Hannah has showcased her electroacoustic work at various installation exhibitions in Ireland and Scotland, including Sound Thought Glasgow and #Mixtape at Dundalk IT.

David Mooney

Outreach Coordinator • Administrator

Dave hails from south Dublin, but his musical pursuits have led him far and wide. He holds a BMus degree from Berklee College of Music in Boston, where he studied with such world-renowned musicians and composers as John Lockwood and Joseph Smith, and also holds a diploma in Jazz Performance from the Guildhall School of Music in London. Dave has performed and recorded with a vast and varied array of artists. He has completed two successful European tours with Gavin Friday and has also performed with Sinéad O’Connor, Sarah Brightman, Jeff Ramsey (Al Jarreau Group), Dick Evans (formerly of the Virgin Prunes), Sarah Brindell, Honor Heffernan, the Young European Strings, Stambandet (a Scandinavian folk group) and many more. He was one of the founding members of the established New England jazz ensemble 3D4tet, and he has had many successful international tours including the Balkans, where he led his own jazz quartet and brought together top jazz musicians from Macedonia, Croatia and Serbia. Dave has performed widely in Ireland, and he was chosen to represent Ireland at the IASJ (International Association of Schools of Jazz) conference and concert in London. He has extensive experience as a music educator both in the US and Ireland, and in addition to his work as an administrator and coordinator of our Outreach Programme, he also teaches double bass and bass guitar at the New School, as well as directing our two Jazz Ensembles.

Emma Stapleton


Emma received her music BA (Vocals Pathway) with First Class Honours from BIMM Dublin, and went on to pursue a Masters degree in Popular Music Research at Goldsmiths College, London. She has loved music from a young age and is experienced in a wide range of music genres, including pop, rock, classical and musical theatre. While singing is her forte, she also has experience playing guitar and piano, and is a composer of music for moving image. Emma is an avid writer, too, and writes for several music blogs including the BIMM blog and Mnásome,

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