Student Gala Concert Sunday 30 July 2017 at 12 NOON
Rhona Gouldson, Festival Director
Born in Dublin, Rhona Gouldson commenced her piano studies at age six at DIT (then College of Music) with Mairead Hurley, Dr. Mary Lennon and Mr. Frank Heneghan. She was a perpetual Scholarship student there for both piano and harp (with Nancy Calthorpe), and in her latter years studied Keyboard Harmony with the wonderfully gifted Dr. Groocock.
In 1991, she earned the Peter Killian medal for the highest placed Leaving Cert in Music that year. She then entered Trinity College Dublin to pursue a degree in Music, and upon entry was awarded the Taylor Exhibition, a two-year Scholarship for the best entrance exam. Never achieving less than 100% in any aural test taken, Rhona’s ear was very much sought after. While still a student at Trinity, she was asked to lend her ears to help the forming of the comparison performance table of her music Professor Tresize’s book, Debussy’s La Mer. After graduating in 1995, Rhona was subsequently asked back to lead the aural training on the Masters in Multimedia degree course at Trinity College.
Rhona was a regular prizewinner of the Dublin Feis Ceoil and the Fr Mathew Feis. She regularly performed in the Boydell Room (Trinity College Dublin), in DIT recitals, and the Mansion House, amongst other venues. Since she has a particular passion to collaborate with other musicians, Rhona has enjoyed teaming up with artists such as Liz Nolan, soprano and Ruth Hickey, clarinet. Rhona also has enjoyed freelance accompanying and has done extensive work in this area over the years locally for both Festivals and for ABRSM exams.
From 1995 to 2003 Rhona taught at the Leeson Park School of Music and was Head of Piano there for her last two years. It was during her time at the LPSM that she was trained in the Kodaly method, a ‘holistic’ approach to the teaching of music and one that she likes to incorporate into her teaching to this day. Rhona has a Licentiate Teaching Diploma from Trinity College London and she is a member of EPTA. From 2003 Rhona has been employed on several occasions by the DIT and has enjoyed freelance teaching, in 2006 evolving into what is now ‘Piano Academy of Ireland’, Ireland’s only School of Piano which was featured on RTE’s Nationwide in 2008. Rhona’s students are regular prizewinners at local and National Festivals including the Dublin Feis Ceoil, Newpark Music Festival, Kilcoole Festival, the Navan Choral Festival as well as frequent RIAM and ABRSM exam high achievers.
Living in Rathgar Dublin with two kids, when not working or being Mum, Rhona enjoys going to live concerts & theatre, movies, writing, designing, fashion, yoga & pilates, cooking and traveling when she can.