Known throughout China as a member of Aotearoa Celtic duo ‘Mo Ghra’ with her Mother, Celine Toner, Samantha is a fantastic Kiwi export and local artist! Recently, she formed NZ’s first 90’s covers band ‘That 90’s Band’ and as well as performing Anthems at many prestigious sporting events, Samantha has opened for Sting, Rod Stewart, Lionel Richie, Ronan Keating, Mel C of the Spice Girls, & Sharon Corr of the Corrs.
For the complete bio, read on;
Born into a musical family, Samantha’s love for singing and performance runs deep. Classically trained at St Marys College in Auckland, NZ, where famed Opera Singer Dame Kiri Te Kanawa studied, Samantha was tutored by Cathie Harrop and Francis Wilson of the Auckland Opera Studio and won the prestigious Stella Maris Singing Cup as a senior student. At just 17 she put together her first Classical Crossover All Female Vocal Group, ‘EVE’. The group performed at major events around New Zealand such as Christmas in the Park, opened for Lionel Ritchie, recorded and released the Ricki Morris' hit "Nobody Else' and concluded in 2011 after a stint in London.
Samantha then embraced her Celtic roots by joining forces with her Scottish Mother, renowned vocalist, Celine Toner to create ‘Mo Ghra’. The duo celebrate the fusion of their Scottish and Kiwi heritage, their love of music and each other. Mo Ghra recorded a beautiful album together entitled ‘Alba to Aotearoa’ and found international success in Australia, Indonesia and particularly throughout China. Samantha performs with Mo Ghra to this day.
In 2013 Samantha & founding EVE member, West End star, Cassandra McCowan, formed pop duo ‘Hey Miss’ and did some amazing gigs together. They sang the National Anthem for Australia at The Bledisloe Cup, opened for STING at his one off Synchronicity Concert in NZ and then opened for Rod Stewart at the prestigious Mission Concert. Shortly after this the DUO also set up an originals band called ‘Flowerfight’. They set about writing some fantastic songs, appeared on the Good Morning Show then head up the finals of the NZ Battle of The Bands.
In 2014 she opened for Ronan Keating, Sharon Corr & Mel C, sang the national anthem for NZ Champion Boxer, Joseph Parker. 2015 saw her perform regularly at Sky City Casino in Auckland and Hamilton and at various bars around Auckland. 2016 was a year of self discovery as she explored the UK and Europe. Throughout 2017 and 2018 Samantha was in and out of China with Mo Ghra whilst performing back home as a soloist, an Anthem Singer for many prestigious sporting events such as The Rugby League World Cup and a session singer for different bands and duos. She also formed NZ’s first 90’s music covers band ‘That 90’s Band’!
Today, Samantha freelances as a session singer and continues her work with That 90’s Band. She performs with Mo Ghra at specialist Celtic events both locally and internationally, is a regularly booked Anthem singer and has taken on students as a vocal coach.