Boxwood Australia


February 22-25, 2018

Boxwood returns to beautiful & historic Queenscliff February 22-25, 2018 for a long-weekend of immersion in traditional music. Join us for four days of musical discovery and fun with James Kelly (Irish fiddle), Chris Norman (flutes, small pipes), Rennie Pearson (DADGAD guitar, flutes, whistle & chef). Boxwood Australia is a magical experience with very limited enrollment and small class sizes, so please register early. Our venues for classe include the historic Whitehall Lodge, and St. Georges Church, both in the heart of Queenscliff just a short stroll to the waterfront. While the week in Queenscliff emphasizes the fiddle, flutes, whistles & pipes. students and players of all instruments at all levels; this course caters for a wide range of ability but is designed to challenge as well as inspire.


2018 Tutors & Performers:

A schedule will be available as the event draws closer; classes and activities will include:

  • Irish fiddle - (all bowed strings welcome including viola, cello, etc)
  • Flute - simple system and modern flutes; Scottish, Irish, Quebecois & Cape Breton tunes
  • Whistle - in D
  • Scottish small pipes - ancient and unusual tunes are explored
  • Guitar - DADGAD style fingerpicking and backup
  • Songs & ballads - from the Celtic and North American traditions
  • Historical Irish recordings - with James Kelly
  • Improv in Trad - with Chris
  • Sessions
  • Seaside walks
  • Local craft beer & wine tastings - (BYO-pot-luck)

February 22 - 25, 2018:

Thursday February 22
Arrive at Whitehall late afternoon and gather for an evening meal of home-made local specialties. A session will follow.

Friday February 23
Daily classes with James Kelly, Chris Norman, Rennie Pearson

Saturday February 24
Daily classes with James Kelly, Chris Norman, Rennie Pearson

7:30pm Evening Concert at St. George's Church

Sunday February 25
Morning classes with James Kelly, Chris Norman, Rennie Pearson
Afternoon session
Departure by 4pm

Pricing Structure:

Prices for the 2018 weekend in Queenscliff, VIC are in Australian dollars (AUD)

Full Tuition: $290 - Includes classes, activities & meals

Work Study/Teens/Guest Pass: $190 - Includes classes, activities & meals
Work Study participants will assist with meal prep & clean-up as well as concert operations.
The Guest Pass is reserved for guests & family of Boxwood participants.

Teens age 12-17 are welcome with adult supervision. Contact Sarah Wade for more information about Boxwood Teens.

A La Carte day rate:
Thursday: $40 includes Thursday activities and a meal
Friday: $95 includes Friday classes, activities and meals
Saturday: $95 includes Saturday classes, activities and meals
Sunday: $95 includes Sunday classes, activities and meals

Session Only:
Anyone is welcome to come to the nightly Sessions. If you would like a Bed in one of the shared bedrooms for the night, there is a $75 fee which includes Breakfast the next morning. There is no need to register for this, the fee will be collected at the Session.
Bed and Brekfast after a Session: $75 at the door.

$165 for all three nights with shared bedroom and shared bathroom
$120 for two nights with shared bedroom and shared bathroom
$75 for one night only with shared bedroom and shared bathroom
$300 for single room with shared bathroom (Limited Availability. Applicable to 3-night bookings only)

How to Register:

Registration is an easy 2-step process:

Step 1: Complete the registration form via the button below. Be sure to scroll all the way down and click 'SUBMIT'.


Step 2: Pay . A direct transfer is best, and bank details will be shown in your confirmation email. Credit card payments & PayPal add 3%.

That's it! We'll be in touch with further details as the week approaches. If you're planning to come, please fill the form out ASAP so we can plan early. Registration is limited and on a first-come, first-serve basis upon receipt of both a registration form and payment.


James KELLY - Irish fiddle

James Kelly, a native of Ireland, is one of the greatest Irish traditional fiddlers alive today. He learned his music from his father John Kelly, the renowned fiddle and concertina player from County Clare. After years of careful study and practice, James began his recording and touring career at age sixteen. That year he won first place in the prestigious "Fiddler of the Year" competition and recorded his first album, a duet with his brother John. Since that time, James has toured Europe, the US, Canada and South America, and was a member of several influential Irish groups, including "Patrick Street" and the legendary folk group "Planxty." He was a presenter of the "Pure Drop" series for Irish TV and has appeared several times with the Grammy award winning Irish group, "The Chieftains." In the US, James has performed several times on Garrison Keillor's national radio show, "A Prairie Home Companion." In recent years he received the prestigious "Florida Folk Heritage Award" as well as the "Florida Individual Artist Fellowship in Folk Arts Award." James was the TG4 Irish traditional musician of the year, having been awarded the "Gradam Ceoil TG4 2006 Irish Musician of the Year" award in recognition of his outstanding musicianship and contributions to Irish music (TG4 is Ireland's Irish-language TV station). He has 18 albums to his credit and recently released his latest recording, "Melodic Journeys." He is currently working on a teaching DVD for fiddle students, as well as compiling his over 800 compositions for publication. He continues to tour with some of Irish music's leading accompanists.

"James is one of the most outstanding Irish musicians of this or any generation." --Dr. Mick Moloney, Musician and Folklorist, New York University

"As a virtuoso violinist and exponent of Irish Traditional Music, James ranks among the very best in Ireland today." --Tony MacMahon, Senior Producer, Radio Telefis Eireann

"James Kelly is widely recognized as one of Ireland's leading traditional fiddle players." --Dermot McLaughlin, Traditional Music Officer, Irish Arts Council

Chris NORMAN - director, traditional & early flutes, small pipes, song

Born in Halifax, Nova Scotia into a music loving family, Chris’ influential work as performer, composer, recording artist, teacher and flutemaker has earned him worldwide recognition. His flute playing has appeared on more than 40 recordings and can be heard featured on numerous Hollywood soundtracks. Chris is founder and director of the Boxwood Festivals and Workshops taking place for the past 20 years in Canada, New Zealand, and the US, inspiring thousands of musicians of all ages. As a flute maker, he brings to bear a discernment forged over a 30-year career to make world-class flutes for traditional, baroque and renaissance music. The Senate of Dalhousie University voted to award Chris a Doctor of Laws, honoris causa in 2015 in recognition of his artistic achievements and contributions to the community.

“. . .Norman stands out for his spirited eclecticism . . . His rootsy heritage shines through in every nuanced embellishment, trill, triple tonguing, and silky slide. It’s clear that Norman is having a ball, with the chops to make it sound effortless.” -- Billboard Magazine

“ . . .a flute player of spectacular & imaginative virtuosity” -- The New Yorker Magazine

“A flute superstar . . .the musicianship just came wailing out” --Toronto Globe & Mail

Rennie PEARSON - guitar, flutes, whistle, chef

Rennie is a multi-instrumentalist based in Golden Bay, NZ specializing in flutes, whistles, vocals and DADGAD tuned guitar.The journey started for Rennie before he was even born, with his mother playing him the music of flute virtuoso Chris Norman whilst still in her womb. By 15 he was immersed in the New Zealand traditional Irish music culture, attending weekly sessions and learning off stalwarts of Irish flute playing tradition in New Zealand; Pat Higgins and Brendyn Montgomery. With a firm footing in Irish music, Rennie has delved into the traditions of Scottish and Canadian music, sparking a great thirst for knowledge with has led him to pursue music from all over the world including the ancient classical music from India. Ren works with fiddler/piper Oscar West in the duo Polytropos and has collaborated with a wide range of musicians in performance and recording.



Registration for Boxwood 2018 is limited and is filled on a first come first serve basis upon full payment of tuition. Places cannot be held with a deposit. No Refunds will be made after January 15, 2018. Refund requests made on or before January 15, 2018 will receive a refund within 30 days of receipt of the full amount paid minus a $50 administrative charge. There are no refunds for work study participants. Cancellations prior to this time will be subject to the abovementioned $50 administrative charge.


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