All classes are taught in the traditional style, by ear, and students are expected to be familiar with playing traditional Irish music and comfortable learning by ear. The classes are not suitable for beginners. Most classes will be taught at an intermediate to advanced level. If you have any questions, or would like advice in evaluating your playing level, please don't hesitate to contact us.
Tutors for 2018
Beth McCracken is an award winning multi-instrumentalist who first emerged on the Australian traditional music scene in the early 2000s, Her first sojourns to Ireland landed her in Donegal and Dublin, and her style and musical thinking has been dominated by these experiences ever since. The influences most audible inher playing include Harry Bradley and Catherine McEvoy. She isin demand as both a teacher and performer, although these endeavours have been relegated tothe back seat as she has been finishing her studies and attempting to grow up a little. Recent collaborations include Joe Ferguson (Trouble in the Kitchen) and Declan Simpson (Simpson Three). She has previously tutored at Ceol Aneas on fiddle and is looking forward to tutoring flute, her primary instrument.
From Castlefinn, Co. Donegal, Bríd is hailed as one of the leading exponents of Irish traditional fiddle playing of our time. Encouraged by her parents and with music on both sides of the family, Bríd is carrying on the tradition of fiddle playing. She has won numerous youth All Ireland titles and other prestigious fiddle awards including the Senior All Ireland, Oireachtas na Gaeilge and Fiddler of Dooney. Bríd, an MA graduate of the Irish World Academy of Music & Dance at University of Limerick, has toured extensively and performed with many great musicians including Dermot Byrne, Steve Cooney, Donogh Hennessy, Danny O’Mahony, Arty McGlynn, Harry Bradley, Tony O’Connell, and Cyril O’Donoghue.
Highly respected as a teacher, Bríd has tutored at summer schools and workshops throughout Ireland and in France, Holland and the USA. Her first solo CD was released in 2015 and has enjoyed much success to date.
Album Review: Bríd Harper – released September 2015. More than anything it’s the thrill of hearing an extraordinary fiddler in a range of solo, duet and group combinations, that makes this album work so perfectly. Tony Lawless, Tradconnect
Dermot’s seemingly effortless playing, combined with great subtlety, and a faultless ear, makes him one of the great accordion players of his generation. He is one of Ireland’s foremost traditional musicians having been awarded the Irish Television station, TG4’s Traditional Musician of the Year 2013. From Buncrana in the Inishowen peninsula, the most northerly part of Donegal, he played accordion from a young age with his father the inspirational Tomás O’Beirn, (Tommy Byrne) an enthusiastic promoter of the tradition. Dermot has had the good fortune to meet all the greats of Donegal music, including Johnny Doherty, Con Cassidy and Tommy Peoples making a great impact on the young Dermot, who went on to develop a unique style. A long-time anchor of Altan, Byrne’s subtlety as an accordion player has always marked him apart. In between he has found time to collaborate with Parisian harpist Floriane Blancke with Brendan O’Regan, Brid Harper and Steve Cooney, Dezi Donnelly and Jim Murray.
As well as his mastery of the Donegal style and repertoire, Dermot can turn with ease to other styles and traditions such as French musette, or South American choro music. Dermot has guested on collaborations with many great musicians including Seamus and Manus McGuire, Sharon Shannon, Frankie Gavin, Pierre Schryer, Tim O’Brien , The Stunning, Salsa Celtica and the late jazz violinist, Stephane Grappelli. His eponymous solo recording, which he has reissued recently, has received great critical acclaim.
Boyle native Maggie Carty was brought upin a musical family spanning generations. Her father John Carty, Irish television TG4’s Traditional Musician of the Year 2003, is recognised as one ofIreland’s finest musicians. In 2015, Maggie graduated from NUIGalway with a BA Irish Studies and began working inTVproduction. With a great love for the Irish language, she taught a film and communications course in Gael Linn.As a singer and banjo player, Maggie has performed at some of the most prestigious festivals including Fiddle Tunes; Milwaukee Irish Festival USA; Austin Celtic Music Festival USA; Tonder Festival
Denmark; Return to Camden Town, UK; The Gathering; and Fleadh Cheoil na Éireann, Ireland. She has toured Ireland, Europe and America extensively, sharing the stage with some of the most prolific musicians of the tradition including Mike McGoldrick, Dermot Byrne, Dónal Lunny, Arty McGlynn, Shane McGowan, The John Carty Festival Band andAt the Racket. Maggie has been described as having found her second home on stage and has a natural stage talent. In 2016, Maggie released her debut recording ‘Settle Out of Court’ with her father John Carty and accompaniment from Shane McGowan and Dónal Lunny. The album is a mixture of tunes and songs showcasing Maggie’s unique voice and banjo accompaniment.In 2017, Maggie was invited by the Irish National Association of Australia, Sydney, to teach and play music as part of their residency scheme.
Kate Burke has been singing and performing as a talented multi-instrumentalist for many years. An exquisite singer and a powerful and imaginative guitarist, Kate provides much of the backbone to Australia’s premier traditional Irish band, ‘Trouble in the Kitchen’. Their distinctive sound makes the band one of the most exciting and innovative trad-folk acts playing today. With a versatile line-up fusing flute and fiddle with driving guitar and bouzouki ‘Trouble in the Kitchen’ has earned a reputation as world class performers of traditional Irish music. Kate is also highly regarded as part of vocal duo Kate Burke & Ruth Hazleton, two of Australia’s most respected and renowned folk musicians. She has regularly toured the UK and Ireland, occasionally with legendary Irish singer Andy Irvine. Their fifth album, ‘Declaration‘ produced by Luke Plumb, takes a contemporary approach to traditional music and lifts it to a whole new level. Kate is in demand as a session guitarist and album producer, and has performed music for film and television. She has a passion for community music, and is the director of the Bega Valley Children’s Choir. An award-winning and highly-accomplished songwriter, Kate’s songs have been performed and recorded by such artists as Muireann nic Amhlaoibh (Danu) and award winning Melbourne Irish band ‘Tolka’.
Jody is accomplished on a variety of instruments and whilst well known for his tenor banjo playing, is also a previous All Ireland winner on tin whistle. More recently Jody won, for two years in a row, the gold medal for the newly composed tune category at Fleadh Cheoil na hEireann.
Based predominantly in northern England, in his youth, he performed at international level with the Leeds Ceili Band and was a regular tutor at music festivals including Willie Clancy Summer School and Tocane (France). Jody has adjudicated at the top level and with a musical heritage in the Sligo style, he has a vast repertoire of tunes. Being a keen session musician, Jody is always happy to help out others needing guidance. His influences include Joe Cooley, Paddy Canny and Paddy Fahy. Since emigrating to Wodonga, Australia with his family nine years ago he has been nurturing the scene in the North East of Victoria with a twice annual traditional music festival from where he helped direct and produce a Ceili House broadcast in late 2012. He is also a mainstay in the newly formed Facebook group, ‘Banjoheads’
Máirtín Staunton is a flute player from Tourmakeady, Co. Mayo, Ireland. His punchy, rhythmic style reflects the music of west Mayo whilst encompassing a modern and fresh outlook. Born into a musical family spanning generations Máirtín began playing music on the tin whistle at a young age. In 2011, under the tutorage of legendary Belfast flute player Gary Hastings, Máirtín quickly progressed on the concert flute.He completed the Diploma in Irish Music Studies atthe National University of Ireland, Galway, a course created and run by composer Charlie Lennon. This course comprised the recording of, arrangement, composition and performance of music as well as studying the rich history ofIrish music.Máirtín’s style of music is heavily influenced by Hasting’s playing but other influences, including Matt Molloy, Marcus Hernon, Harry Bradley, Mike Rafferty, and Josie McDermott are discernible in his music. Hein turn isnow passing on his love for flute playing and holds weekly flute classes in the Gaelic Club, Sydney.