The Colin Vearncombe Memorial Bursary is a €1,000 award for a singer songwriter studying at Cork School of Music who is chosen by the faculty as being outstanding in their year.
The recipient of the 2016 inaugural award is: Ophelia McCabe.
Ophelia (McCabe) began hitting the stage as a HipHop MC in 2002 Dublin, Ireland. Jamming and Freestyle rap with her brothers developed into finished songs which she eventually laid over beats produced by Exile Eye, DJ Moschops and G Frequency for many years to come.
Dennis Cassidy and Ophelia struck up in 2006 at party and Ophelia & Redsquare was born as MixtapesFromTheUnderground formed simultaneously. Ophelia’s need for potential chaos and for the sensation of risk created by publicly performed improvised music was being fulfilled by MFTU while tending to her need for developed, rehearsed and finished songs with Redsquare.
DJ Moschops was a significant and brilliant partner for many years providing music for and inspiring Ophelia to write and perform as a soloist.
Ophelia thread the boards as often as possible and hustled many a great show while booking, rehearsing, leading, managing and promoting her musical works – supporting Acts such as Pete Rock, Ice Cube, De La Soul, Pharaohe Monch, Tony Allen, Ultramagnetic MC’s, Robert Glasper, Saul Williams & Maverick Sabre. Ophelia thrives in a live collaborative context.
Irish artist Damien Dempsey took an interest in Ophelia and invited her to tour in 09 which she humbly executed in support of an artist she loves. As a result of her persistent gigging she has played regularly and often with the unfathomable talent of her Irish brothers and sisters and chooses to Base herself in Ireland while remaining globally minded.
In 2010 all of her efforts to cut quality records and break overground, collapsed. Ophelia became seriously ill and has been blessed to survive what she had to face. Thankfully her discipline and dedication to her recovery has been paying off ever since.
In 2012, Cork, Ophelia was accepted onto the first degree in Popular Music in Irish History – Graduating with first class honors in 2016. That process has naturally lead to pursuing a Masters in Music Performance from the renowned Cork School of Music.
Ophelia was invited to register as a Rap Tutor with the Cork ETB/YWIC/Music Generation in 2014 following years of involvement with community music groups and has recently become an apprentice voice coach studying under Dr. Trish Rooney.
Ophelia currently performs and collaborates with the following groups: –
Barry Wilson Music, Eduardo Moireira, Elayne Harrington… More to be announced!
‘Coco Baguettes’ (Alan Pentony, Tomas Gall, Rory O’ Brien, Roberto Carazza) – Live Improvised Electro Instrumental music & vox
‘Mindsets’ (Rory Mc Govern) – Experimental Electronic Vocal focused Beats & Bass Tunes released in Mixtapes
‘Chocolate Vanilla’ (Ophelia solo) – DJ sets with live vocals – while being developed as a live band
‘So here we are. I am so excited to be returning to stage as a skilled performance professional. I have a team of brilliant people behind me. I have accepted my black and white sides and will give both their deserved spotlight. My rap side is strong and my singing voice has been being trained leading me to become the vocalists I always desired to be. 360 style.
I have newly composed and produced music and I’m fired up on a daily basis by simply being creative. There are opportunities arising and I am more ready than I ever was. I hope to see you at a show or to hear from you by mail. Enjoy my feelings on wax and live in peace with love’
To listen to some of Ophelia’s music, head over to her Reverbnation page here: https://www.reverbnation.com/0phelia/songs
And watch some of her videos here: https://www.youtube.com/user/0pheliaMc