Music Event – CELTIC MINSTRELS – Jan 17th

By The Bribie Islander

irish music events bribiw island

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The live music scene on Bribie Island has been invigorated with a shot of Celtic music with the CELTIC MINSTRELS who have quickly developed a strong following as they offer something “different” to the live music scene on Bribie.

Like a single malt whiskey to a Scot or Irishman, music lovers are now being exposed to the smooth style of the Celtic Minstrel who put the Tart in Tartan and the Fling in the Highlands. The Celtic Minstrels were born following members of a local Celtic Fiddle Group taking up the challenge of performing live at the Medieval Festival in 2019.

A great challenge that was accepted and conquered and we’ve been booked again for 2020. The magnificent seven are: Mike Watts and Beth Sowter have been playing Celtic music, mostly in Tasmania for more than 30 years in bands, session music and especially “bush bands”.

They are the proud owners of “Celtic Southern Cross” culminating in the production of 4 CDs to accompany the iconic tune book, “Begged, Borrowed and Stolen” which is the unofficial “Bible” of those entering the world of Celtic Music. For 17 years they ran the Celtic Summer School “Music under the Mountains”. This was a weeklong program dedicated to the improvement of technique in Irish, Scottish, Australian and Canadian fiddling, harp, concertina, mandolin, guitar, and vocals.

Mike plays mandolin and English Concertina, and Beth plays fiddle, guitar and occasionally sings. Sarah Harris (guitar, tin whistle, vocals): Growing up in a musical family, music has always been a major influence on Sarah’s early life, from High School productions to choir ensembles. Her Irish heritage shaped later projects, including performing as a duo – The Dalys – with her brother Matt Harris. Session work introduced Sarah to fellow musicians who would later collaborate to form Celtic Fusion.

Now, as a member of the Celtic Minstrels, Sarah contributes to lead vocals and harmonies and is the principal guitarist. She also plays tin whistle and enjoys helping interpret traditional and progressive Celtic songs and tunes. Ted Burton (Irish banjo, mandolin, 5-string banjo, guitar, u bass, vocals): Ted started out as a teen rock guitarist in Ireland but soon came under the influence of The Dubliners, Chieftans, Fureys, etc. at informal pub sessions.

Upon arrival in Sydney, he founded The Irish Drovers and turned professional shortly after, appearing each week morning on Channel Nine’s Super Flying Fun Show. A one-year tour of Canada followed, and he returned to live in Adelaide where he founded the group Rafterai. Ted dropped music for a number of years while working in the Middle East and returned to Brisbane to continue his Ph.D. at UQ. He started playing at local sessions and joined Sarah Harris as a founding member of Celtic Fusion.

Now, as part of the Celtic Minstrels, Ted brings all his years of experience to the fore and is a driving linchpin of the Minstrel’s exciting brand of Celtic-inspired entertainment. Laura Campbell. Laura is also a classically trained violinist but soaked up the Celtic feel from her father and other family members and local musicians. She rediscovered Celtic Music when her young daughter joined the Moreton Celtic Fiddle Club and it has become a family affair with her husband and three children being members joining in.

She is now a lead fiddler with this high energy group which plays at many music festivals and not much can be said about Laura other than, “hang onto your hats as this lass will rock your tartan socks off” when she picks up the fiddle. Laura is also the fiddler for Celtic Fusion, winner of 2019 Celtic Album of the Year at the Australian Celtic Music Awards She’s also a keen guitarist and loves nothing more than a campfire singalong with her family. Being born in Edinburgh she has Celtic music flowing through her veins.

Maria Boland is a classically trained violinist who picked up the violin after a 40- year break. Now the lead violinist with the Bribie Island Orchestra she has taken up the challenge of Celtic Fiddle after being asked to be part of the Bribie Celtic Fiddlers. Music also flows through her veins as most members of her large family are also accomplished musicians with her father being a fiddler in bush bands on the Monaro in Southern NSW. No challenge is too great for this highly talented fiddler who is revelling in retirement after 50 years of nursing as she can now spend more time “fiddling”. John Boland.

Better known as a former Australian Paralympic Swim Coach and his musical background can be written on the back of a postage stamp with room for footnotes. He could be described as Autodidactic as he has the ability to teach himself to play most musical instruments.

As the Bodhran player in the group, he also enjoys vocals. He has sung locally with the Gleemen and sang in many musical comedies (primarily Gilbert and Sullivan) and had vocal training at the Red Music School for a number of years. His highlight was to be asked to audition as a soloist for the Lord Mayors Christmas Concert Audition which he saw as a major experience performing at the Queens Street Mall.

Come and enjoy our first performance for the new decade on January 17 at Serenity Restaurant, Bongaree from 6:00 pm. Book a table early and enjoy a few hours of great music. To book our band for further gigs, call John on 0422 770 252.

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