Friday 3rd July
Finbar’s Irish bar
From 4pm Registration
7-9pm Welcome Concert featuring the Winter School Tutors and others
9pm – late Session!

Saturday 4th July
8am Registration opens at Maleny Neighbourhood Centre
9:30am – 12:30 Morning Classes
12:30 – 2pm Lunch Break / blackboard concert at Finbar’s
2 – 4pm Afternoon Classes
5:30 – 6:30pm Ceili dance workshop at RSL Hall
7:30 – 9:30pm Ceili at RSL Hall – doors open 7pm
After Ceili Late Session at Finbar’s

Sunday 5th July
8am Registration opens at Maleny Neighbourhood Centre
9:30am – 12:30 Morning Classes
12:30 – 2pm Lunch Break / blackboard concert at Finbar’s
2 – 4pm Afternoon Classes
4pm – late Farewell Session at Finbar’s

Morning Classes

Saturday & Sunday
These classes are designed for people who have a basic understanding of their instrument. A knowledge of D and G major scales and chords is essential for learning tunes and accompaniment in traditional music. The ability to play a simple tune would be an advantage. The beginner fiddle and whistle classes are designed for young people and those who are just starting on their instrument. For people who have not mastered those basic levels, there are amongst our organising group, teachers who can get you started with private lessons at another time.
Contact Steve Cook (0432 230 654) for more details.

Button Accordion 9.30am – 12.30pm
Paddy Fitzgerald is one of Australia’s (and Ireland’s) great traditional musicians. His skills on the button box are legendary in the Melbourne trad music scene. Paddy will show you some techniques that will give a lift to your playing and enhance your knowledge of this beautiful instrument.

Fiddle 9.30am – 12.30pm
There will be two fiddle groups on both mornings. Led by Mary McEvilly and Ado Barker, they will work through a range of playing techniques, skills development and tune learning essential for playing Irish fiddle at a higher level. Because Mary and Ado’s backgrounds and playing styles are not the same they can each offer a different experience for fiddle players. To get the most out of the weekend we recommend attending both workshops.

Flute/whistle 9.30am – 12.30pm
Ben Stephenson will be sharing his knowledge of flute and whistle at an intermediate – advanced level. He will be looking at playing techniques including breath control, ornaments and alternate fingerings. Aimed at people who can play a few tunes right through in keys of D or G.

Banjo/mandolin 9.30am – 12.30pm
We’re very fortunate to have Dave O’Neill conducting our banjo/mando workshops this year. Dave is a consummate musician and is recognised as a great teacher, one who is able to work with people at different levels of experience.

Harp 9.30am – 12.30pm
Andy Rigby returns for our harp classes this year. Andy is a great ‘sharer’ of his music and has a deep knowledge of his instrument. Always a popular workshop.

Guitar 9.30am – 12.30pm
This year’s group will be led by Jem Dunlop. Anyone who has seen Jem play guitar will appreciate his innate sense of time and rhythm. As a qualified music teacher Jem is keen to share his knowledge of both Irish music and the guitar as accompaniment. Jem will be mostly concentrating on standard tuning this year but is equally skilled in other tunings such as DADGAD.

Beginner Fiddle 10.30am – 12.30am
As a strings teacher, ensemble director and trad Irish fiddler Kristin Kelly is perfectly suited to helping young inexperienced players gain an understanding of not only their instrument, but also its role in traditional music.

Beginner Whistle 10.30am – 12.30pm
Dave Russell welcomes people of all ages to a class that will get you going on the tin whistle, a beautiful instrument that is ideal for learning trad Irish and Scots tunes. Bring a D whistle and start your trad music journey with Dave.

Afternoon Classes


Singing 2pm – 4pm
Nicole Murray has recently returned from a UK tour to guide us through a singing workshop. (She was coming back anyway but that’s beside the point!) With her years of experience performing professionally and running community singing groups, Nicole shares her joy of singing in an inspiring and inclusive manner.

An Irish Tune Experience 2pm – 4pm
Paddy Fitzgerald has an amazing ability to draw people in to his sticky web of tunes and rhythms. Suitable for any melody instrument, Paddy’s session takes us through trad Irish tunes, varying the tempos and exploring the subtle beauty in a simple tune. This is what its all about!

Meet your Bodhrán 2pm – 4pm
Donald McKay welcomes people of all ages to start playing rhythms on the celtic drum, the Bodhrán. Learn how to pronounce it, how to use the tipper, and how to start listening for the groove in tunes. Bodhrán maker Lee Allen will also be on hand to demonstrate, and answer questions about, the instruments he creates.

Dance workshop 5.30pm – 6.30pm
Our fantastic dance caller (+ dancer, fiddler, guitarer) Davydd MacDonald will run us through some of the moves that he will call at the evening ceili. A good way to maximise the enjoyment to be had at the dance. Amaze your friends with your new-found dancing skills!

Junior Tunes Class 2pm – 3pm
A regular feature at the Winter School is Emma Nixon’s Junior Tunes Class. This workshop is aimed at young players who can already handle their instrument and are keen to learn a new tune or two. open to all melody instruments.

Celtic Ensemble 3.00am – 4.30pm (Saturday only)
Emma Nixon will conduct a workshop looking at aspects of ensemble playing in trad music. Emma is a master of Scottish fiddle so we expect there will be a focus on music from that tradition.


Bringing it All Together 2pm – 4pm
This year we are blessed to have with us two musicians from acclaimed Australian Irish band, Trouble in the Kitchen. Ado Barker and Ben Stephenson have been making music together since the early 90s and have honed their duet playing to a fine degree. We want to find out how they put it together and see them demonstrate some of their exciting arrangements. As well as a seriously good flautist, Ben is also a master on the bodhrán and the guitar, and hopefully we’ll get to see some of that too! Hosted by John Thompson, the lads will also take questions and discuss their passion for the music before inviting people to join them for a few tunes.

Meet your Bodhrán 2pm – 4pm
Donald McKay welcomes people of all ages to start playing rhythms on the celtic drum, the Bodhrán. Learn how to pronounce it, how to use the tipper, and how to start listening for the groove in tunes. Bodhrán maker Lee Allen will also be on hand to demonstrate, and answer questions about, the instruments he creates.

Guided Tune Session 2pm – 4pm
We are fortunate to have some of the best trad music makers with us this weekend. It’s too good an opportunity to pass up sitting with them and sharing some tunes. You might learn something new or polish up a tune half learned. The session will be led by Steve Cook and Robyn Foley and special guests. The tempos will be steady and the session will be open to all instruments.

General Information

Registration desk will be at Finbar’s on Friday night, and at the Maleny Neighbourhood Centre on Saturday and Sunday this year. Please come to the desk when you arrive and collect your wristband, and find out where your classes are, and say hello! The Registration desk is also the place to come if you run into problems over the weekend, and we will try to help you sort them out.

BRING WARM THINGS – IT CAN BE CHfolILLY. Weather forecast for 3rd – 5th July at this time is from 8 minim. to 19 and not raining – our winter this year has been very mild!

Camping is available at the Maleny showgrounds, however as there is an event at the showgrounds that weekend, we recommend contacting the showgrounds re availability at 07 5494 2008. There are also many B&Bs in the local area which can be easily found online.

Everyone is invited to participate in not only their classes, but in the sessions that will be happening at Finbar’s from 4pm til late, on Saturday and Sunday. These sessions provide an opportunity to play with others and can be a new and exciting experience for some.

Friday night: Welcome Concert (free entry for those with season tickets – otherwise $5 at door), is being held this year at Finbar’s Irish bar, at 12 Bicentenary Lane (Opposite the Neighbourhood Centre) and will run from 7pm until approx. 9pm. This concert will feature many or all of the wonderful tutors who will be teaching over the weekend with the possibility of some other special guests performing as well. A session will follow. Jen’s wood-fired pizzas will be available as well as refreshments from the bar. So, come and meet the tutors & your fellow students and have a great night of entertainment and playing.

Saturday night dance workshop & Family Ceili. At the Maleny RSL Hall there will be a dance workshop held from 5:30 – 6:30pm, run by dance caller Davydd McDonald, to focus on steps and moves to enhance your dance experience at the Ceili that will follow. For the Ceili, doors open at 7pm and runs from 7:30 to 9:30. The Maleny Ceili band plus tutors will provide the live music for this popular night of dancing. There will be some tea and coffee and cake available and the RSL club will be running the bar. If anyone has any stamina left, there will be a session til late at Finbar’s.

The dance workshop and the Ceili are included in the season tickets as well as whole-day-Saturday tickets. Entry to the Ceili for non-ticket holders, is $10 for adults, and children accompanied by their parents are free.

Lunchtime blackboard concerts at Finbar’s. This is your chance to show off some cool tunes and songs to the crowd at Finbar’s. The blackboard concerts are on Saturday and Sunday from 12:30 – 2pm. Book yourself a spot by talking to the MC on the day.

Sessions all the time! Here is the opportunity to play as much music as you can over the weekend, with as many people as you can! Finbar’s will be the main venue for sessions with the possibility of another session at the Neighbourhood Centre.

General Info – Maleny has two supermarkets (a really good IGA and a Woolies), a couple of ATMs at the banks, plenty of places to eat, a bottle shop next door to Finbar’s and one at the Maleny Hotel, and most other things you will need. If you have any difficulties or enquiries, come to the Registration desk at the Neighbourhood Centre.

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