Lark Song Studios

The home of singer, performer & vocal coach Eileen Estes

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Powerful instrumentals, haunting vocals and percussive dance collaborate in a wonderful display of innovative musicianship. Rooted in the beloved traditional music of Ireland, artists explore familiar tunes and ballads as well as original compositions with respect and intention that also welcomes fresh perspective and interpretation. Thoughtful phrasing, delightful ornamentation, and emotive yet powerful accompaniment bring audiences a truly unique and delightful sound with each collaboration. 

Laura Byrne

Irish Traditional Flute & Whistle

Laura Byrne is highly regarded on both sides of the Atlantic for her mastery of the Irish traditional flute and whistle. Laura began studying flute at age 9 in her native Vermont, continued her studies at the Peabody Conservatory of Music in Baltimore where she earned Bachelor’s degrees in both flute performance and music education in 1995. Though classically trained, she chose to devote her musical career to Irish traditional music, committing herself to the playing of the older generation of musicians through her many trips to Ireland and from close study of the emigrees to the United States.

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The Goodfolk

Laura Byrne

Irish Traditional Flue & Whistle

Laura Byrne is highly regarded on both sides of the Atlantic for her mastery of the Irish traditional flute and whistle. Laura began studying flute at age 9 in her native Vermont, continued her studies at the Peabody Conservatory of Music in Baltimore where she earned Bachelor’s degrees in both flute performance and music education in 1995. Though classically trained, she chose to devote her musical career to Irish traditional music, committing herself to the playing of the older generation of musicians through her many trips to Ireland and from close study of the emigrees to the United States.

Laura has performed at countless festivals, ceilis and concerts in the U.S., Canada and Ireland including venues such as the Kennedy Center, Birchmere, several National Folk Festivals and the Catskills Irish Arts Week in East Durham, NY. Laura was featured on the Eva Cassidy remix album Wonderful World (2004) and in a worldwide broadcast and film with the English choir Libera at the Basilica of the National Shrine of the Immaculate Conception in Washington DC (2014).

Laura has recorded two solo albums Tune for the Road (2005) and Lucky Day in (2010), Crabs in the Skillet (2011) and a duo recording with New York based fiddler Rose Flanagan Forget Me Not (2014). Laura is a two-time recipient of the Maryland Traditions Master Apprentice award, and received the Individual Artist award in performance from the Maryland State Arts Council in both 2010 and 2011. Laura works as a full time Realtor and co-owner of the Vesta Group of Long and Foster where she combines her non-musical passions of making things happen, central Maryland real estate, and helping others.

Joanna Clare

Irish Fiddle and Violin

Joanna Clare is a well-respected Irish fiddler and violinist who began with the Suzuki method of learning the violin before studying with Sligo fiddle master, Brian Conway. She has won six Mid-Atlantic Fleadh Cheoil titles in fiddle tunes, slow airs, and newly composed tunes, and in 2021 she was awarded runner-up for the senior fiddle slow airs competition at the FleadhFest in Sligo.

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The Goodfolk

Joanna Clare

Irish Fiddle & Violin

Joanna Clare is a well-respected Irish fiddler and violinist who began with the Suzuki method of learning the violin before studying with Sligo fiddle master, Brian Conway. She has won six Mid-Atlantic Fleadh Cheoil titles in fiddle tunes, slow airs, and newly composed tunes, and in 2021 she was awarded runner-up for the senior fiddle slow airs competition at the FleadhFest in Sligo.

Joanna has performed at numerous festivals, including the Syracuse Irish Festival, the Maryland Irish Festival, the New York Trad Fest, the Philadelphia Folk Festival, The Baltimore Trad Fest, and The Reston Multicultural Festival. She has performed among the greats of Irish Music including Mick Moloney, Billy McComiskey, John Doyle, and Seamus Egan as well as American musician, humanitarian, and activist, Michael Franti.

She is certified to teach violin with the Suzuki Association of the Americas and teaches Suzuki violin and Irish fiddle lessons both in person and virtually. Joanna also assists in teaching The Great Groove Band, a children’s pick-up band at the Philadelphia Folk Festival. As a teacher, Joanna prioritizes physical technique to direct her students’ playing and emphasizes “what to do,” but more importantly, “how to do it.”

Joanna released her debut album, To Keep the Candle Burning in early 2022. The album features Myron Bretholz, Brian Conway, Josh Dukes, Billy McComiskey, Sean McComiskey, Matt Mulqueen, Catherine O’Kelly, and Liam Presser. To Keep the Candle Burning includes some original tunes, but it is primarily an assortment of tunes she learned from the Irish musicians who inspired her as a child. Joanna recently graduated from Johns Hopkins University, and in addition to her musical adventures, she is working as a biomedical engineer in Philadelphia, PA.

Donna Long

Piano & Irish Fiddle

Donna Long was born in Los Angeles, California. When she was five years old, she began taking piano lessons with her father, Byron Long, a jazz/classical pianist who instilled in Donna a love for music. As a child, Donna was exposed to many different genres of music, including players from the old and new Jazz eras, Classical, Scottish, Indian, and African.

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The Goodfolk

Donna Long

Piano & Irish Fiddle

Donna Long was born in Los Angeles, California. When she was five years old, she began taking piano lessons with her father, Byron Long, a jazz/classical pianist who instilled in Donna a love for music. As a child, Donna was exposed to many different genres of music, including players from the old and new Jazz eras, Classical, Scottish, Indian, and African.

In 1978, she moved to the Baltimore/Washington, DC area and heard fiddler, Brendan Mulvihill playing Irish music. He inspired her to pick up the fiddle and gave her a solid foundation in style and playing. She then began to accompany him on the piano and now is considered one of the finest pianists playing Irish music. Along with Brendan Mulvihill, she has recorded two duet albums, The Steeplechase and The Morning Dew.

Donna is also a former member of the internationally acclaimed Irish group Cherish the Ladies and has recorded five CDs with them and performing for countless audiences. The Smithsonian Institution asked Donna to represent Irish Music in the series, Piano Traditions celebrating 300 years of the piano, and Donna was also commissioned by the Library of Congress to write a composition for fiddle and piano.

Agi Kovacs

Principal Dancer

Agi Kovacs was born and raised in Hungary where as a young child she was selected to study at the Hungarian National Ballet Institute in Budapest, where she was trained in classical ballet, Hungarian folk dance and historical dances. She moved to the USA 25 years ago and started her own family here in DC.

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The Goodfolk

Agi Kovacs

Principal Dancer

Agi Kovacs was born and raised in Hungary where as a young child she was selected to study at the Hungarian National Ballet Institute in Budapest, where she was trained in classical ballet, Hungarian folk dance and historical dances. She moved to the USA 25 years ago and started her own family here in DC.

A few years later she started up her dance career again, performing and teaching Sean Nos (old style Irish) dance to all ages. She has been a principal dancer with Footworks Percussive Dance Ensemble for the past 9 years and continues to travel around the world performing, teaching and spreading the joy of different percussive dance styles. Agi has performed at venues throughout DC, Maryland, Virginia, and New York, as well as in Canada, Ireland, and England and Germany. She also has been teaching at schools in DC/MD/VA and at Knock On Wood Tap Studio.

Eileen Estes

Vocals & Guitar

Irish-American musician and singer Eileen Estes is a full time musician recently relocated back to the East cost from Chicago. Whether performing at home or touring, Estes has thrilled audiences for years with her extraordinary voice, which effortlessly combines vocal power with subtle emotional expressiveness. She also works as a studio musician and a vocal coach.

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The Goodfolk

Eileen Estes

Vocals & Guitar

Irish-American musician and singer Eileen Estes is a full time musician recently relocated back to the East cost from Chicago. Whether performing at home or touring, Estes has thrilled audiences for years with her extraordinary voice, which effortlessly combines vocal power with subtle emotional expressiveness. She also works as a studio musician and a vocal coach.

Eileen is a former faculty member at Blue Ridge Irish Music School, where she is still a visiting instructor, and Estes travels to teach Master Classes in the United States and abroad. She currently works as one of the directors of Irish Musical Arts and Dance Week in Bethesda MD, is a contributing artist for the Baltimore Washington Academy of Irish Culture and is the vocal instructor for the Irish Music School of Chicago. Estes also runs her own vocal studio, Lark Song Studios, where she works with singers around the world both remotely and in person.

Daughter of Nita (Conley) Korn, Celtic Thunder’s original lead singer, Eileen grew up immersed in the traditional music of Ireland and Scotland. She is a traditional singer as well as an arranger, songwriter and song collector who has collaborated with many bands over the years. In 2015, Nita and Eileen released an album of Irish and Scottish songs called The Apple Tree Project.