SMI Student Steering Committee

The SMI Student Steering Committee acts as a point of contact between the SMI Council and the wider student body. It provides the opportunity for student members to express their views and contribute to the society more broadly. It is comprised of a number of student members from institutions across Ireland and is led by the Student Representative, who sits on Council and provides a direct link between the Council and the Committee.

Members of the Committee act as representatives of the SMI within their institutions. Some of their key responsibilities are as follows:

To gather opinions and provide feedback on student matters;
To act as a point of contact for other student members within their institution;
To assist with conferences or study days where applicable.

If you would like to get in touch about the Student Steering Committee or student matters more broadly, please email

The current membership of the committee is shown below:

Fiona Baldwin is a second-year PhD student at UCD. Her research centres on chant and liturgy in Dublin between 1250 and 1550.  She holds a Masters in Liturgical Music from Maynooth College and a BA in Music Performance from the Conservatory of Music at Dublin Institute of Technology (now TU Dublin). A member of Maynooth University’s Schola Gregoriana, Fiona is an experienced mezzo-soprano soloist in her own right. She combines her studies with private teaching (voice, piano and music theory) and is the founder, and current musical director, of the Rathfarnham Gospel Choir.

Shauna Louise Caffrey is a PhD student and Irish Research Council Postgraduate Scholar at the Department of Music, University College Cork. Her research focuses on the relationship between witchcraft, magic and music on the seventeenth-century European stage, with a particular focus on the Restoration stage. Her other research interests include film music and experimental music. She is a founding member of the experimental music group Analog On, with which she has performed across Ireland, the UK and the United States.

Anthony Cahill is a doctoral candidate and tutor at the Irish World Academy, University of Limerick. His PhD research explores the contemporary aesthetic values and performance practice of traditional Irish slow airs. Anthony entered the fields of Irish music studies and ethnomusicology from an extensive music performance background, having been classically trained as a clarinettist and traditionally trained on the Irish tin whistle and flute. In addition to his PhD research, Anthony is currently exploring ways to adapt traditional Irish slow airs for the clarinet, using music notation to make traditional airs accessible to classically-trained musicians, and the educational benefits thereof. He also serves as Events Manager for the Irish World Academy's postgraduate research forum, Taighde Dámh Chruinne Éireann.

Rachel Duffy is a doctoral research student at Technological University Dublin (TU Dublin). Her research explores the twentieth-century transformation of the Irish harp tradition and is supervised by Professor Clíona Doris and Dr Kerry Houston. Rachel is in receipt of a TU Dublin Fiosraigh Scholarship and has presented at conferences run by the SMI, the ICTM, the SMEI and the MISTEC. In addition to her studies, she is active as a performer and teacher of the Irish harp.

Lauren Farquharson is a funded third-year PhD student at Dundalk Institute of Technology. Her main research areas include cultural history, musicology, analysis and performance. Lauren is a researcher and classical accordionist who has performed and competed nationally and internationally. Her research aims to bring the vast history of the classical accordion in Britain to the forefront of academic endeavour. While accordion is her main instrument, Lauren is a grade-eight pianist with a keen interest in the classical repertoire and that of the contemporary scene.

Eleanor Jones-McAuley is a PhD student at Trinity College Dublin, supervised by Dr Andrew Johnstone. Her research looks at early modern music through the lens of cultural history, examining how musical culture affects and is affected by its social and political contexts. Her PhD thesis focuses on seventeenth- and eighteenth-century sacred music in Dublin.

Patrice Keegan is a doctoral student at the Royal Irish Academy of Music where she studies organ with Dr David Adams. Her research interests focus primarily on the perception of the organ in modern society, with an emphasis on contemporary Irish solo organ music. Her research supervisor is Professor Denise Neary. Patrice combines an active performance career with regular teaching and accompanist work, and has been resident organist in Holy Cross Church, Dundrum, since 2008.

Hannah Millington (Student Representative on SMI Council) is a doctoral candidate at Dublin City University, researching the vocal works of Dame Ethel Smyth. Supervised by Dr Róisín Blunnie, Hannah’s thesis aims to highlight the under-explored choral and solo vocal works within Smyth’s oeuvre from an interdisciplinary perspective. Hannah’s broader research interests include the role of women in music, women’s networks, vocal works of the nineteenth and twentieth centuries, and the relationship between music and literature. She has served as a part-time administrator for the Society for Musicology in Ireland and is the Social Media Officer for the Women in Global Music Network and the Dublin Musicology Collective.


Frank C. O’Donnell is a graduate of Maynooth University, holding a BMus degree with a specialisation in musicology and organ performance. He is under the tutelage of Professor Gerard Gillen for organ studies and is currently finishing an MA in Musicology in Schubert studies with Professor Lorraine Byrne Bodley MRIA. Frank hopes to begin a PhD in September 2020.

Bryan Whitelaw is a doctoral research student at Queen’s University Belfast. His research interests include links between music and literature in nineteenth-century Romanticism, particularly in the music of Franz Liszt. Bryan has received funding awards for both his MPhil and PhD research and has presented conference papers in Ireland, UK and central Europe. Bryan has previously served on the conference committee, and as conference secretary, for the 15th Annual Plenary Conference of the SMI. During his time as student representative, he aims to engage with SMI student members across a variety of disciplines, including historical musicology, Irish traditional music, theory and analysis, ethnomusicology, composition and performance.