Program – Master Class Series 2017
The National Folk Festival invites you to participate in the 2017 Master Class Series. Classes will be held off site at Ainslie Arts Centre, a comfortable drive from EPIC on the edge of Canberra City Centre. Classes will consist of 3 x sessions over two days (Wednesday 12 & Thursday 13 April) prior to the 2016 Festival. Classes will provide first-class tuition from visiting, renowned international teacher/musicians. This is a unique opportunity to learn from and connect with some of the world’s best musician/teachers in their respective fields in an up close and personal setting. Book early to ensure your place for the best possible learning environment as numbers will be strictly limited.
We will be offering a number of classes in 2017. See the first announcements below.
Masterclass Presenters – 2017
Rowan Rheingans | Singing
Rowan is a singer and multi-instrumentalist recently awarded BBC Radio 2 Folk Award for ‘Best Original Song’ with her sister Anna. She is also part of award winning vocal trio Lady Maisery, one of the English folk scene’s top acts and one of the first bands to revive England’s mouth music tradition.
Daoiri Farrell | Irish Bouzouki
Hailed as the new voice of Irish traditional music, Dublin-born traditional singer and bouzouki player Daoirí (pronounced ‘Derry’) Farrell is one of the most important musicians to come out of Ireland in recent years. He is a graduate of the Ceoltoir HND in Traditional Music Performance, has a B.A. (Hons) in Applied Music, and most recently an M.A. in Irish Tradtional Music Performance, Limerick University.
Anna Rheingans | French Music Traditions
Anna studied music in Toulouse, in southern France, where she is a much sought after fiddle player and teacher of French music traditions, in which she has fast become an expert, having recently gained a 1st class diploma from the Conservatioire Occitan. Together with her sister Rowan she is the other half of the BBC 2 Award winning Rheingans Sisters
Michael “Blackie” O’Connell | Uilleann Pipes & Whistle
Michael “Blackie” O’Connell is a highly respected uilleann piper with his own very distinctive style and with Cyril O’Donohue (bouzouki and guitar) released the highly acclaimed album Friars Green. Blackie is a sought after teacher throughout Ireland
|A “musicians’ musician” Blackie’s class will focus on technique and applying it to some new tunes taught during the class. Whistle players will be welcome if space permits.|
Robbie Walsh | Bodhrán & Percussion
Robbie Walsh is a bodhrán player who hails from Dublin. Brought up with a strong musical tradition, his style is the definition of diversity. In 2008 he became the All Ireland bodhrán Champion. He has worked with many musicians including Daoiri Farrell, Laoise Kelly, Seamus Begley, and Eleanor Shanley and shared the stage with the like of Donal Lunny, Karen Tweed, Cormac Breathnach, and Paul Brady.
Caitlín Nic Gabhann | Concertina
Caitlín is a three times All Ireland concertina champion, and an accomplished step-dancer who has toured the world many times over with Riverdance. She is an expert teacher too, holding first class honours degrees at University College Cork and Trinity College Dublin.
|These lessons will cater to a broad range of abilities and styles. You will learn several tunes, focussing on ornamentation, chords and rhythmic feel. The lessons are flexible, allowing plenty of time to focus on particular things that you may wish to cover. Learning is done mostly by ear, however Caitlín can help with notation as required. And, if there’s time, she’ll even be able to teach you a dance step or two as well!|
Ciarán Ó Maonaigh | Fiddle
Ciarán is a former TG4 Young Musician of the Year, who comes from the Gaoth Dobhair gaeltacht in Co. Donegal. Growing up, he was heavily influenced by his extended family, particularly his grandfather and teacher Francie Mooney, and Altan members Mairéad Ní Mhaonaigh and Frankie Kennedy. “A masterclass in the marriage of tradition and musical exploration, and a milestone in traditional music.” (The Irish Times, on Ciarán’s playing).
|Those who come to this masterclass will get a close insight into Donegal fiddle styles from one of its leading exponents. Ciarán will teach you popular tunes that are being played in his county, and also some more obscure gems that he has unearthed through his many travels. During the classes, you will hone in on key aspects of fiddle playing, through all the unwritten subtleties, which will help you get the most out of every tune.|
Cathal Ó Curráin | Banjo
Cathal is at the forefront of a new generation of young Irish musicians. Hailing from Co. Donegal, he has embarked on a burgeoning career that has already seen him win multiple awards and work with some of Ireland’s best regarded artists, including Mairéad Ní Mhaonaigh, Kila, Dermot Byrne, and Floriane Blancke.
|Why not learn banjo? You know you want to! No matter what your starting ability is, you’ll be flying after this concentrated masterclass. Cathal will guide you through a range of tunes and playing techniques, including lead and backing roles. And if you don’t have a banjo, the lessons can cater for all instruments, which Cathal will be able to help you with: aside from banjo, he is also an award-winning fiddle player, All Ireland sean nós champion, and accomplished on the mandolin and bouzouki.|
Please call or email now to register your interest and reserve your place in any of our 2017 master classes. Numbers will be strictly limited to give participants the best opportunity to get the most out of these unique and highly informative sessions.