Celtic News March and April 2017

This month, I’m writing for two! I am moving in the first two weeks of April. My internet system is via satellite and getting a seamless transition may not be totally straightforward. Rather than having my hair get even whiter worrying about it, I have combined these two issues. Your next Celtic News will be in May and it will be HUGE, with all the results from The Australian Celtic Music Awards, The Australian Celtic Dance Championship, the Triquetra Medallions and, of course, a review of The Australian Celtic Festival.
Because this is the last pre-Festival newsletter, I have included 3 profiles of Nominees for The Australian Celtic Music Awards, plus 2 profiles of artists appearing at The Australian Celtic Festival.


The Official Australian Celtic Awards Night

Saturday, 6th May 2017, 6.30pm at the Glen Innes Services Club
Don’t miss out on your opportunity to attend the premier event in Glen Innes. Tickets are on sale NOW, and include canapés and a two course dinner with Darren Coggan, Mike McClellan (below) and the String Family. Tickets are $40 each and bookings are essential. Call 02 6732 1355.

Mike McClellan

The evening includes Presentation of The Australian Celtic Music Awards, The Triquetra Awards, The Australian Celtic Roll of Honour and The Australian Celtic Dance Championships.


Australian Celtic Music Awards Nominees

The Black Bear Duo

The Black Bear Duo

Emma Nixon and Iain Mckenzie teamed up some years ago to fuse the powerful mix of box and fiddle, forming Black Bear Duo. Their combined passion in performing traditional and contemporary Scottish music has created an exciting and individual style. The versatility and musical ability of the duo means Iain and Emma are well established on the music scene and known by audiences in Australia and around the world playing for Scottish dances, ceilidhs and concerts and hosting musical workshops.
Emma is a star of the fiddle scene in Australia, both as a musician and teacher. Her first solo album, Chasing the Sunset, won a Golden Fiddle Award in 2012, and she has received two Golden Fiddle Awards for Best Teacher (2010, 2011). Emma combines the strength of both classical and traditional music in her inspiring fiddle playing, while remaining true to the soul of the music.
Iain was brought up surrounded by Scottish music and dance, and through his Scottish origins is a natural box player. He has travelled extensively and has a strong interest in music from around the world, drawing on other traditional influences to provide a uniqueness in his music. Iain is also a composer of traditional tunes – including lead tunes for dances – some of which have been recorded by others or feature on the new CD.

The BordererS

The BordererS

Jim and Alex arrived in Australia from Glasgow and Belfast respectively, not knowing each other, but they just happened to meet by chance in a recording studio in Adelaide. She was married with a 3 year old child and he was a backpacker. How would this work out, you would think?

More than two decades later The BordererS are electrifying audiences across Australia and the world with their fusion of Celtic rock, zydeco, African, folk, gospel and whatever style of music that happens to take their fancy. As singer/songwriter/guitarist Jim Paterson says, “We like the fact that The Beatles had nearly every possible style of music on their albums, so we go along with that philosophy.”

With ten albums under their belt it’s clear The BordererS are a much-loved, admired and sought-after act. And for that, Jim and Alex owe their thanks to Australia. “We got away from the bigotry and violence of Scotland and Ireland to live in a country where that sort of thing doesn’t really exist. We love that about Australia.”

The BordererS also help create a better world for the next generation. Jim and Alex support mental health, suicide prevention and domestic violence initiatives, performing at fundraisers and spending hours each week adding their names to online petitions.

Website: www.theborderers.com.au

Wright and McKay

Wright & McKay

Rebecca Wright and Donald McKay’s music has been likened to that of a good Scotch whisky: delightfully smooth, full of character and highly addictive. With voices that can instantly transport you to another place and time, Donald’s traditional and original songs from his native Scotland are beautifully complemented by Rebecca’s insightful Australian originals and thoughtful selection of contemporary gems. Accompanied by requinto, cello, acoustic guitar and bodhran, their shows promise something out of the ordinary and bring you back to the heart of folk.

Rebecca is well-known on the Australian folk circuit for her gracefully grounded solo
performances, inspired songwriting and sensitive cello playing. Since bursting onto the Brisbane folk scene at just age 16, she has played at countless festivals and folk clubs. In 2008, Rebecca met Donald while touring in the UK as guest cello-singer with Aussie group Cloudstreet, and soon found herself living in Scotland, immersed in traditional Scottish music and culture.

Born and bred in the lowland hills west of Glasgow, Donald has been singing traditional Scots songs for as long as he can remember. An active participant in his local folk club since the age of 17, he has spent the last two decades honing his skills as a singer, guitarist and bodhran player. He is always a welcome addition due to his vast repertoire and sheer love of the Scots song.

Since joining their songs and lives together, Rebecca and Donald have toured in Scotland, New Zealand and Australia. Together they have released two albums, “Over Burns And Braes” (2016) and “Joys that never weary” (2012). They also perform with their Scottish dance band, The Ceilidh Clan, and are founding members of QTrad (Queensland Traditional Arts Group).

Website: www.wrightandmckay.com


Australian Celtic Festival

4th to 7th May 2017

Tickets for the 25th Anniversary of The Australian Celtic Festival, featuring the Year of Ireland, are selling like hot potatoes! If you are a Glen Innes Resident and are buying for yourself or for Visiting Friends and Relatives, go into the Visitor information Centre from 1st April to buy your passes over the counter. Coming to us as a Visitor? Visit the website at www.australiancelticfestival.com to buy your tickets.

Showground Camping options are available at the picturesque historic Glen Innes Showground during the 2017 Festival. All bookings must be made online. All the information about the showground is on the Festival website.


Friends of The Australian Celtic Festival

Just about your last chance to become a Friend, with all the benefits including exclusive invitations to events during the Festival. And you can buy a Friend of The Australian Celtic Festival polo shirt for $27.50. This is a great way to show off at the Festival! These polo shirts are only available for Friends.

To become a Member or to order your Polo Shirts contact:
Barbara on 02 6734 5189 – barbara.saxonge@gmail.com or
Mary (Tuesday to Thursday) on 02 6730 2410 – mhollingworth@gisc.nsw.gov.au.


What’s on in Tenterfield??

The Music Supper Club


What’s on in Deepwater??

24th March            Fall of the Roman Umpire with Dennis Coard
6pm for 6.30 pm. $35 including meal. Bookings essential.
Available at Carelle’s (Glen Innes), Deepwater Post Office
& Simply Country (Tenterfield)


What’s on in Armidale??

2nd Sunday each month        Armidale Studio Concert Series.Contact kezmusic2@bigpond.com
1st Thursday each month     New England Jazz and Improvisation Collective – NEJIC 


Appearing at the Australian Celtic Festival


Highlander is one of the most popular and entertaining Celtic bands in Australia, and has an increasing world-wide fan base thanks to internet radio. Highlander brings a new twist and rhythm to old Scottish favourites of jigs, reels and songs, with a couple of modern pieces thrown in.

The line-up combines a unique blend of pipes, whistle, fiddle, guitars, drums and vocals with a dynamic stage presence, producing an unforgettable and exciting live performance enjoyed and respected by audiences of all ages.

Highlander released their first album “North of the Wall” in 2010. The album, featured as album of the week on Glasgow’s Celtic Music Radio in Scotland. Their second album “The Dark Island” was released in 2013 seeing the band take out both Best Instrumental and Best Traditional Song of the Year at the Australian Celtic Music Awards in 2014.

Highlander has appeared at some of the top Scottish and Celtic events in Australia including the Australian Celtic Festival in Glen Innes, the Bundanoon Highland Gathering in the Southern Highlands, The National Celtic Festival in Portarlington, The Beechworth Celtic Festival, the Echuca Moama Celtic Festival and many live venues.

It’s impossible not to be caught up in the energy Highlander brings to every show. Audiences are guaranteed to be tapping their feet from start to finish.


DraiochtThe magical rhythm of Draíocht brings powerful energy and thunderous beats onto the stages of the 2017 Australian Celtic Festival. A collaboration of the finest gentlemen in Irish Dance, Draíocht is Australia’s very first All-Male Irish Dance Clan. Draíocht – Irish language for magic of the druids, comprises the very best internationally trained Australian Male Irish Dancers.

After returning from their years of touring, competing and dancing on the stages of the World, the gentlemen of Draíocht have come together to create an authentic and extraordinary performance. Draíocht’s refreshing energy and power gives a unique twist to the traditional art form that is Irish Dance.


Clan Celtica – Tribal Thunder (New Zealand)

International Celtic Artist 2016 – Australian Celtic Music Awards

25th MarchMangere East Culture Festival
26th MarchCubaDupa Festival, Wellington
4th to 7th May     Australian Celtic Festival, Glen Innes NSW


Norma O’Hara Murphy

Australian Celtic Festival – 4th to 7th May 2017

4th May100,000 Welcomes. 6pm. Glen Innes Services Club
5th MayDinner Show 6 pm. New England Motor Lodge
6th May     6.30 pm. Ruby Stage. Australian Standing Stones
7th May     2 pm. Ruby Stage. Australian Standing Stones


Murphy’s Pigs

Australian Celtic Festival – 5th to 7th May 2017

5th May7.30 pm, Glen Innes Services Club, NSW
6th May     6.30 pm, Australian Standing Stones, Glen Innes, NSW
7th May     9 am, Australian Standing Stones, Glen Innes, NSW

Celtic Celebrations with Queensland Pops Orchestra

20th to 21st May 2017

20th May2.30 pm, Queensland Performing Arts Complex
20th May     7.30 pm, Queensland Performing Arts Complex
21st May     2.30 pm, Empire Theatre, 56 Neil St, Toowoomba


Siobhan Owen

Australian Celtic Festival – 6th to 7th May 2017

6th May2 pm Sapphire Stage. Australian Standing Stones
6th May     Dinner Show 6 pm. New England Motor Lodge
7th May     1.30pm Sapphire Stage. Australian Standing Stones


At the Hereford Steakhouse

3 Dinner Shows. 6.30 pm each evening. $40 per person. Bookings essential.
Phone 02 6732 2255

6th MayTâr-lin
7th May     Christine Davis
8th May     Wright and McKay


At The New England Motor Lodge

2 Dinner Shows. 6.00 pm each evening. Bookings essential. Phone 02 6732 2922

5th MayNorma O’Hara Murphy
6th May     Siobhan Owen


String Loaded

1th April   Bundanoon Highland Gathering Chieftain of the Day – Jimmy Barnes


Glen Innes Highlands String Music Convention

17th to 19th November 2017

Planning for this new event is progressing at a manic pace. We will have profiles of the seven presenters, the workshop synopsis and booking details for you soon. For further enquiries, contact Glen Innes Services Club on 02 6732 1355.


Vice Regal Reception at Glen Innes Services Club

His Excellency General The Honourable David Hurley AC DSC (Ret’d), Governor of New South Wales and Mrs Hurley were joined by Mayor Steve Toms and Lady Mayoress Mrs Judi Toms, General Manager Pat Lonergan and Mrs Jane Lonergan and President Russell Meehan for the Governor’s Vice Regal Reception. The reception was held in the Remembrance Room at the Services Club on Saturday 18th February and was attended by 110 people invited by The Governor and Mrs Hurley. It was a lovely evening with performances by the Glen Innes High School Dancers and St Josephs Choir.

Left to right President of the Services Club, Russell Meehan – General Manager of the Services Club, Mr Pat Lonergan – Mrs Hurley – His Excellency – Lady Mayoress, Mrs Judi Toms – Mayor, Mr Steve Toms and Mrs Jane Lonergan


What’s on in Glen Innes??

17th March                                    Flag lowering ceremony 5pm Australian Standing Stones celebrating St. Patrick's Day – Ireland – flag lowering and food feast acknowledge Ireland as the honoured nation of the 25th Australian Celtic Festival
18th March        Emmaville Sheep Races
19th March                   Harmony Day from 3pm. A FREE family day mixing ART + CULTURE. Get your groove on with music from the Balkanics. All welcome.
25th April          ANZAC Day Dawn Service, breakfast & memorial service
4th – 5th May      25th Australian Celtic Festival
13th May           Grafton to Inverell Cycle Classic arrives Glen Innes at approximately 11.30 am.
25th May                                  Amber Lawrence & Catherine Britt Love & Lies Tour $30 Adults – $15 Children (14 years and under)Doors open 7pm – Show 7.30pm Tickets on sale at Glen Innes Services Club.
31st May                                        Melbourne International Comedy Festival Roadshow. Live at the Chapel Theatre Glen Innes. 8pm. Tickets $45. Purchase at Carelle’s or book online at www.trybooking.com/PBET.


I hope that you’ve enjoyed this edition of Celtic News and that you found lots to read, see and do.

Barbara McLennan
Celtic News
02 6734 5189

Published with permission from Celtic News