Jennifer McCay


Dr Jennifer McCay graduated with a Bachelor degree (Hons) in Music Education from Trinity College Dublin in association with the Royal Irish Academy of Music and also holds a Licentiate Diploma in Piano Teaching.

She continued her studies at University College Dublin with a Masters in Musicology and then completed doctoral studies investigating the music of a composer living in Ireland entitled ‘From the Besieged City: The Orchestral Music of Kevin O’Connell’ (2014). She has presented on this topic regularly at the Society of Musicology in Ireland’s annual conferences (2009-14), the First International Conference on Irish Music and Musicians (Durham, 2010), Music from the perspective of Globalisation (Paderewski Academy, Poznan, 2015) and Nordic Breakthrough (Oxford, 2015).

She has contributed to the Encyclopaedia of Music in Ireland(UCD Press, 2013), Music and Identity in Ireland and Beyond (Ashgate, 2014) and Issue 7 of The Musicology Review, for which she was co-editor of Issue 6.

Jennifer teaches on the Musicianship Faculty in the RIAM, lecturing in harmony and counterpoint, music history, aural, analysis and junior musicianship classes and examines for the RIAM Local Centre Examinations Office (Senior Examiner 2011-15).

She is a member of the Council for the Society of Musicology in Ireland and the Arts Education Research Group, TCD. Other engagements include co-editor and contributor for the Association of Irish Composers’ New Music Journal, pianist for Pro Nuova of the Pro-Cathedral, Dublin, and Artistic co-ordinator of The Hibernian Orchestra in which she plays violin.

Selected Articles and Conference Papers

McCay, Jennifer, 'Kevin O’Connell’s North: Modernism, Sibelius, and Identity', Nordlit, 46 (2020), 204-221.

McCay, Jennifer, 'Northern Irish, Irish, British or European? The Orchestral Music of Kevin O'Connell', in David Herbert and Mikolaj Rykowski (eds), Music Glocalization: Heritage and Innovation in a Digital Age (Cambridge Scholars Publishing, 2018), 135-156.

McCay, Jennifer, ‘Kevin O’Connell’s North: Modernism, Sibelius and the European Fringe’ at Music and the Nordic Breakthrough: Sibelius/Nielsen/Glazunov, University of Oxford, August 2015.

McCay, Jennifer, ‘Northern Irish, Irish, British or European? The Orchestral Music of Kevin O’Connell’ at Music from the Perspective of Globalization, I.J. Paderewski Academy of Music, Poznań, Poland, April 2015.

McCay, Jennifer, ‘Why bother with Theory?’ at the inaugural RIAM Teaching Network Conference, RIAM, Dublin, July 2014.

McCay, Jennifer, ‘”From inside my head”: issues of identity in Northern Ireland through the music of Kevin O’Connell’, in Mark Fitzgerald and John O’Flynn (eds), Music and identity in Ireland and beyond (Surrey: Ashgate, 2014), 121-135.

McCay, Jennifer, ‘Creative processes in Kevin O’Connell’s Four Orchestral Pieces’, paper presented at the Society for Musicology in Ireland Annual Conference, Dundalk, 15-17 June 2012.

McCay, Jennifer, ‘Unity in Kevin O’Connell’s divided North’, The Musicology Review, Issue 7 (2010-11), 199-222.

McCay, Jennifer, ‘Kevin O’Connell’s ‘anti-setting’ of Herbert’s Report from the Besieged City’ at the Society of Musicology in Ireland – Royal Musical Association Annual Plenary Conference, Royal Irish Academy of Music, Dublin, July 2009.