2018 Master Class Series Now Open


We are very excited about our 2018 classes as they bring together some of the cream of English folk to share their skills and talents with you. As well as being fine musicians all are experienced teachers and an opportunity to connect with these outstanding exponents of their craft is not to be missed.

By popular demand, also presenting a class in 2018 is our own Andy Rigby.

Our three new classes bring three of the finest Irish musicians on today’s scene to the Master Class Series. They are:

Fintan Vallely – Irish flute
Tiarnan O Duinnchinn – Irish whistle and uilleann pipes
Liz Doherty – Irish Fiddle

See below to view our brilliant Master Class presenters for 2018.

Master Class Presenters – 2018

Paul Sartin | A Capella Singing

Oboist, singer, traditional violinist, competent pianist and swanee whistle virtuoso, Paul is a prolific and highly-regarded performer, composer, arranger and teacher. He is a founding member of the award- and nomination-winning ensembles – Belshazzar’s Feast, Faustus and the late Bellowhead, and appears with Jon Boden and The Remnant Kings.

imagePaul has been immersed in choral and folk singing for over twenty-five years, is Director of the Andover Museum Loft Singers and author of Faber Music’s ‘Community Choirs Collection: Folk’. His a capella workshops will present music from the English traditions arranged for 3 and 4 parts – and maybe more! Warm-ups and hints on vocal technique will precede learning by ear and development of aural skills, so music literacy will not be a requirement.

Benji Kirkpatrick | Guitar and Bouzouki Accompaniment
Benji is the son of renowned English folk musicians John Kirkpatrick and Sue Harris and was a key member of the recently disbanded folk big band and BBC Award winning Bellowhead. He spent three years in the Seth Lakeman Band having featured on Seth’s successful releases ‘Kitty Jay’ and ‘Freedom Fields’. He has also released four solo albums and is currently a member of the award winning trio Faustus. Although he is a multi-instrumentalist, his favoured instrument is the bouzouki.

imageBenji has a wealth of experience accompanying both himself and others, as a solo artist and with Bellowhead and the Seth Lakeman Band, and has shared his knowledge whilst tutor at Halsway Manor and Stones Barn. In his workshops he will focus on song accompaniment, primarily with guitar and bouzouki, examining chords and sequences, riffs, rhythms, pedals and textures.

Saul Rose | Melodion
Saul was a long time member of Waterson:Carthy, winning two BBC Radio 2 Folk Awards with ‘Broken Ground’ and forming a duo with Eliza Carthy. He is a founder member of new folk big band Eliza Carthy and The Wayward band. He has played on numerous albums as a guest, including Jackie Oates’ album ‘Hyperboreans’, Norma Waterson and Eliza Carthy’s album ‘The Gift’ and the soundtrack for the films ‘Morris- A Life With Bells On’ and ‘Far From The Madding Crowd’. He was nominated for the Musician of The Year award in the 2010 BBC Folk Awards and during 2011 took the part of Songman in the West End play War Horse.

imageOne of the England’s leading melodeon experts, and tutor with the English Youth Folk Ensemble, Folkworks and Melodeons at Witney, Saul welcomes melodeon players of all ages and abilities as he looks at every aspect of the instrument. Melodies, ornamentation, and embellishment, chords and accompaniment will be addressed, as well as repertoire and instrument maintenance.

Paul Hutchinson | Piano Accordion
Paul was born in Bournemouth & learned piano as a child then progressed to church organ. He was lent an accordion, taught himself & went on to play for morris & clog dance teams, always being influenced by his classical music training. Paul met the Yetties (Pete Shuttler) and formed The Old Pull & Push band. He then met Paul Sartin, classically trained violinist, oboist & singer and that was the beginning of Belshazzars Feast. Paul is now a sought after workshop leader and is resident accordion tutor at Cecil Sharp House.

imageThe accordion can be a beautiful and versatile instrument. Paul’s unique style brings out the best by incorporating sustained left hand notes, block chords, or pedal notes, frequently adding extra lines in the right hand to enhance the harmonies. These techniques will be fully explained in the masterclasses. Paul is the resident accordion tutor for the English Folk Dance & Song Society in London and has taught in USA, Czech Republic and Ireland.

Andy Rigby | Folk Harp
Bio available soon.

Andy HarpAndy Rigby draws on a wealth of experience in all aspects of folk harp, to deliver a very “hands-on” series of sessions. Players of all types of harp are welcome. Playing techniques appropriate to the group will be covered, and repertoire will be chosen largely from Celtic and Latin American cultures. Teaching will be done largely by ear, but with notation available as well.

Fintan Vallely – Irish Flute
Fintan Vallely is a musician, writer, lecturer and researcher on Traditional Irish music. From Co. Armagh, he has taught flute at the Willie Clancy summer school in Co. Clare since 1986, and in that year was the author of the first tutor for Irish flute. A commentator on Traditional music, he has been writing about it since 1990, and lecturing on it at the National University of Ireland, Maynooth, University of Ulster, Trinity College Dublin, Dundalk Institute of Technology and in the USA.

imageClass description will be available soon.

Tiarnan O Duinnchinn – Irish whistle and uilleann pipes
Bio available soon.
imageClass description will be available soon.

Liz Doherty – Irish Fiddle
Bio available soon.

 imageClass description will be available soon.

Please call or email now to register your interest and reserve your place in any of our 2018 master classes. Numbers will be strictly limited to give participants the best opportunity to get the most out of these unique and highly informative sessions.


Who Can attend:
Master classes will cater for intermediate to advanced level unless otherwise stated in the class description and the numbers in each class will be limited so you will need to apply and pay early to ensure your place.

Wednesday 28th and Thursday 29th March 2018

3 x sessions over 2 days
2 x 9:30am – 12:30pm (Wed & Thurs) + 1 x 1:30 – 3:30pm (Wed) Lunch is included on Wednesday only.

Ainslie Arts Centre, Canberra

$255   OR
$225 (NFF Season Ticket holders)

Bookings and Enquiries:
Contact Karlie Megay, Program Administrator
T: 02 6262 4792     E: programadmin@folkfestival.org.au (ensure you put MASTER CLASS in the subject box)

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Important Dates

2019 Volunteer Applications
Open Nov 1

2019 Performer Applications
Open 2 July 2018

2019 Stalls Applications
Open 1 Aug

2019 Instrument Maker Applications