The Derry Aires
The Derry Aires formed in 1994 as part of a Saint Patrick's Day show. Amidst all the serious traditional Irish musicians, there were few singers and none that wanted to perform the songs most requested by the audiences of the time. The true Irish schmaltzy songs like Danny Boy and Galway Bay. Following their initial performances, they found themselves in high demand for,not only their Irish repertoire, but their tight harmonies and irreverent humor. Over nearly 20 years and several personnel changes, they have retained their original charm and added a myriad of styles to their show, ranging from Contemporary to Celtic, Blues to Jazz. But all of it with a dash of humor.
Originally a trio, Originally a trio, this cult phenomenon has become an amorphous performance ensemble that expands to quintet status whenever they can. Comprised of Terri Mayeur, Robin Basset, Erin Ingle, Nancy Steely, and Peggy Monaghan bring a huge diversity of styles to their recordings and shows.
Though essentially an a Capella ensemble, you just never know what these women will do on stage. Their shows feature a mix of instruments from kazoos and penny whistle to guitar and piano. Their fine musicianship, humor and gracious classiness have made The Derry Aire a much anticipated highlight of many Anchorage productions. Fellow musician Robin Hopper calls them "Stellar." Their 2000 release, Cheek to Cheek met with rave reviews as has their 2006 release, Built for Comfort. Their most recent release, Frozen Assets, is a not to be missed collection of gorgeous holiday tunes.
"...strong, sweet voices and display good harmonies and a deft choice of material." – www.greenman
Originally a classically trained violinist, Robin has opted to try to undo all that training by fiddling instead. A Captain Nurse Officer in the United States Public Health Service currently assigned to the Alaska Native Medical Center, she is a Nurse Practitioner specializing in Nephrology. Robin is also an avid fisherwoman from the comfort of the family boat in Homer and she still holds the boat record for catching a halibut of 180lbs! She is also a frustrated piano player and has some interesting experiences to recount as a 1st chair trombone player, full music scholarship winner, model, actress and losing Miss America Contestant. Robin is a private pilot who tends to purchase homes on the internet and once took 9 days to fly from Florida to Anchorage in an Adventura (a fully certified 2-seater home built aircraft). In her spare time she like to participate in local Eagle River theater at the AFAA where she has lately been type-cast. She hopes to some day play a good witch.
And check out this great article about Robin! Just copy this link into your browser.
The founding member of The Derry Aires, Peggy's experience and
knowledge of performance and production have made her a much sought after participant in shows from San Francisco to Anchorage. Raised in Alaska, she spent a few decades in the Bay Area, but has returned to her native soil and currently teaches voice in Anchorage. She is coordinator and producer of the Alaska Song of the Year Contest, a founding member of the Irish Music Festival and Turnagain Community Arts Alliance, and an advisory member of the Board of Directors for Alaska Theater of Youth. Her 1990 release Lullabye on Pacific Artists Records was re-released in 2008 on the Arctic Siren label and her 1994 release Seasons of the Witch on the Arctic Siren Records label is in it’s third edition. Both have met with local and national acclaim.
As a speech language pathologist, Nancy brings a keen analytical mind and a pencil to every rehearsal with The Derry Aires. She is also a scuba diver and has been in all 50 of the United States thus furthering the ability to hold her breath when necessary, a skill she uses often in rehearsal. She is a yoga enthusiast, runner and rides Harley Davidson motorcycles. She also has 40 years of harmony singing under her size 6 belt. 40 years in 50 states. We’ll let you do the math. She aspires to an empty nest syndrome and world travel. She will of course, bring her pencil.
A multi- instrumentalist and singer who plays flute, oboe, clarinet, and saxophone, Terri also owns a banjo but is too much of a lady to play it. The red head of the group has 7 years of performance and touring with harmony singers and though she is a 767 pilot she admits that she is neither a rocket scientist nor a brain surgeon. Terri is a world traveler, stained glass artist and long distance runner who completed the 2006 Dublin Marathon. She lives in the Mat- Su Valley, hence she commutes more than an hour to work with The Derry Aires. She recently realized her personal goal of owning a working DeLorean.
And Introducing our Newest Member Erin Alexander Ingle
The newest member of The Derry Aires is Erin Alexander Ingle. She brings her crystalline voice, 20 years experience, and an eager excitement to the stage. A life long Alaskan, Erin’s quick wit and perfect pitch are the perfect foil for this association.
Rooted in her need for speed, her early dream of becoming a fighter pilot and moving on to the NASA space program have translated into her out-of-this-world work with the Derry Aires. Always a questing sort, her passions now center on work with Animal Sanctuaries. And there is nothing quite like a Derry Aire rehearsal to resemble both the animal and the sanctuary in that phrase.
Her beguiling smile and girl-next-door sweetness belie the determination and resolve she brings to her craft. When the rest of The Derry Aires are sporting baffled looks as to what is next, Erin has the pitch and lyric at the ready. Her hard work and unruffled aplomb are a welcome addition to the lineup.