Artistic Director


A native of County Carlow and former International Athlete, Mary Amond O’Brien began her career in  choral music education during 1997, with the formation of Aspiro.

Now full time Artistic Director of Aspiro, this world-class choir has an outstanding track record, both  nationally and internationally.  Focussing mainly on performance Aspiro have also won many awards at  Ireland’s major Choral Festivals. Aspiro’s performances have been acclaimed by the Irish Times and Irish  Examiner as ‘remarkable’ and Mary’s conducting as ‘vigorous and dynamic’.

Committed to her continuing professional development, Mary has studied with many world renowned  choral specialists including Dr. Doreen Rao at the Choral Music Experience Institute for Choral Teacher  Education (US) [from which she was awarded an Artist Teacher Diploma in 2001] and James Jordan at  Westminster Choir College, Princeton [US]. Mary has also studied with the Association of British Choral  Directors and has received many Arts Council Awards in support of her continuing professional  development. In addition, Mary was the inaugural Co. Carlow recipient of the Artlinks Bursary Award,  which enabled her to undertake a mentorship programme in orchestral conducting with well-known Irish  conductor Fergus Sheil.

A committed advocate for promoting the importance of choral singing within the formal education sector, Mary also directed Carlow County Council’s inaugural Choral & Music Education Programme.  In addition, Mary has directed many Department of Education & Science music education in-service courses for teachers and during 2008 was an invited guest lecturer by St. Patrick’s College, Drumcondra to work with students in the area of choral music education within the primary school curriculum.

Mary is in much demand as a guest director and receives many invitations from choirs, schools and organisations throughout the country to present choral workshops including the Irish Church Music Associations annually summer school where Mary had directed the ‘Church Music In Education’ module. Mary’s other musical interests also lie in the field of composition. She has composed and arranged works for Aspiro and has also been commissioned to write for the Veritas Alive O primary school programme.