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A community hub for Celtic piping in Australia

In this newsletter you'll find the latest news and reports about all that's happening in the world of Celtic Piping in Australia and around the world.

Chris Norman & David Greenberg
Boxwood Festival Australia

Report by Colin MacDougall
The Celtic Piping Club supported legendary musicians from Nova Scotia, Canada to bring Boxwood Festival to Queenscliff; on the beach in Port Philip Bay, Victoria, Australia, over the weekend of 20th to 22nd November 2015. The tone was set on the Friday night when participants arrived to find someone cooking their evening meal. That someone turned out to be Chris Norman, director of the festival and one of the tutors. The meal was followed by the inevitable session involving flutes, bellows pipes, whistles, fiddles and harps. Chris Norman and his co-host David Greenberg joined in, and we particularly appreciated the way Shelley Phillips encouraged participants to get involved. Shelley is a friend of Chris and David’s, from Santa Cruz California, who plays at least oboe, harp and banjo and has also run many music camps. Right from the start we knew that we are in for something special, with world-class facilitators who were humble, responsive and multi-talented.

Saturday was devoted to teaching sessions. David Greenberg taught Cape Breton tunes by ear to the pipers and fiddlers and led some baroque ensemble playing in the afternoon. Chris Norman worked with flautists and whistle-players, followed by a session with smallpipes.

Learning tunes by ear (photo: K Nicholson)

Saturday night saw a fantastic concert at the Queenscliffe Maritime Museum, showcasing the talents of Chris Norman, David Greenberg and Shelley Phillips. The Celtic Piping Club's own Sarah Wade joined in for the finale. After the concert there was another inevitable late night session…finishing after 3 am!

David & Chris in concert (photo: K Nicholson)

By Sunday it was becoming apparent that there were four professional baroque violin players who were contributing so much, and David Greenberg responded by providing advanced teaching while also revising the march, strathspey and reel from Saturday. Meanwhile Chris Norman led the flautists and some fiddlers through their own strathspey and reels. The Sunday afternoon demonstrated the connection between traditional music, dance and having fun with a ceilidh involving the Caledonia Ceilidh Band and members of the local community.

Chris & David join the Caledonia Ceilidh Band to play for the dances
(photo: G Jones)

There were really important lessons for Celtic music in Australia from this Boxwood Festival. The legendary Cape Breton style, with its oral and aural traditions sits alongside the physicality of how musicians hold their instruments, beat their feet and move their body. Following on from the Celtic Piping Club’s session in January 2015 with Pete Stewart, we also reinforced the importance of dancing, singing and the influence from the Baroque period in our music. Of course this was helped by the fact that Chris Norman and David Greenberg are fluent in both baroque and traditional Celtic musicianship.

This was an amazing event for the Celtic Piping Club which introduced many new players. This could not happen without the hard work of Sarah Wade and... we must salute the generosity, virtuosity and humility of Chris Norman, David Greenberg and Shelley Phillips who led the weekend so generously.

[Ed] Check out the CPC Facebook album for more photos.

Finale concert piece featuring David, Sarah, Chris & Shelley
(photo: K Nicholson)


Matthew Horsley 'Australian Waters'

Album Launch

Self-confessed hornpipe botherer, local uilleann piper Matt Horlsey released his first uilleann piping album 'Australian Waters' in November. Matt's wonderful pipering is accompanied by a number of other talented musicians on some of the tracks. The whole album makes for very enjoyable listening...and a great Christmas present!

Matt is currently accepting orders for CDs, with MP3s to be released in the near future. To listen to some sample tracks or order your copy of the CD (only $20, including postage anywhere in the world!), head over to Matt's website http://matthewhorsley.com/cd.

'Tis the season...


Click the music to download or print

Pop-up Piping Sessions & Other Events

2-7 Jan 2016
Lake School of Celtic Music, Song & Dance - Koroit
Includes uilleann pipe & Irish whistle tuition from Jack Brennan

13 Feb 2016
Scots Day Out - Bendigo
Piping sessions & performances


16-18 Sep 2016
Turning Wave Festival - Yass
Save the date...details tbd


Regular Piping Sessions

Adelaide - Pipers Gathering

When: 1st Monday of each month (usually)
Where: Contact Jack for details.
Contact: Jack Brennan via 

Brisbane - Irish Piping Sessions

When: 2nd & 4th Tuesday of each month
Where: Milton (Brisbane)
Contact: Malcolm McLaren on (07) 3820-2902 or email 

Brisbane - Smallpipe Sessions

When: First Tuesday of each month
Where: Milton (Brisbane)
Contact: Malcolm McLaren on (07) 3820-2902 or email 

Melbourne - Celtic Piping Sessions

When: 2nd Sunday of each most months (see below) 2pm - 5pm.
Where: Upstairs at the Exford Hotel 
- 199 Russell Street, Melbourne.
Contact: us via
Future session dates:
  • Sun 10 Jan
  • Feb - No Exford session, Scots Day Out on Sat 13 Feb instead
  • Sun 13 Mar
  • Sun 24 Apr *NOTE - CHANGE OF DATE*
  • Sun 8 May
  • Jun - No Exford session, National Celtic Festival @ Portarlington, June long weekend
  • Sun 10 Jul
  • Sun 14 Aug
  • Sun 11 Sep
  • Sun 9 Oct *TENTATIVE - IUPD on Sat 15 Oct*
  • Sun 13 Nov
  • Sun 11 Dec

NESSIE - North East Scottish Strings including Elbow Pipes

When: 2nd Sunday of each month
Where: North East Victoria
Contact: Kristen on (03) 5766 6282
That's all for this year Like Celtic Piping Club newsletter #32 on Facebook

Until next time...have a wonderful festive season. Happy piping!

Your friends in piping,

The Celtic Piping Club crew

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