Meet the Musicians
Brendan Nolan started his career as a ballad-singer of traditional songs in his native Ireland. A gifted storyteller, guitarist, and vocalist, he has created beautiful original songs and has been keeping traditional music alive for decades wherever he has lived - Ireland, Montreal, and his current home in St. Pete Beach, Florida. He has performed at major folk festivals throughout North America, including the Winnipeg and Lunenburg festivals in Canada. He has also performed at several major Irish and Celtic festivals - Milwaukee, Savannah, Kansas City, and the North Texas Irish Fest, to name a few.
Brendan has recorded eight albums, including his 2013 double CD Live at the Side Door, which features Colin Farrell on fiddle and whistle. Brendan was the first musician to set one of Holly's poems to music, which sparked the idea of creating an album.
Colin Farrell is an award-winning fiddler, Irish whistler, and composer. He is a member of the acclaimed band Lúnasa and has performed and recorded with many great musicians in Europe and the US, including Flook, Grada, Julie Fowlis, Tim O’Brien, Natalie Merchant, Mary Chapin Carpenter, and the Ashley Davis Band.
Colin has released several well-received albums, including Make A Note which was awarded Instrumental Album of the Year by Live Ireland, Music and Mischief with Kevin Crawford and Patrick Doocey, and Live at the Side Door with Brendan Nolan. A native of Manchester, England, Colin obtained a Masters in Traditional Irish Music from the University of Limerick, Ireland.
Dave Curley is a multi-instrumentalist, singer, and songwriter from Galway, Ireland. After graduating from the University of Limerick's Irish Music and Dance program with first class honors, Dave started making big waves in the Irish music scene in Europe and the US. He has performed with Grammy Award winner Moya Brennan of Clannad, the Brock McGuire Band, the Ashley Davis Band, and Lúnasa.
In 2022, Dave was awarded best male vocalist of the year by American Celtic Listener Supported Radio (ACLSR) and in 2021 his trio, One for the Foxes, was awarded album of the year.
Julian Bond was born in England and studied at the Guildhall School of Music and Drama in London, graduating with an Honors degree in Music Composition. He has worked across the globe as a composer, pianist, conductor, and producer. He currently lives in Orlando, FL, where he performs with many organizations including Walt Disney World, Universal Studios, and Central Florida Community Arts.
Julian has won numerous awards for his playing and writing, including EMI’s "Make Music" award and the Alexander Grotsz Prize for Composition. In 2004 he was named one of America's top 10 young film score composers by Turner Classic Movies. Julian is also an accomplished professional magician.
Michelle Amato is a dynamic vocalist whose versatility has led to performances and recordings with a diverse array of artists, including Liza Minnelli, Quincy Jones, Sandi Patty, and Yanni, touring with him as a featured soloist. She has also performed with Cirque du Soleil, the Orlando Philharmonic, the Memphis Symphony, among other orchestras, and can be heard on many recordings for The Walt Disney Company.
Michelle holds a Master’s Degree from the University of Miami School of Music and has directed jazz vocal ensembles and taught private voice at colleges and universities.
Justin Chase is the choral director at Lake Nona High School in Orlando, FL, and the Director of Music at the Winter Park Presbyterian Church. Justin is a Nationally Board Certified Music Teacher and the winner of the 2008 Grand Bohemian Excellence in Arts Education Award. Choirs under his direction have performed for the Florida American Choral Directors Association Conference and at the President’s Concert for the Florida Music Educators Association. He is the President Elect of the Florida American Choral Directors Association.
Justin holds a Bachelor of Music Education degree from Florida State University and a Master’s degree in Music Education from the University of Central Florida.
Meghan Hone has a passion for opera and musical theater, both as a performer and an administrator. On stage as a mezzo-soprano, she has been praised for the depth, warmth, and richness of her voice, as well as her ability to engage an audience. She has performed in numerous productions across Central Florida with Opera Orlando, the Orlando Philharmonic Orchestra, Central Florida Vocal Arts, Opera Tampa, and the Opera Tampa Singers. Her favorite performances are community outreach events. She is currently serving as the Artistic Administrator for Central Florida Vocal Arts and Opera del Sol.
Meghan is a graduate of Florida State University and is pursuing a Masters degree in Arts Administration at Northeastern University Graduate Programs.
Cellist Elise Jimenez is a chamber musician, orchestral player, and soloist who has performed with Yo-Yo Ma, Celtic Thunder, Johnny Mathis, and Andrea Bocelli. Elise earned her Bachelor’s in Music Performance at Stetson University and won a chamber music assistantship in the Graduate Piano Trio at the University of Florida. She completed her Masters of Music degree in Cello Performance in 2014. She currently studies with Helga Winold, Professor Emeritus from Indiana University.
Elise currently teaches at Seminole State College as an Adjunct Professor, at Saint Andrews Conservatory of Music, and she maintains her own private studio. She currently performs with a variety of groups, including the Orlando Philharmonic.
Cantor Allan Robuck
Ashley Davis is a vocalist, songwriter, and guitarist hailing from Lawrence, KS. She is a graduate of the University of Limerick’s World Academy of Music and Dance, and she has recorded and performed with Irish music legends John Spillane, Moya Brennan, Paddy Moloney, and Eileen Ivers. Ashley has toured the world and released seven albums with her band, the Ashley Davis Band, most recently the well-received album “When the Stars Went Out” with Dave Curley, Colin Farrell, Duncan Wickel, and Will MacMorran.
Ashley is also a founding member of the Crannua Collective, a collaboration of three generations of writers and musicians, who create original music celebrating their collective and individual musical backgrounds spanning from Ireland to the prairie of Kansas.
Brendan Nolan: Maureen Walsh-Nolan; Colin Farrell: Amy Strong; Dave Curley: WJ Burns Photography; Justin Chase: Tom Garland; Cantor Allan Robuck: Peter Berg Photography; Josh Plotner: Kevin Alvey