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Fiona Molloy

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Derry to New York

Fiona Molloy was born and raised in Derry, Northern Ireland. She started playing piano and “…singing entire songs before I could talk!” Fiona started her musical studies under the tutelage of her grandmother Martha McGuinness (nee McDaid), a voice and piano teacher, and her father John Molloy, a classically trained baritone. At about the age of 12, she went on to train with Derry’s famous vocal coach James McCafferty (The Little Gaelic Singers), winning many commendations and medals in both voice and piano at local and national feis’ (cultural competitions) all over Ireland. In her mid-teens, Fiona began classical voice training with Neil Carlin (retired Opera Singer, Vienna Opera), a regimen she credits with “allowing me to be 45 years old and still singing 4 hours at a stretch alone”.

Around 16 years of age, Fiona discovered guitar, joined the Thornhill College Folk Group, and began studying stage technique with Tony Johnson, Eurovision Song Contest Winner Dana’s vocal coach. “I finally knew what I wanted to do”. Talent shows and local concerts were soon added to the young singer’s experience.

In 1975, with the continuing “troubles” in her native province of Ulster, Fiona was approached by local city councilor Danny Feeney and the Peace Women of Derry, who asked her to sing at a local Peace Rally. At the famous rally on the Craigavon Bridge, Betty Williams and Mairead Corrigan of the Northern Ireland’s Peace People asked Fiona to join them as the movement’s singer, to represent the youth of Northern Ireland.

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