Joan Dillon graduated with a Masters in Music from the RSAMD (the Royal Conservatoire of Scotland). As a student in the Academy Opera School, she received many prestigious scholarships and awards and represented the College in external competitions and events.
During her career, Joan has performed many operatic roles, including Mimi & Musetta (La Boheme), Micaela (Carmen) and the title role in Handel's Semele. She has also featured as a guest soloist with leading orchestras, most notably the RSNO, Northern Sinfonietta, and the Manchester Camerata (where she replaced Lesley Garrett in a series of Viennese concerts).
Before studying Opera, Joan worked in the areas of Jazz and Music theatre. She toured the U.K. and Europe with the Grand Union Orchestra, featuring alongside the legendary saxophonist, Courtney Pine, and trombonist, Dennis Rollins. She was lead vocalist in three of their large scale productions, The Song of Many Tongues, The Book of Numbers and Freedom Calls. With the Jazz chamber group, Dreaming North, she premiered many new works at leading European festivals and recorded Birdsongs, a song-cycle composed especially for her. Joan has featured in recordings and radio broadcasts with both the Grand Union Orchestra and Dreaming North.
Joan is also a regular public speaker on life and cultural issues. She has spoken at national and international conferences, as well as prominent universities, including Christ Church, Oxford, and St. Andrews. She has published articles, given radio interviews and, most recently, featured on a programme produced by the global Catholic television network, EWTN, exploring the intersection of faith and public life.
In founding The Academy of Sacred Music (AOSM), Joan has returned to her first love, choral music. As a child she sang with the SNO Junior Chorus and enjoyed the great privilege of performing outstanding works, such as Bach's St. Matthew's Passion, under Claudio Abbado and with the London Symphony Orchestra; Mahler's Symphony No. 3, under Sir George Solti; and Berlioz' Te Deum, under Sir Alexander Gibson.