Festival Workshops & Lectures

The Austin Celtic Festival is proud to offer students and interested parties the chance to be directed and counseled by some of today's leading experts in Celtic music. In general our paid workshops, led by our headliners are casual, question and answer arenas for persons already familiar with the subject instrument and are looking for progressive instruction or a chance to ask more complex questions. You should also be prepared for practical application of a particular technique or style favored by the headlining instructor.

Direction and focus of the workshops can be fluid and develop based on the needs of the attending students. Although, they might not necessarily be needed, a well prepared student will have their instrument, pen and paper and a recorder with them. These workshops are limited to a smaller number to be more effective. Novice or beginners may purchase tickets and attend as observers.

Reminders

  • You must purchase a ticket to the festival in addition to the workshop fee.
  • Print out the email confirmation page from paypal as proof of payment for the workshop.
  • No unattended children at the workshops or on the festival grounds.
  • Please refrain from trafficking in and out of the workshops out of respect for the instructors.



Saturday Schedule

Inishfree Irish Dance for all ages

Austin Celtic Festival Inishfree Irish Dance

Date: Saturday, November 4th 2017
Time: 12:15 p.m.-1:15 p.m., Kelpie Dance Stage
Fee: FREE

With intricate and exciting choreography, rhythms, beautiful costumes and music, Inishfree Irish Dance showcases a brilliant mix between traditional style and modern athleticism that has made Irish dancing one of the most respected and exciting dance forms in the world.

Beginning Irish Guitar with Jeff Moore

Date: Saturday, November 4th 2017
Time: 12:30 p.m.-1:45 p.m., Ainsworth House
Fee: FREE

Jeff Moore is a highly sought-after accompanist living in Austin, Texas and has performed with many of the foremost Irish and Scottish music ensembles and musicians in the Southwest. An accomplished guitarist and singer, Jeff has also accompanied international touring musicians such as Cape Breton fiddler Jerry Holland, Dublin-born Irish accordion legend James Keane, master Irish fiddler James Kelly and most recently Irish music icon Joe Burke.

Cape Breton Fiddle and Pipe Repertoire with Ben, Anita and Zakk

Cape Breton Fiddle and Pipe Repertoire with Ben Miller, Anita McDonald and Zakk Cormier

Date: Saturday, November 4th 2017
Time: 1:00 p.m.-2:15 p.m., Orsay House
Fee: $10 (limited to 12 attendees)

Scottish Country Dance Alliance Workshop For All Ages

Austin Celtic Festival SCDA

Date: Saturday, November 4th 2017
Time: 1:30 p.m.-2:30 p.m., Kelpie Dance Stage
Fee: FREE

Scottish country dance challenges both the body and the mind. The moves are known in advance, so you don't have to worry about making them up as you go along. Also, you get to meet new people and make new friends! No partner is needed because everyone dances with everyone else. So, come alone or bring a friend.

Fun with Irish Language Class

Austin Celtic Festival Gaelic Language

Date: Saturday, November 4th 2017
Time: 2:15 p.m.-3:45 p.m., Ainsworth House
Fee: FREE

Join the Gaelic League of Austin in the Ainsworth House for a casual romp through the beginning studies of the Irish language. Fun and for the whole family, take a dip in the charming and beautiful Gaelic language.

Intermediate Irish Flute with Kevin Crawford

Intermediate Irish Flute with Kevin Crawford

Date: Saturday, November 4th 2017
Time: 2:30 p.m.-3:45 p.m., Orsay House
Fee: $10 (limited to 12 attendees)

Macallan Scotch Tasting with Kieron Elliott

Macallan Scotch Tasting with Kieron Elliott

Date: Saturday, November 4th 2017
Time: 2:45 p.m.-3:45 p.m., Kelpie Tent Stage
Fee: $25 (age 21 and up)

Join Kieron Elliott, the National Brand Ambassador for Macallan Scotch Whisky, as he takes you through the taste and treasures of one of the world's great Scotch brands.

Introduction to Bodhran (Irish Drum) with Rob Forkner

Introduction to Bodhran (Irish Drum) with Rob Forkner

Date: Saturday, November 4th 2017
Time: 4:00 p.m.-5:15 p.m., Kelpie Dance Stage
Fee: FREE

Rob Forkner learned how to play the bodhran after hearing the playing of the great Johnny McDonagh. Since he needed a drum, and it was impossible to find one in Alaska, Rob started building his own. Many years later, Rob used the time to refine his drum building skills, building a highly successfully business, Metloef Irish Drums. For fun, Rob studied Geology and ended up at the University of Texas. He also honed his skills as a mighty fine bodhran player. He became a regular sit-inner with Cluan and was a founding member of Tea Merchants, both local Austin Irish music bands. In 2007, Tea Merchants were awarded the Austin Music Award for Best World Music. Rob has competed in and medaled in a few of the fleadhs both in the US and in Tipperary. And yes, it is a long way there. A few years ago the Geology thing took Dr. Rob over the pond to Denmark and Belgium. But alas, Austin has him back as a founding member of The Here and Now.

Beginning Irish Fiddle with Chris Buckley

Beginning Irish Fiddle with Chris Buckley

Date: Saturday, November 4th 2017
Time: 4:00 p.m.-5:15 p.m., Ainsworth House
Fee: FREE

Chris Buckley grew up in Milwaukee, Wisconsin. His Irish music roots came under the tutelage of Martin Dowling, Liz Carroll, Brendan Mulvhill and James Kelly. Christopher has received numerous awards and recognitions for this outstanding achievements in Irish music. He competed in three All-Ireland world competitions. In 2001, Christopher moved to Austin and has been a member of and recorded with Cluan, Blaggards and Tea Merchants. He is one of the founding members of the Tea Merchants and The Here and Now.

Intermediate Banjo with Seamus Egan of 'Solas'

Intermediate Banjo with Seamus Egan of 'Solas'

Date: Saturday, November 4th 2017
Time: 4:15 p.m.-5:30 p.m., Orsay House
Fee: $10 (limited to 12 attendees)

Seamus will explore the use of the banjo in traditional and contemporary Irish music. Students will learn techniques and how to employ them. Triplets, plectrum use, strumming, melody playing and general technical issues associated with both instruments will be addressed while learning new tunes.
Born in Pennsylvania in 1969, Seamus Egan moved to Ireland with his family when he was three years of age, and a few years later he began taking lessons on the tin whistle. At age 14, Egan returned to the United States, and already displayed a precocious talent on the whistle, flute, banjo, mandolin, and guitar. At 16, Egan cut his first album, Traditional Music of Ireland, and before he turned 20 he was already a seasoned professional musician, having toured with the likes of Peter, Paul & Mary and Ralph Stanley, and doing session work with Vernon Reid. The band’s hard work was paying off as Solas had become one of the most popular Celtic folk groups in America. When not busy with the group, Egan pursues a solo career and composed the score for the musical Dancing on Dangerous Ground.

Irish Storytelling and Song with Máirtín de Cógáin

Máirtín de Cógáin

Date: Saturday, November 4th 2017
Time: 5:30 p.m.-6:30 p.m., Kelpie Dance Stage
Fee: FREE

Máirtín de Cógáin is a singing, dancing, story-telling bodhrán player who also is a noted playwright and actor. He performs in his native Ireland and all over the U.S. and between and beyond, too! An infectious personality, Máirtín pleasantly commands the attention of any collection of people, from a concert hall to an intimate porch. Descended from a long line of storytellers and with two CCÉ All-Ireland’s for Storytelling under his belt, Máirtín gets no more joy out of life than the telling of stories. If you are lucky enough to catch him spinning a few yarns, you are in for a treat.

Sunday Schedule

Inishfree Irish Ceili Dance for all ages

Austin Celtic Festival Inishfree Irish Dance

Date: Sunday, November 5th 2017
Time: 12:15 p.m.-1:15 p.m., Kelpie Dance Stage
Fee: FREE

With intricate and exciting choreography, rhythms, beautiful costumes and music, Inishfree Irish Dance showcases a brilliant mix between traditional style and modern athleticism that has made Irish dancing one of the most respected and exciting dance forms in the world.

Introduction to Irish Flute with Hanz Araki

Introduction to Irish Flute with Hanz Araki

Date: Sunday, November 5th 2017
Time: 12:30 p.m.-1:45 p.m., Ainsworth House
Fee: FREE

Considered one of the most talented Irish musicians in America today, flautist, whistle player, singer, and Juno Award-winner Hanz Araki has been lauded by publications and audiences alike. Join Hanz in a beginners workshop for the Irish flute and learn from one of the World's finest flautists

Intermediate to Advanced Irish Guitar with Patrick Doocey

Advanced Irish Guitar with Patrick Doocey

Date: Sunday, November 5th 2017
Time: 12:45 p.m.-2:00 p.m., Orsay House
Fee: $10 (limited to 12 attendees)

Intermediate to Advanced Irish Fiddle with Colin Farrell

Intermediate to Advanced Irish Fiddle with Colin Farrell

Date: Sunday, November 5th 2017
Time: 2:00 p.m-3:15 p.m., Ainsworth House
Fee: $10 (limited to 12 attendees)

Born in Manchester, England, into a very musical family to parents from Co.Galway and Co.Cavan, Colin started playing the fiddle and tinwhistle from an early age and won numerous titles at the Fleadh Cheoil. He has made a name for himself performing and recording with an array of great musicians in Europe and the US, including such groups as Flook, Grada, Karen Casey, John Doyle, Tim O’Brien, The Elders, Julie Fowlis, The Michael McGoldrick Band and has recently been playing with the band Lúnasa.

Intermediate Guitar Accompaniment with Nathan Gourley

Intermediate Guitar Nathan Gourley

Date: Sunday, November 5th 2017
Time: 2:15 p.m-3:30 p.m., Orsay House
Fee: $10 (limited to 12 attendees)

This class explores techniques for backing traditional Irish music on guitar in the DADGAD tuning. With a focus on rhythm and harmony, topics covered will include DADGAD chord shapes and strumming patterns for common tune types, as well as a few tricks along the way. Suitable for newcomers to Irish guitar backing as well as those who already back but are looking to expand their palette. Participants are encouraged to bring picks, a capo, a tuner, and their recording device of choice.

Cape Breton Square Dance Workshop

Cape Breton Square Dance Workshop

Date: Sunday, November 5th 2017
Time: 2:30 p.m-3:30 p.m., Kelpie Dance Stage
Fee: FREE

Anitia McDonald will lead this social dance class where she will teach everyone to dance while Zakk Cormier and Ben Miller provide the music for the class.

Fun with Irish Language Class

Austin Celtic Festival Gaelic Language

Date: Sunday, November 5th 2017
Time: 3:30 p.m.-4:45 p.m., Ainsworth House
Fee: FREE

Join the Gaelic League of Austin in the Ainsworth House for a casual romp through the beginning studies of the Irish language. Fun and for the whole family, take a dip in the charming and beautiful Gaelic language.

Cape Breton Foot Percussion with Zakk Cormier

Cape Breton Foot Percussion with Zakk Cormier

Date: Sunday, November 5th 2017
Time: 3:45 p.m-4:45 p.m., Kelpie Dance Stage
Fee: FREE

Zakk Cormier will demonstrate an Acadian Foot Percussion workshop. The workshop works well because the foot percussion is done sitting down so opens the class up to people of all ages and ability levels.

Intermediate Irish Fiddle with Finn Magill

Irish Fiddle with Finn Magill

Date: Sunday, November 5th 2017
Time: 3:45 p.m-5:00 p.m., Orsay House
Fee: $10 (limited to 12 attendees)

Join Andrew Finn Magill for this workshop for intermediate to advanced players which will be a crash course in Irish fiddle technique and how to play sensitively and sensibly with another musician. You will learn a few tunes by ear and unpack them a little to discuss ornaments, bowings, and rhythm. The goal is to get you more confident in your fiddling and to strengthen your ear in recognizing subtleties in the music.

Irish Storytelling with Máirtín de Cógáin

Máirtín de Cógáin

Date: Sunday, November 5th 2017
Time: 5:00 p.m.-6:00 p.m., Kelpie Dance Stage
Fee: FREE

Máirtín de Cógáin is a singing, dancing, story-telling bodhrán player who also is a noted playwright and actor. He performs in his native Ireland and all over the U.S. and between and beyond, too! An infectious personality, Máirtín pleasantly commands the attention of any collection of people, from a concert hall to an intimate porch. Descended from a long line of storytellers and with two CCÉ All-Ireland’s for Storytelling under his belt, Máirtín gets no more joy out of life than the telling of stories. If you are lucky enough to catch him spinning a few yarns, you are in for a treat.