Jack Brennan is a veteran of the Irish traditional music scene in Australia and is one of the finest Uilleann pipers and Low whistle players in the country. He has performed at many of the best-known festivals in South Australia and Interstate over the years including Womad, Port Fairy, Woodford, and the Portarlington National Celtic Festival. In 2012 he played with the Shane Howard band as part of Shane’s ‘Other Side of the Rock’ tour. He has worked on film scores and has a number of CDs to his credit. Jack is also a talented reed and pipe maker and is now making Concert D Uilleann Pipes. In 2013 Jack was inducted as a ‘Legend of The Lake’ to recognise his contribution as a tutor with the Koroit Lake School over many years. Jack also plays in the Lake School Legend Band, Lisnacrieve.
Áine Gallagher – Singing
Áine grew up in Dublin surrounded by traditional Irish music and singing(both Folk and Musical Theatre)
In 2012, she obtained the ‘High Achievers Award’ from the Royal Irish Academy of Music for ‘Stage School Performance’ before heading to Cork to begin her studies. Áine studied Music and English in University College Cork and under the tutelage of singers Karen Casey and Ger Wolfe she was immersed in the world of Irish folk singing. Moving to Wellington in 2019, Áine got back into musical theatre which has been her main focus for the last three – performing in Te Auaha Theatre with WITCH Music Theatre in: ‘ROXY – A New Hollywood Cabaret’, ‘July Project’. She is currently rehearsing for ‘Into the Woods’ at Te Auaha Theatre and ‘Irish Airs and Graces’ at Public Trust Hall on St Paddy’s day where she will be playing the flute and singing alongside Irish composer Dave Flynn, the NZSQ and great Traditional Irish musicians.
Jody Moran – Banjo / Mandolin
Jody Moran is accomplished on a variety of instruments (including lilting!) but most well-known for his tenor banjo playing. He has tutored in Ireland, Australia, New Zealand and France has also twice won the gold medal in the newly composed tune category at Fleadh Cheoil na hÉireann. Since emigrating to Australia he has been nurturing the scene there with an annual traditional music festival. He is also a mainstay in the vastly popular Facebook group for fellow tenor banjo nerds; ‘Banjoheads’.
Conor Connolly – Free Reed
Conor Connolly is from Clarinbridge, Co. Galway and plays button accordion, piano and sings. He played the accordion with players like Joe Cooley who came from the locality and Joe Burke from whom he took lessons. He started playing tin whistle at age 8 and with encouragement from his parents moved onto the accordion at age 12 going to lessons with teacher Mary Murray in Athenry.
He was awarded TG4 Young Musician of the Year in 2019 (Ceoltóir Óg na Bliana ) and has given workshops at many of the Traditional Music festivals at home and abroad such as Scoil Samhradh Willie Clancy, Rencontres Musicales Irlandaises De Tocane in France, Feakle International Music Festival, Cooley-Collins Traditional Music Festival in Gort amongst others.
Pádraig Ó Dubhghaill – Guitar
Pádraig was born and raised in Inverin, situated in the Connemara Gaeltacht. He started learning the tin-whistle at a young age under the tutelage of Mary Bergin before picking up the guitar at 17 years of age. After spending a couple of years playing a variety of music, Pádraig decided to apply his guitar-playing skills to Irish traditional music. While completing the MA in Irish Music Performance at the University of Limerick, he learnt from some of the best accompanists in the tradition including Steve Cooney and John Blake. These days, Pádraig performs with some of the finest exponents of Irish Traditional Music at various concerts and festivals each year and is also in-demand as a guitar teacher.
Sorcha Costello – Fiddle
Awarded with the prestigious Gradam Ceoil TG4 Young Musician of the Year 2021, Sorcha Costello is a traditional Irish fiddle player from Tulla Co. Clare and hails from a family emersed in traditional Irish music. She performs mainly as a solo artist but is also part of other musical collaborations which includes a duet with her mother, Mary MacNamara. Sorcha is also a member of ‘The Provenance’, which is a fiddle group led by Frankie Gavin. While Sorcha’s style of fiddle playing is rooted in East Clare, she has been strongly influenced by musicians such as Frankie Gavin, Brian Rooney, Tommy Potts and Sean Maguire. From a young age, Sorcha has enjoyed performing nationally and internationally. She is also in high demand as a teacher of music, especially in her home area of East Clare because of her ability to transmit her unique style which has the trademark rhythm and swing qualities of generations of her family. The 2016 duet album “The Lady’s Cup of Tea” released by Sorcha and Mary captures this trademark ‘rhythm’ and ‘swing’ of East Clare music. Sorcha has a BA in Music and English from UCC and a Masters in Music Therapy from UL. She is now practising as a qualified Music Therapist but also continues to perform and teach traditional music.
Helen Stonehouse – Set dancing
Now living in Hawkes Bay, Helen has been teaching Irish dancing for 30 years, running classes in the UK before moving to New Zealand.
Helen and company gave a set-dancing performance at Ceol Aneas 2021. Here’s the first figure of the Sliabh Luachra set.
The set dancing workshop will be held as at “The Trafalger St Hall” on Saturday and “Old St Johns Hall” on Sunday. Sign up for this special workshop here.
Beth McCracken is an award winning multi-instrumentalist who first emerged on the Australian traditional music scene in the early 2000s, Her first sojourn 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 in her playing include Harry Bradley and Catherine McEvoy. She is in demand as both a teacher and performer, although these endeavours have been relegated to the 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.
Brendyn Montgomery is an award winning traditional Irish musician based in Nelson, New Zealand. Brendyn is one of New Zealand’s leading traditional Irish musicians, playing and teaching flute, whistle and fiddle. He has an M.A. in traditional Irish music performance (1st class honours) from the University of Limerick. His album “Mountain Air” with Mike Considine (bouzouki) won the ‘Tui’ for best Folk Album of 2003 (NZ music and entertainment awards). Brendyn has performed at numerous music festivals in Australia including Woodford Folk Festival and The National Folk festival in Canberra. He has also guested at Auckland Folk Festival, Wellington Folk Festival, Whare Flat folk festival and The Gaidhealtachd in New Zealand. He is a frequent tutor at Ceol Aneas.