Richard Moore grew up at 1 Brackernagh . The Moore family are listed in the 1901 Census as living in Dunlo Hill and in the 1911 Census, at Brackernagh.
Richard’s grandfather and great-grandfather were bakers, at Rourke’s Bakery. They were part of the musical fabric of town, performing in the Ballinasloe Choral and Orchestral Society and the St. Michael’s Church Choir, under the direction of the highly esteemed Ms Lavinia (Breezy) Sheridan (1888-1972), who was the Director of Music for the Diocese of Clonfert.
Richard began tinkering at the piano from a young age and listened to his Aunt Evie (Moore) Brennan, ALCM, play piano hits by Winifred Atwell, Scott Joplin, Charlie Kunz; Classical music and music from the Musicals and all the popular hits of the day.
Evie became a well-known accompanist and piano teacher locally. His Aunt Ita was a gifted singer and violinist and his cousin Fr. Noel Colahan, had leading roles as a boy-soprano, in the Garbally musicals. His cousin Bernie Larkin played accordion with the Kiltormer Céilí Band and the Aughrim Slopes.
Formal Piano lessons, with graded exams, began at age 6, with Ms Lavinia Sheridan. Playing trombone as a youngster with the Town Band under the batons of Timmy Kelleher and Noel Madden, was to provide a love of brass playing.
While attending Garbally,singing in the annual musical was a highly anticipated event. As a first year in Garbally, fifty years ago in 1972, Richard was part of the chorus in the Pirates of Penzance, by Gilbert and Sullivan. Coincidently, in his day as a student, his cousin Fr. Noel Colahan played the lead role of Mabel in the Pirates, and this year, Richard’s daughter Esther won a Performer of the Year award, for her role of Ruth in the Loughrea Youth Theatre’s production of the Pirates of Penzance.
Richard is amazed at the rich vein of talent in the once famous “ all to once side like “ part of town - Brackernagh through the years has spawned a wealth of musicians, including: Tommy Derrane, John Clayton, Tom Keogh, Paddy Greally, Martin Greally, Gerard Farrell, Bernie Larkin, Johnny Whelan, Aidan Judge, Gerard O'Connor, Paddy Daly, Noel Madden, Martina (Madden) Doherty, Austin Madden, Chris Doherty, Amie Doherty, Rachel Doherty, Noel Doherty, Gerry Seale, Cecil O'Grady, Brendan Loughnane, Gerry Loughnane, Pat Vaughan, Johnny Furey, Paddy Burke, Michael Ryan, Nellie Hurley, Margaret, Mary & Theresa Cusack, Tom Quinn. This list doesn’t even include all the singers from Brackernagh!!
Studying for a Bachelor of Music Degree at U.C.C. provided a love and appreciation of Classical Music. Following four years of study in Boston, Richard graduated with honours from the world famous Berklee College of Music. While there, he had the opportunity to study Jazz and Popular Music and to perform in a very wide range of top-class music ensembles.
Richard is still unpacking all the information he learned at Berklee! In the early 80s, he travelled to North America and Australia, playing piano with the Irish-music group Ceoltóirí Maghlocha, from Moylough.
Having spent five years in London, where he worked in the Music Department of the Performing Rights Society (IMRO in Ireland), and playing with a variety of groups, Richard returned to Ballinasloe and spent twenty-five years playing keyboards with the popular band, Heatwave. The local band also included Louie Burgoyne and Jack Mannion from Ballinasloe, and Mick Slattery from Athlone.
Richard obtained his Piano Teaching Diploma from the Associated Boards of the Royal Schools of Music and spent twenty-five years teaching piano until he relocated to Doha in Qatar for six months, where he taught music in a Primary School. He is also a qualified Secondary School music teacher and has taught in schools in Galway and the Midlands.
The benefits of learning music are very well documented; learning music stimulates, challenges and enriches young people during their formative school years and indeed into adulthood and senior years. “ I’m delighted to see that the town band is thriving and that the young musicians are getting an excellent music education and expert tuition, thanks to the dedication of Noel and Martina Madden, Keith Kelly and the band committee. Ballinasloe has always had very dedicated instrumental and singing teachers, and the fruits of their labour are borne out by the multitude of local musicians who are playing in Ballinasloe and afar”, he states .
Following the cessation of music teaching and performing as a result of Covid, Richard is delighted to be returning to teaching and performing. He now teaches in Gurtymadden, which is central to Ballinasloe, Loughrea and Portumna. Richard is looking forward to passing on his considerable music knowledge to his students; his goal is to set the student on a path of lifelong learning and enjoyment.
He has also recently begun a residency at the Moycarn Lodge and Marina every Thursday evening, where the proprietors Mike and Miriam Dolan, are providing a wonderful opportunity for up-and-coming musicians and singers to perform in public. He also plays keyboards with the exciting function band, ‘The Heebie Jeebies’ from Roscommon.
Richard Moore can be contacted at 087 9657939 for Piano/Theory/Junior & Leaving Cert Music grinds.
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