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Rafter Family in Concert in Freshford

by Jimmy Rhatigan

HIGHLIGHT of Féile Lachtain 2022 is on October 8 when the Rafter Family Concert will be held at St Lachtain’s RC Church, Freshford at 8pm. 

The Rafter Family has performed extensively throughout the past decade since their debut to critical acclaim at the National Concert Hall, Dublin. 

Maura studied under some of Europe’s most notable musicians such as Mabel Swainson and Maurizio Carnelli. 

She is a highly respected piano teacher with students winning at national level. Paddy studied under some of the world’s most respected singers and conductors including Carlo Gaifa and Massimiliano Bullo of La Scala in Milan. 

As well as singing with the Three Tenors, Paddy sang in La Scala. He and Maura met through music when Paddy sang one Christmas in St. Mary’s Cathedral where Maura was the organist. 

Together they set up the Rafter Family group and toured Ireland. They established Kilkenny Academy of Music and taught a generation of young Kilkenny musicians and singers. 

Post-Covid, Maura started Threecastles School of Music and is now catering for all local students and students from further afield.

Maura and Paddy have four children who have all performed in the past with the family: Seán, a successful barrister, played clarinet; Isabelle, a multi award winning cellist and singer.


 Alexander is a much loved singer, guitarist and piano player is one of the stars of the St Lachtain’s Intermediate hurling team; and Patrick who is celebrated as one of Ireland’s most gifted and exciting violinists. 

To get to this point in his career, Patrick has had a star-studded journey including debuts with some of the finest orchestras, such as Prague Philharmonia, performances alongside leading conductors including Semyon Bychkov and Marin Alsop. 

He has shared the stage with some of the world’s most acclaimed musicians such as Maxim Vengerov and Shlomo Mintz. 

A personal invitation to study under Vengerov led to first prizes in international competitions which have been a catalyst to an international career. 

He is a top graduate of the Royal Academy of Music in London and the International Menuhin Music Academy in Switzerland. 

It is extremely gratifying at parish level that the main event of Féile Lachtain 2022 has a local family involved. 

On this occasion Paddy and Maura will be joined by Alexander and virtuoso violinist Patrick. 

The concert promises to be a wonderful celebration of popular and light classical pieces and songs. 

Tickets, €25 and are on sale at O’Shea’s Newsagent, Freshford and online at Eventbrite under Rafter Family Concert. 

This project is funded by the Kilkenny Creative Ireland Programme 2022 through Kilkenny County Council. 

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