Workshops/Classes and Events

4 ways to reserve your tickets!

  1. Download your 2008 Workshops Order Form here.
  2. Call (508) 760-8199 and leave your name and phone number.
  3. Stop by The Music Meister store, 314 Main Street, West Dennis, Mass. Directions. Hours: Mon-Sat, 10-5 pm.
  4. Or order online here and pay through PayPal using the "Add to Cart" buttons.

Payment may be made by check to : Cape Cod Celtic Society
or by credit card.

Classes are held at the Gull Wing Suites in West Yarmouth, MA Directions here. Plan to arrive 15 minutes early to class.

A map of venues is available on the "Directions" page

Workshop Instructors

Fiddle

Beginner & Basic Fiddle

Nikki Engstrom – A classically trained musician, Nikki grew up in a musical family in Western Massachusetts.

She began playing and competing throughout the Northeast and Canada and winning many awards beginning when she was eleven years old and has been teaching students of all ages since 1985. Nikki currently splits her performance time (while raising four children which are all studying music) between playing with her sister (Tracy Gallagher) and mother (Diane Maranchie), as well as being a member of the group Celtic Tide, and her newest endeavor - Stanley & Grimm – with guitarist and vocalist Sean Brennan. This is Nikki’s first appearance at The Cape Cod Celtic Festival as a performer and instructor.


Basic/Intermediate Irish Fiddle

Eamon Coyne was brought up in the tradition by his father Eamon Coyne of the world famous Liverpool Ceili and along with brothers Michael (pipes & vocals) and Terry.

For 10 years he was the driving force in the music scene of Miltown Malbay in County Clare, and instrumental in leading concerts and sessions in Ennis and Doolin. Eamon plays regularly with other top musicians such as Tommy & Siobhan Peoples and Brendan McGlinchey, is a noted compser of melodies and tunes and is in much demand as a recording and performance artist.


Intermediate/Advanced Cape Breton Fiddle

Kimberley Fraser – Kimberley, a 25 year old native of Sydney Mines, has been step dancing ever since she can remember.

She started studying traditional Cape Breton fiddling at age six and at age nine she began taking lessons in Cape Breton piano accompaniment. Kimberley now enjoys teaching fiddle, step dancing, and piano privately at home as well as at various workshops including the prestigious Gaelic College of Celtic Arts and Crafts in St Ann’s, and the Ceilidh Trail School of Music in Inverness. Kimberley has been a featured performer in Spirit of the Island at the Louisbourg Playhouse in 1998, 1999, and 2000. During the 2000 Celtic Colours International Festival, Kimberley was presented with the annual Tic Butler Memorial Award for significant contribution to Cape Breton culture. Later that year, she released her debut CD entitled, Heart Behind the Bow. In 2002, Kimberley appeared in Cape Breton singer Aselin Debison’s TV Special Sweet is the Melody which aired on CBC in Canada and PBS in the United States.

Kimberley is equally in demand for her piano skills. In 2003, she was the accompanist for Cape Breton fiddler Glenn Graham on his tour of British Columbia, and toured Sweden with Cherish The Ladies in May 2004. In August 2005 she performed at Tønder Festival in Denmark with Patrick Gillis and Troy MacGillivray.


Beginner & Intermediate Cape Breton Fiddle

Wendy MacIsaac - A fiddler/piano player/stepdancer from Creignish, Cape Breton, Canada. Wendy has been touring all over the world for the last ten years with Mary Jane Lamond, Ashley MacIsaac, Beolach (her current band) and as a solo performer.

Wendy began performing at age 5 as a stepdancer. At age 12, she began fiddle lessons with Stan Chapman. By age fifteen, Wendy was playing dances all over Cape Breton island and forming the sound that makes her so recognizable today. She soon began travelling further, to Boston, Detroit, and Toronto, to play for the popular Cape Breton dances in those areas.
At this time, Wendy also developed a strong reputation as a piano player and has accompanied just about all of the Cape Breton fiddlers of her generation.

In 1995 she began touring with the Cape Breton Summertime Revue and has made the road her second home ever since. Wendy has performed with the Chieftains, Capercaillie and Buddy MacMaster, to name a few. Her skills as a teacher are also in high demand at festivals worldwide, whether for fiddle, piano, or stepdancing; she is always happy to share her music and experience with others.


Intermediate & Advanced Irish Fiddle

Martin Hayes - Martin's accomplishments extend far and wide, both artistically and geographically.

He has been an All-Ireland fiddle champion six times over, and has taken home a National Entertainment Award, the Irish equivalent to the “Grammy.” He and Dennis have also appeared internationally on television and radio, including NBC Nightwatch, PRI’s A Prairie Home Companion, and the BBC’s Jools Holland Show. The duo has collaborated with Sinead O’Connor, Iarla O’Lionáird and photographer Steve Pyke in a special stage performance and film of Timothy O’Grady’s book, I Could Read the Sky, an acclaimed novel of Irish emigration. Martin has also appeared as a guest artist on recent recordings with Darol Anger and Irish composer Gavin Friday.

Born in Ireland and now residing in Seattle, Martin plays in the slow, lyrical style of his native East County Clare. He grew up playing traditional music with his father, P.J. Hayes, leader of the famed Tulla Ceili Band. The younger fiddler has a great reverence for the old players, whose music contains the longing and essence that moves you at the level of your soul. Martin brings that same depth to his own playing, rendering it unique with passion and intimacy.


Intermediate & Advanced Irish Fiddle

Séamus Connolly - No one has won more All-Ireland solo championships on fiddle than Séamus Connolly, whose total of ten represents a benchmark that may never be equaled.

His first title came at age 12, just ten months after initially picking up the instrument, while his first senior title came at age 17, making him the youngest senior champion ever. Séamus, who’s self taught, also won the coveted Fiddler of Dooney competition as a soloist in 1967 and four Oireachtas duet titles with Kilmaley, Clare, flutist Peadar O’Loughlin.

Throughout his musical career, Séamus can be heard on many notable albums and has performed in a vast number of concerts, but his involvement in Irish traditional music is not limited to performance. He is a teacher (Brendan Bulger, the first Bostonian to win an All-Ireland fiddle title, is one of his former pupils), summer school & festival organizer (Boston College’s Gaelic Roots from 1993 to 2003), record producer (e.g., the double-CD Boston College Irish Studies Program Celebrates Gaelic Roots in 1997), and author (Forget Me Not, a book of tunes packaged with two CDs, all of which he produced in 2002 with Laurel Martin, another former fiddle student of his who’s now a Boston College teaching colleague). In April 2004 Séamus Connolly was named the Sullivan Artist in Residence in Irish Music at Boston College, an endowed position that recognizes his overall contributions to the college since 1990.

Amid these many accomplishments, Séamus prefers to single out his role as Gaelic Roots founder and director in bringing to Boston College such honored guests as Peadar O’Loughlin, Proinsias Ó Maonaigh, Josephine Keegan, Bobby Casey, Tommy McCarthy, and Johnny O’Leary, the last three of whom have since passed away. This profound deference and selfless service to the giants of Irish traditional music help stamp Séamus as one himself.
[edited from a bio by Earle Hitchner,“Ceol” columnist for The Irish Echo and contributing music writer for The Wall Street Journal.]


Scottish Fiddle

Emerald Rae - Besides having an effervescent stage personae and a flair for writing tunes, Emerald is U.S. National Scottish Fiddle Champion (2004), and graduate of Berklee College of Music (2006) where she majored in Film Scoring, and is currently completing a Masters Thesis in Early Scottish Fiddle Sources through the University of Glasgow after spending a year researching in Scotland.

Emerald brings vigor and energy to ancient melodies while forging new pathways for her own clever compositions. While her performances feature an eclectic mix of fiddle styles, pulling influences from Scotland, Ireland and Appalachia and Scandinavia, this class will feature the Scottish fiddle style.


Fiddle Summit

“It all sounds the same!”

How many times have your "non-musician" friends made this remark when it comes to Celtic Music? There ARE a lot of similarities in the reels, and jigs played in Irish music and Cape Breton music. But there are also a lot of differences. In this workshop you will have the opportunity to see and hear some of the best musicians in their particular tradition compare and contrast the Gaelic inspired music from each country and the regional differentiations that bring that particular „flavor°o to each musicians style.

The Fiddle Summit, hosted by Janine Randall, founder of the Ceilidh Trail School of Music in Cape Breton Island, will lead the entire fiddle faculty, accompanied by Dennis Cahill and Pat Gillis in a discussion and demonstration of tunes that are common to both the Irish and Cape Breton repertoire. Each instructor will be asked to play through a tune and talk about how they approach the music and what they do to make it artistically their own. In the second 45 minutes the students in the audience will be invited to take out their instruments and join the masters for a traditional session pulling tunes from both the Irish and the Cape Breton tradition. All instruments are welcome. The charge for this discussion/session will be $30.00.


Guitar

Basic & Intermediate Guitar

Patsy Whelan – Born in Dublin, Patsy burst on the Boston Irish music scene and has developed legendary status in Beantown.

A seasoned entertainer, Patsy is a veteran of many Irish Music Festivals, including the prestigious Washington Irish Folk Festival, where he reunited with renowned All Ireland fiddler Brendan Mulvihill. Among the well known musicians Patsy has played with are Paddy Reilly, Brendan Mulvihill, Sean Dunphy, Shea Duffin, and Ted Furey.


Intermediate & Advanced Guitar

Dennis Cahill - A master guitarist, versed as well in classical, blues and rock as he is in traditional music.

A native of Chicago born to parents from County Kerry, Ireland, he studied at the city’s prestigious Music College before becoming an active member of the local music scene. Cahill’s innovative accompaniment is acknowledged as being a major breakthrough for guitar in the Irish tradition. In addition to his work with Hayes, Dennis has performed with such renowned fiddlers as Liz Carroll, Eileen Ivers and Kevin Burke.


Bodhrán

Beginner, Basic, Intermediate & Advanced Bodhrán

Mance Grady – the first American sanctioned by the National Endowment for the Arts to teach the bodhrán, the heartbeat of Irish music.

With a great respect for the tradition and an ear to the future, Mance was an early innovator in the Celtic Fusion scene bringing the bodhran into a wide variety of musical genres, as well as bringing other ethnic percussion into trad music. With a background in Classical percussion, experience on drum set and a multitude of hand drums, Mance brings his classical, jazz, big band, rock, and folk music experience to the class and is able to provide insightful observations and direction to the aspiring bodhran student.

As one of the earliest bodhrán makers in the U.S. whose drums represent the top of the line in regards to tonality, construction, and beauty, Mance is also an invaluable resource regarding bodhran care and maintenance which is crucial in regards to helping your instrument remain as good, if not better than the day it was purchased.


Tin Whistle, Flute & Pipes

Tin Whistle & Uillean Pipes

Paddy Keenan – Paddy is among the greatest living uilleann pipers.

Born in Trim, Co. Meath, to John Keenan, Sr. of Westmeath and the former Mary Bravender of Co. Cavan, Paddy comes from a Travelling family steeped in traditional music; both Paddy’s father and grandfather were uilleann pipers. Paddy himself took up the pipes at the age of ten, playing his first major concert at the Gaiety Theatre, Dublin, when he was 14. He later played with the rest of his family in a group called The Pavees.

Paddy’s style has continued to mature in the intervening years since the break-up of The Bothy Band as he has pursued a solo career. Recently he has played at several festivals and weekends, including Gaelic Roots I and II at Boston College; the 1995 Eigse na Laoi at University College, Cork; Green Linnet’s Irish Music Party of the Year; and twice at the Washington Irish Folk Festival at Wolf Trap, including a concert performance there in 1995 with accordion player James Keane and guitarist John Doyle which was videotaped and has been broadcast worldwide. He has played the Stonehill College Festival in Boston and the Philadelphia Ceili Group’s Irish Music and Dance Festival, as well as various concerts, benefits and tionals (piping festivals) around the US, in Canada and in Ireland, and even plays an occasional ceili (dance).


Flute, Beginner & Intermediate Tin Whistle

Susan Gedutis Lindsay – Susan Gedutis Lindsay plays traditional Irish flute and whistle as well as alto and baritone saxophones.

She completed her Master of Music in Ethnomusicology at Tufts University in Boston, and earned a Bachelor of Arts in music from Hampshire College in Amherst, Massachusetts. Susan performs regularly in clubs, pubs, and contra dances in the New England area, with the Lindsays, with jazz big band Stage Door Canteen and with the wacky folk/contra dance band Einstein’s Little Homunculus.

Learn music and have fun! Susan (Gedutis) Lindsay teaches music with the underlying philosophy that music makes life more full. Lessons are designed to instill a love of music, whether you're a beginner or more advanced, a child or an adult. Studies focus on developing technique and practice discipline. Whistle and flute lessons focus on building Irish repertoire, proper ornamentation, and rhythm.


Highland Pipes

Bill Burley – An accomplished and entertaining bagpiper, who performs marches, jigs, and dirge.

Bill also plays a small modern bagpipe, a parlor pipe, and a large, modern plastic bagpipe in addition to the traditional bagpipe. He is a member of Colum Cille, teaches bagpiping, and is knowledgeable and enthusiastic about his craft.


Piano / Keyboard

Piano

Janine Randall – Janine is quite popular as a piano accompanist in performance and for recordings, and will share her expertise with students in this informative class.

Janine is also the founder of the Ceilidh Trail School in 1995. The shool has attracted students from around the world to its Inverness setting to be taught the Cape Breton fiddling tradition from masters like Jerry Holland, Buddy MacMaster, Natalie MacMaster and a host of others.


Piano

Mac Morin

Mac had to cancel his engagement with the Cape Cod Celtic Festival due to family illness.

Dancer, Piano & Keyboard player, is a talented Troy, Cape Breton native whose ancestors were noted Cape Breton step dancers for several generations.

After two years on the road with Natalie MacMaster’s band touring all over the world and sharing the stage with such artists as the Chieftains and Mark O’Connor, Mac has since toured with Howie MacDonald’s ‘Celtic Brew’ and ‘Rise & Follies of Cape Breton’ shows, the Rankin Sisters, and is kept busy supplying accompaniment for fiddlers such as Ian MacDougall, Andrea Beaton, Rodney MacDonald, Glenn Graham, Howie MacDonald, Jackie Dunn, Wendy MacIsaac, Troy MacGillivray, Shelly Campbell, and Buddy MacMaster to name just a few.

Mac is also a full-time member of the energetic Cape Breton band ‘Beolach’ which features fiddlers Wendy MacIsaac and Mairi Rankin, Guitarist Patrick Gillis, Piper Ryan J. MacNeil, Drummer Matthew Foulds and Mac on Piano. The band has toured Canada, United States and Europe and released a self titled CD in 2002.


Singing

Gaelic Song

Mary Jane Lamond – A sharer of songs, stories and spirit.

This sharing has garnered Mary Jane numerous Juno and East Coast Music Award nominations, critical acclaim and a worldwide audience. “This is a huge oral literary tradition that is being lost at an alarming rate,” she says, “and I am involved with community things that help conserve it for younger people. But I’m also an interpreter, a singer and musician and in my music the challenge is to create something new and exciting that doesn’t destroy the heart of it.”

Mary Jane’s latest recording “Storas” (Gaelic meaning “a treasure”), is a beautiful interpretation of some of the Scottish Gaelic songs that have become part of Nova Scotia’s Gaelic tradition. Her use of modern instrumentation and arrangements\ provides a respectful and beautiful framework for these Gaelic treasures but it is Mary Jane’s spell binding vocal performance and heartfelt delivery that makes these selections truly come alive for the listener.


Singing with the Guitar, Singing with the Bodhrán

Julie Glaub A native of North Carolina, Julee fell in love with Celtic music and journeyed to Ireland, where she spent almost eight years collecting and learning the ballad tradition from the source.

What is interesting to me as a follower of Julee’s music is the profound influence her Southern origins have on her presentation and her singing, which brings a subtle but unique quality to her artistry. Julee’s voice is unmistakable in a relatively vast arena of women’s voices presenting similar material. Her singing can move the most veteran listener, bringing a new depth of feeling to the ballad tradition.

Julee credits the combination of learning songs directly from traditional singers in Ireland over the years, material from the Irish Music Archives, and her experiences with the poor and working people of Dublin as her major inspirations. When Julee sings, the combination of the power that comes from having lived near the music’s sources and her clear, sweet, but commanding voice stills audiences. In addition to a unique and lovely voice, Julee plays guitar, flute and bodhran in performances. (-Mardi Tuminaro, NYC Irish Arts Center)


Harmony Vocals & Duet Singing

Mark Weems & Julie Glaub - In 2005, Mark and Julee realized quickly that the harmonic blending of their vocal tones was quite unique.

Together they perform as a duet called Little Windows. In February 2006, they released their first recording together, entitled Just Beyond Me. It carries a strong Appalachian theme with some Old Time gospel songs as well as two songs composed by Mark himself.

Mark Weems plays guitar, old-time banjo, fiddle, and piano, but is best known for his truly soulful vocal talent. He is a stunning singer and quite an up and coming songwriter who is well known in the traditional music community. He has also recently released a book of his collected poems and drawings (1987-2006).


Dancing

Beginner Irish Step Dance

Maureen Haley - A native of Co. Galway, Ireland, Maureen has been teaching competitive Irish dancing in the New England region for over 30 years.

She started dancing at the age of six in Galway city, and spent many years competing in regional and national level competitions. Maureen moved to the United States and opened her dance school in 1974. She currently teaches classes in Whitman, Duxbury, Cape Cod and Shrewsbury, MA. Maureen's mission as a teacher has been to instill in all of her students an appreciation and love of Irish culture and dance.


Beginner Cape Breton Step Dance

Judy MacKenzie - A long-time teacher of Cape Breton Step Dance, Judy will introduce this dance style to aspiring students.


Advanced Cape Breton Step Dance - cancelled

Mac Morin - Dancer, Piano & Keyboard player, is a talented Troy, Cape Breton native whose ancestors were noted Cape Breton step dancers for several generations; including Mary C. MacDonald Morin (Mother) and John R.’Roddie Eddie’ MacDonald (Grandfather).

Mac has been dancing for over 10 years, first being taught by his mother and then the talented Warner sisters of Mabou, Cape Breton. Since then he has taken on the role as teacher in various private and workshop venues.

Along with other highly regarded dancers, Mac was a step dance instructor during the International Celtic Colours Festival held in Cape Breton yearly since 1997. Mac has also made a big name for himself as an accomplished Cape Breton-style piano player.

Mac had to cancel his engagement with the Cape Cod Celtic Festival due to family illness.


Guidelines for choosing a class:

Advanced Instrument:

Appropriate for advanced and master musicians, and those that feel somewhere between intermediate and advanced, have played over five (5) years in Cape Breton/Irish music and can read music well or can play quickly by ear. Looking for technique, stylizations and direct improvement in problem areas of playing Cape Breton/Irish music and more advanced/complicated tunes.

Advanced Dance:

You have been dancing for more than three (3) years and have a good working knowledge of Step Dancing.

Intermediate Instrument:

Appropriate for intermediate musicians and those that feel they are well versed in other types of music but have played Irish music for less than five (5) years, or have been playing Irish music for more than five years but need more instruction/support in critical areas. Can read music or learn by ear fairly quickly.

Intermediate Dance:

You hve been dancing for one to three years and have some experience with Step Dancing.

Basic Instrument:

Appropriate for those musicians who have been playing fiddle for at least one year, know simple tunes and can play by written music or by ear at a slower level.

Basic Dance:

You have been dancing for less than a year and have little or no experience with Step Dancing.

Beginner Instrument/Dance:

You have very little or no experience with the instrument/dance. Fiddles and Bodhráns only will be provided for the Beginner classes.


Piano students must provide their own keyboards.


We reserve the right to cancel classes due to under enrollment. Please check the web site for updates. If you have already signed up for a class that will be changed, we will notify you.