Pomeroy singer Andrea Begley enjoyed a new high note this week when she graduated with a Masters in Law and Governance.
The winner of BBC talent show The Voice was accompanied by her parents Kieran and Ann and younger sister Lucy to the Queen’s winter graduation ceremony.
Her aunt Roisin Jordan, who became the first female chair of a GAA county board in Ireland when she was elected to lead Tyrone, also joined Andrea to celebrate. When the 27-year-old first auditioned for The Voice she was in the middle of her Masters degree, but put her education on hold to take part in the second series of the talent contest in 2013.
The Pomeroy singer, who has less than 10 per cent vision because of childhood glaucoma, was mentored by the Script’s Danny O’Donoghue and went on to beat Leah McFall from Newtownabbey to win the show.
Since launching her music career, she has combined performing with working on her dissertation over the last six months.
But the singer, who has followed in the footsteps of another aunt - country singer Philomena - had no time to celebrate last night, as she dashed from her graduation ceremony to perform a gig in Omagh. Begley was the headline act at the Strule Arts Centre in the Co Tyrone town. She will also be appearing at the Ardhowen Theatre in Enniskillen on Wednesday and alongside Peter Corry in the Music Box over Christmas at Belfast’s Waterfront.
Begley will also be performing at the Market Place Theatre in Armagh on December 27 before returning to recording studios in the new year. Andrea is pictured celebrating her graduation with her aunt Ms Jordan.
She has said she still hoped to make music her career but she had always been “practical” about it.
She said she “was always determined to finish my post-grad as a degree from Queen’s opens up a world of opportunities”.
“While my focus is now very much on music, I’m pleased that I’ve been able to keep my studies going and gain the skills required to be workplace ready, whatever that job may be,” she added. “Who knows what the future holds?”