Affiniti: Reviving Classical Music with a Dash of Celtic Ingredients

  Affiniti is a classical crossover group comprised of soprano Emer Barry, violinist/composer Mary McCague, and harpist Aisling Ennis. As part of their youth orchestra, Mary and Aisling had been friends since childhood. While performing at a music festival several years later, Mary met Emer and the rest is history. Prior to the creation of [...]

 

Affiniti is a classical crossover group comprised of soprano Emer Barry, violinist/composer Mary McCague, and harpist Aisling Ennis. As part of their youth orchestra, Mary and Aisling had been friends since childhood. While performing at a music festival several years later, Mary met Emer and the rest is history.

Prior to the creation of Affiniti, the trio performed under the name Celtic Rose as wedding performers, providing music selection and writing services for their clientele. As their sounds began to grow into something bigger, the three felt  the name Celtic Rose didn’t really represent who they really were as diverse musicians. They also felt that the classical genre had its limitations in regards to their eclectic talents and aspirations.

In a featured interview on Classical Crossover Magazine, the longtime friends discussed the incredible chemistry between them from the get go while composing tracks and brainstorming ideas. Simultaneously musicians and storytellers, the groups natural affinity facilitated the process of using their music to connect with the audience and hence Affiniti was born.

Affiniti also revealed that the modified spelling of their name was intended as a sign of respect to their Celtic influences.

The classically trained trio of professionals hail from Ireland and are known for their pure sounds, groundbreaking classical crossover compositions, and thrilling performances around the world.

Their music is infused with elements of pop, classical, and rock. Hailing from Ireland, the group recompose contemporary music with a classical twist and homage to their Celtic roots. They produce unique classical arrangements of many popular songs with the aim of showcasing their own unique Celtic musical flavors to promote Irish music worldwide.

Body of Work

Their debut album “Rebirth” was released on December 4, 2012 and featured 6 tracks, including a hauntingly beautiful classical remake of popular rock hit “My Immortal” by Evanescence. The track features an original celtic melody that the group incorporated into the instrumentals.

Affiniti’s studio album “Struck by Affiniti” features classical remakes of popular tracks such as Adele’s “Rolling in the Deep” and Damien Rice’s “The Blower’s Daughter”.

Other released albums include “A Celtic Awakening” and a Christmas album titled “The Gift of Music”.

Affiniti composed a beautiful Celtic rendition of the popular “O Holy Night”. The charity hit release featuring the FILMharmonic orchestra Prague, as well as the Palestrina Boys Choir, and Carlow Choral Society, claimed the #1 spot in the Irish download charts during Christmas 2014, and currently has over 1.2 million hits on Youtube.

From December 7-18th of 2017, they performed at select cities in Oregon, Washington, Idaho, and New Jersey for their 2017 US Celtic Christmas Tour. Accompanied by Howard Crosby, the nephew of the late legendary singer Bing Crosby, they performed traditional and contemporary Christmas tunes to sold out audiences.

A Breath of Fresh Air in the Classical Crossover Scene

Boston Globe’s Pulitzer Prize winning journalist Kevin Cullen paid a visit to Steinert Hall, a local Boston venue on what was formerly known as Piano Row District, where he heard the trio perform and was effusive in his praise. Affiniti’s performance received rave reviews and the group was complimented for being “full of soul and sass and sophistication as well as exquisite technique!

Nicola Jarvis of classical-crossover.co.uk praised the group for revitalizing a jaded genre and bringing a fresh element to the scene. Jarvis named Affiniti as the Best Group of 2012 and Outstanding Newcomer of 2012, praising the harmonious instrumental sounds and the incredible vocals of soprano Emer Barry.

Meet the Ladies of Affiniti: The Masters behind the Art

Violinist Mary Mccague hails from Blackrock, County Louth, the smallest county in Ireland. Her parents were both musicians and Mary began learning to play the violin at age 4, taking piano lessons a year later at the Royal Irish Academy of Music in Berlin.

In addition to participating in musical festivals throughout Europe, Mary also performed as a freelance violinists in several professional Irish orchestras.

She completed a degree in Music and Irish in 2002 and completed her Masters in Music Performance at the Royal Irish Academy of Music.

Well known for her versatile and powerful vocals, she has performed with musical talents such as Michael Buble, Westlife, and Kanye West.

Soprano Emer Barry found success and fame at the age of 11 when she took first place at the girls vocal solo competition at the 100th anniversary of the Feis Ceoil, landing her in the national newspaper headlines. The Feis Ceoil is an Irish music organization that holds annual classical festivals to promote interest in Irish musical studies and give performances a spotlight to showcase their talents.

She completed a Master’s in Music Performance with a concentration in Opera.

On July 18, 2017, she released a debut album titled “Storyteller” which was well received. The 12 track album features a mix of opera, musical theatre, and Celtic music.

She is scheduled to tour the US in 2019 as part of a brand new show from Columbia Artists Management called “Songs of Ireland”.

Harpist Aisling Ennis initially picked up the harp from her mother, who wanted something for her daughter to channel all her productive energy into. She took home several national awards and continued to hone her craft at the Royal Irish Academy of Music.

At the age of 10, She composed and performed a piece titled “Raindrops” at the Late Late Toy Show.

She studied at the Guildhall School of Music and Drama as well as the Royal Academy of Music in London, going on to perform with some of the UK’s top ensembles such as the Royal Liverpool Philharmonic Orchestra. Aisling is also a three time Feis Ceoil Rose Bowl winner.

She has performed as a solo, chamber, and orchestral member throughout Europe, Asia, and the USA.

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