Damien began his guitar studies at the age of 10 with renowned Irish teacher Marion Hyland at the Royal Irish Academy of Music. During this time he won a number of national competitions and also scholarships to continue his studies at the RIAM. He completed a BA in Applied Music at Dundalk Institute of Technology in 2009 and an MMus in performance in 2010 studying with Dr. John Feeley at the DIT Conservatory of Music. In 2014 he was awarded a scholarship by Manhattan School of Music, New York study with Mark Delpriora as part of the Professional Studies Diploma.
Damien has given solo recitals in Kings College, Cambridge, the Irish Embassy, London and the American Irish Historical Society, NYC. In 2008 he played support to James Galway in the National Concert Hall, Dublin as part of the RIAM’s platform series. As a recording artist he has worked with the Irish composer Ciarán Farrell to produce two releases under the collaborative title ‘Farrell Kelly’. Their first EP ‘Jolt’ (2011) reached number one in the Irish iTunes chart. This was followed by the compete guitar works of Ciarán Farrell which was released as the album ‘New Frontiers’ (2012). In addition to performing the works of Ciarán Farrell he has premiered many new works by composers such as Eibhlis Farrell, David Stalling, Ricardo Romaniero and Victor Lazzarini. Damien also performs as the other half of Redbrick Duo with American flautist Jessica Lipstone. Performing their own arrangements of popular muisc combined iwth more traditional repertoire, they have engaged with audiences of all musical backgrounds. 2015 will see him performing in Washington DC for a private recital in the residence of the EU Ambassador. They have played many recitals around the US in addition to their outreach work in various schools and retirement communities throughout New York State.
Damien is an experienced teacher and has taught all levels and in different teaching environments both in the US and Ireland. At university level he has taught at the National University of Ireland, Maynooth and Dundalk Institute of Technology. In addition to teaching undergrad students individually he also lectured group classes in popular music performance and guitar technique. At the Royal Irish Academy of Music he taught group classes of adults as part of the Diploma in Community Music.
He has also taught at Kilternan School of Music and Newpark Music Centre (Dublin), teaching mostly the younger generation of aspiring guitarists. In addition to giving students the core basics in technique and performance practice, Damien also works with students in a variety of projects such as this video for the Irish charity ‘Childline’.
In the US he is currently teaching at Washington Heights Expeditionary Learning School, NYC as part of the Manhattan School of Music Outreach Program. Click here for a full resumé. He now teaches at Long Island City Academy of Music is the newest member of the EzraGuitar Faculty in Brooklyn, NY.