Melbourne Irish Cultural Day

Concerts, Festivals, Sessions

16 March 2008
10:00 AM
Melbourne Comhaltas Inc.
Mary Mc Bride
9435 4435
Melbourne Irish Cultural Day

The Melbourne Branch of Comhaltas Ceoltóirí Éireann is hosting a day of Irish culture, music, dance and song performed by local artists as well as many displays of Irish culture


WHISTLE - BEGINNERS 10.30am to 11.30am in Collingwood Town Hall.

Learn the rudiments of tin whistle with Noel Mc Grann who currently teaches at the Comhaltas every Wednesday night

CONCERTINA - BEGINNERS 10.30am to 11.30am in Collingwood Town Hall with Mark McDonnell who organises a slow session at Flanagan’s pub in Collingwood

FIDDLE – BEGINNERS/INTERMEDIATE 10.30am to 11.30am in Collingwood Town Hall with Nicki Kramer, see below

FLUTE 12.00pm to 1.00pm in Collingwood Town Hall with Laura O’Gorman, see below

SINGING 12.00pm to 1.00pm in Collingwood Town Hall with Maria Forde, see below

HARP 11.00am to 12.00pm in Collingwood Town Hall with Jane Belfrage, see below

BANJO 2.00pm to 3.30pm in Collingwood Town Hall with Tony O’Rourke, see below

FIDDLE MASTER CLASS 2.00pm to 3.30pm in Collingwood Town Hall with Sean Kenan, see below

BUTTON ACCORDION MASTER CLASS 1.30pm to 3.00pm in Collingwood Town Hall with Paddy Fitzgerald, see below


Sean Kenan’s ‘Fancy Yourself Fiddling’ music school is based in Northcote, Melbourne and specialises in instructing adults in the art of fiddle playing. Many of Sean’s students took up the fiddle later on in life and achieved success on this challenging instrument.

Tony O’Rourke is an Australian guitarist and banjo player who has won many awards, has made 3 visits to Ireland and is a specialist in Irish and Bluegrass music. In Australia he is a regular performer at a number of music festivals and regularly conducts workshops. Tony has also adjudicated at the 2005 All Ireland Fleadh Cheoil in Letterkenny.

Jane Belfrage from Melbourne is a composer and is one of Australia’s most original creators of music for harp. Sixteen of Melbourne’s most talented ‘world’ musicans perform her works.

Paddy Fitzgerald is an internationally respected button accordion player from East Clare, and founding member of Comhaltas in Melbourne, Paddy has been living in Australia since 1959. As a player, he is well-known for his driving, rhythmic style. Paddy leads a number of traditional Irish Sessions here in Melbourne in his own very warm and welcoming way.

Nicki Kramer’s music is, and has always been, the great passion in her life. She has completed teacher training and spent several years teaching violin in schools and at her home studio. Her journey, which began when she was eighteen at the Willie Clancy Festival in Ireland, continues today with her enthusiasm for, dedication to, and her desire to teach and learn more in the great tradition of the Irish fiddle.

Laura O’Gorman is a native of Bunclody in Co Wexford and a qualified flute teacher. She loves nothing more that a good session.

Maria Forde is one of Australia’s finest voices, not only for her rich, beautiful vocal tones, but for the inspired and passionate songs she writes, stories of life, love and the land. A regular favourite at venues and festivals around Australia, as well as numerous Television and radio appearances, Maria has also supported international artists. Maria has been awarded nationally and internationally for her songwriting. Her strength lies in her ability to write timeless material that connects with people’s lives.

Registration will take place ½ hr before workshop start time. All workshops are $15.

If you are interested in attending any of the music workshops please contact Mary Mc Bride at or on 9435 4435 or Marie Brouder on 9471 0690 or Noel Mc Grann on 0408 887 320 or visit our website at


These will be demonstrated throughout the day by the Comhaltas “Quiet Man Dancers” and a group of new young dancers coached by Marie Brouder


The Free Concert is being held in the Senior Citizens Centre which is situated at 4 Eddy Court Abbotsford, situated behind Collingwood Town Hall. This starts at 11.00am and goes on to 4.00pm with performances by local and international musicians including all the workshop tutors. Step dancing exhibitions, story telling, poetry and singing will also be featured in the concert.


A Céilí, an Irish dance, will be held in Collingwood Town Hall in the evening starting approximately at 7.00pm till 10.30pm for everyone to come along and take part. Entry fee is $15 per adult and children are admitted free. There are prizes for the best children in a St Patrick’s Day outfit

The Melbourne Comhaltas meet every Wednesday night at St Philips Anglican Hall on Hoddle Street next to Collingwood Town Hall from 7.30pm until approx 10.30 for music and dance classes. The dance classes are taken by Marie Brouder from 8.00pm and Noel Mc Grann gives whistle lessons from 7.30pm. Session musicians play in the main hall from around 8.00pm. Anyone is welcome to drop in for a chat and a cup of tea, just remember to bring your instrument, dancing shoes and especially the kids.

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