AS a child growing up in Derry, Northern Ireland, Mairead Carlin’s babysitter used to get her to sing Somewhere Over the Rainbow and then asked her what she wanted to be when she was older.
Her response was always the same – a singer.
But fate has a funny way of working and after her debut album as a solo artist was shelved on the eve of its release, Carlin thought her career was headed towards singing teacher instead.
“Then out of the blue I got a call from the Ireland America Fund, which is a charity in America that does fundraisers for anything Irish,” she said.
“They asked me to come to New York and sing some songs off that album at a fundraising party they were having. I was chatting afterwards to a fellow who I had no idea worked for Celtic Woman’s record label. I was telling him about what happened and he asked for a copy of my album.
“About four months later, Chloe (Agnew), one of the original girls, decided to leave so I got a call to audition.”
Carlin joined Celtic Woman in 2013, the move proving to not just have a monumental shape on her career but also her personal life as she met former ensemble member Ronan Scolard, who she married last September, with Celtic Woman’s Eabha McMahon as her bridesmaid.
“It’s a real family and I have a lot to thank Celtic Woman for,” Carlin said.
“I’ve always looked up to Celtic Woman and how they sit as a classical crossover with Irish folk music on the world market. I’ve always seen Celtic Woman as ambassadors for Ireland and they’ve always done it in a very classy way because the music industry is full of very short skirts.
“It’s given me the opportunity to see the world and sing the music I love with the people I love.”
Scolard, who has now signed to the same label at Celtic Woman “to spread his wings and show what he can do as well”, will not be joining Carlin when she returns to Australia for the Celtic Woman Voices of Angels Australian tour.
“This show is quite different from our other shows because our album Voices of Angels is much more classical than we’ve ever done and we recorded with the biggest orchestra Celtic Woman has used,” she said.
“And there’s old favourites that we’ve rearranged in Amazing Grace, Danny Boy and You Raise Me Up; we’re not going to leave those out. We actually took You Raise Me Up out for about a month and it was really missed. We could never do that again.”
Joining Carlin and McMahon in the line-up is Susan McFadden and new ensemble member and violinist Tara McNeil.
Community Newspaper Group has 10 double passes to give away to Celtic Woman at Riverside Theatre on September 21. Enter here by 10am, August 25.
What: Celtic Woman Voices of Angels Australian tour
Where: Riverside Theatre, Perth Convention and Exhibition Centre
When: September 21