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People: Emma McClean on her special relationships

By Kerry McKittrick

The 36-year-old is the vice-chairperson of the St Agnes' Choral Society in Belfast, which will be performing Hairspray at the Grand Opera House later this month. She works as a doctor in palliative care and lives in Lisburn with her husband, Andy, and their four-month-old daughter, Kate.

My husband, Andy

We met through St Agnes' five years ago - I never thought I would meet my husband through the choral society. We were doing a show called Hot Mikado and we needed five burly guys to come in and give us a hand, so Andy and five of his team-mates from St Paul's Gaelic club came in to help out. We got married two-and-a-half years ago.

Andy works as a PE teacher and isn't involved with the choral society at all - he only came in as a one-off.

We have a lovely balance with our own outlets for socialising - Andy with Gaelic and me with St Agnes' - and then we can enjoy going out together as a couple, too.

My daughter, Kate

Kate came along in December and I'm loving every minute of being a mum. She's the best baby in the world - although I might be a little biased.

She has been very good, though, and has made being parents really easy on both of us.

Your whole life changes when you have a child. Now everything revolves around her, but in such a good way.

I think you come to a stage in your life where you're ready to be a parent and you don't mind sacrificing things, or giving them up for her. I can't say anything bad about being a mum.

My best friends

I have friends from different aspects of my life. There's Katrina Hessernan, who has been my friend since nursery school. She's in Dublin now, but we're still really good friends.

Next is Aine McManus, whom I met at Rathmore Grammar and is now a pharmacist. She was my bridesmaid. I've met a lot of people at St Agnes' - we have a reputation for being one big happy family and welcoming. We all enjoy socialising together, too.

My parents, Pat and Tommy

My dad died in 2008, but my mum is still here. Dad was a builder and took a job in B&Q, which he kept until a month before he died. He was into big bands and played the trombone.

My mum is a retired secretary. She was the one who introduced me to St Agnes' when I was still in my carry-cot. I was four when I appeared in my first show, The King and I.

Mum's still involved, but she doesn't take part in the actual shows anymore. She's more likely to do front-of-house and welcome people. I have a brother and a sister, both older than me - Mel and Denise. Mel lives in Dundalk and Denise lives in Belfast and we're a very close family and get together quite a lot.

Mum was never keen for me to go into music or drama as a career and I always wanted to be a doctor, anyway.

My mentor, Fiona Keegan

Fiona Keegan joined St Agnes' a bit later than me but she's been there for every single show since.

She's been chairperson for quite a few years now, as well as being the principal of St Kevin's Primary School. How she manages to do a hugely responsible job outside of St Agnes', as well as being dedicated to her role as chairperson, is amazing.

She's so encouraging and friendly - everything that you could want in a chairperson.

My celebrity crush

I'm a complete comic film geek for a start, so I loved Hugh Jackman in X-Men. Then I saw him in Les Miserables and found out he could sing, so he has the whole package and ticks every box.

Fantasy dinner party

Firstly I'd like the queen of musical theatre Barbara Streisand as I would love to meet and talk to her.

Next I'd ask Michael McIntyre for some craic.

Then Italian chef Gino D'Acampo as he would do the cooking for us.

Finally, of course, I would have to have Hugh Jackman.

  • Hairspray by St Agnes' Choral Society will be on stage at the Grand Opera House in Belfast from April 28 until May 2. For tickets and information go to

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