Boxwood Festivals
Boxwood Canada



The Boxwood Festival returns for its 23rd year in Lunenburg, Nova Scotia, bringing together an amazing group of artists from across the spectrum of traditional folk (Irish, Scottish, Breton, Cape Breton, French Canadian, Appalachian, Ozark & Old-Time) baroque, and renaissance music & dance for a week of classes, performances, sessions and social dancing. The deep connections between traditional music, song, dance, language and food are at the heart of our program as musicians, dancers and singers alike experience and discover the fire that connects their traditions. The breadth, scope and versatility of this group of artists will inspire, astound, and challenge the way you think about music. Join the party with us in Lunenburg!


Harry BRADLEY - Irish flute

Harry Bradley was born in South Belfast. The vibrant recording heritage from the 1920s and 30s has had a huge influence on his flute-playing style as has the playing of musicians such as Seamus Tansey, Desi Wilkinson and piper Seamus Ennis, to name but a few. Noted for his unique tone and driving rhythm, Harry has come to be recognized as one of the most distinctive flute players in Ireland today. He has toured internationally and recorded both as a soloist and with groups such as Cran and Altan. In 2014 he was the recipient of the TG4 Gradam Ceoil Traditional Musician of the Year Award.


Mattias MAUTE - recorder, baroque flute

JUNO Award winning conductor, composer, recorder and flute soloist Matthias Maute has
achieved an international reputation. In 2016 he was named artistic director of the Bach Society
of Minnesota. Impressed by his artistic approach, The New York Times described the orchestra
he conducts in Montreal, Ensemble Caprice, as being “an ensemble that encourages the listener
to rehear the world.” Maute’s recording of Bach’s Brandenburg Concertos juxtaposed with Maute’s own
arrangements of Preludes from Shostakovich's Op. 87 was hailed by The New Yorker’s Alex Ross
as standing out “for its fleet, characterful approach” and “its fresh, vibrant colors”. Matthias Maute’s compositions are published by Breitkopf & Härtel, Amadeus, Moeck and Carus. In 2014 and 2015, Maute’s 1st violin concerto was performed by soloist Mark Fewer with the St. John’s Symphony and with I Musici de Montréal. Forty-nine movements of Matthias Maute’s compositions are featured in 49 videos on Matthias Maute has made some twenty recordings on the Analekta, Vanguard Classics, Bella
Musica, Dorian, Bridge and ATMA Classique labels. He is regularly invited to perform at major
international festivals. Matthias Maute is co-artistic director of the Montreal Baroque Festival and artistic director of Concerts noncerto®. He currently teaches at l’Université de Montréal and
McGill University.


Markus TULLBERG & Andreas RALSGÅRD - Swedish flute

Andreas Ralsgård and Markus Tullberg are breathing new life into the Swedish wooden flute tradition. United in their passion for the traditional music of Sweden, they have been playing together for more than fifteen years. Their repertoire consists of rediscovered tunes from the old flute masters, as well as interpretations of fiddle tunes and original compositions. Their first CD, Traditional Flute Music from Sweden (2010), was the first-ever album to be dedicated solely to traditional Swedish flute duet music. It was followed by “+1” (2014), which included collaborations with some of the finest musicians on the traditional music scene in Sweden.

Andreas Ralsgård was born in the small town of Osby in Skåne, Sweden and while he discovered the wooden flute he also pursued an education as a classically trained saxophone player. As rooted in the traditional music of Värmland (bordering to Norway) as his native Skåne, he released a CD together with fiddle master Mats Berglund (2003), a recording that established Ralsgård as one of the foremost wind instrument players in Swedish traditional music, both as a saxophonist and flutist.

Markus Tullberg was born in the university town of Lund, Skåne. In addition to the collaboration with Ralsgård, he has been a forming member in the bands “Jidder”, “Gisen, Ulvsand & Tullberg” and “Nos Honks”. Currently he is combining life as a freelance musician and teacher at the Music Academy of Malmö, with his work on a PhD-project titled Wind and Wood.


Andra BOHNET - flute choir

Dr. Andra Bohnet is a flutist who embraces a rich variety of musical styles with both virtuosity and sensitivity. In addition to her position as Professor of Music at USA where she teaches flute, music history/literature and chamber music, she is the principal flutist with Mobile Symphony Orchestra where she has been a featured soloist on several occasions. Her newest project is the CD Clinton on Clinton, the culmination of a research project which has been to rediscover the music of John Clinton (1809-1864), an Irish flutist, composer and flutemaker who was a major figure in the nineteenth-century flute design controversy. For this project, she performed Clinton's music on seven flutes manufactured by Clinton & Co. over 150 years ago! This research has been presented to the National Flute Association and the British Flute Society.

Her chamber ensemble for flute and strings, the Silverwood Quartet, has performed throughout the United States and in Japan, including a performance for the National Flute Association. The group specializes in exploring popular and world music in addition to the classical repertoire. Also the group’s primary arranger, Andra’s creative charts capture the musical essence of styles ranging from Irish traditional to Tibetan Chant and alternative rock and roll. Their newest project, A Celtic Mosaic, explores a variety of unique and original music from Celtic sources including music from Riverdance, Lord of the Rings, Ballykissangel and a trilogy of tunes by Loreena McKennitt. The Classic Rock Album, was released in 2005. Rock icon Ian Anderson, flutist and leader of Jethro Tull, said, "Many thanks for the CD. I enjoyed it very much and especially the variety of musical styles it incorporated. Keep up the good work and help bring the worlds of pop/rock and the Classical traditions together." She also performs on Irish and other folk flutes with her group Mithril, a high-energy Celtic/world music band, which has released four CDs which have been featured on NPR's syndicated show "Celtic Connections." Mithril is currently being featured with symphony orchestras for “Celtic Christmas,” "Celtic Halloween" and "Celtic Celebration" pops concerts. Andra performs and records on flutes of all shapes and sizes (classical, traditional wooden, baroque and a variety of ethnic instruments), as well as Celtic harp.


Chris NORMAN - flutes, small pipes, director

Chris’ influential work as performer, composer, recording artist, teacher and flutemaker has earned him worldwide recognition. His distinctive 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 22 years in Canada, New Zealand, Australia and the USA, 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.


Fiachra O'REGAN - Uilleann pipes
Sophie LAVOIE - Quebecois fiddle, songs

Sophie & Fiachra are a duo of “musiciens sans frontières who refuse to let the Atlantic sunder their love of their own and one another’s Irish and Québecois musical traditions”. Comprising of Irish uilleann piper Fiachra O’Regan and Québec fiddler/singer Sophie Lavoie, the duo take traditional Irish and Québécois traditional music, blended with Lavoie’s “lithe and masterful” compositions. Their choice of songs will “captivate the most casual listener” - “It’s refreshing to hear a traditional band reference the present with such subtlety and finesse.” The Irish Times

Fiachra O‘Regan, from Connemara, on the West Coast of Ireland, plays Irish music on the Uilleann Pipes and Whistle, he is a senior All-Ireland Champion on both these intruments. Fiachra has performed throughout the world, touring in his own group as well as with many other artists and groups. He is also sought after as a teacher in private lessons and at festivals. In 2008, Fiachra recorded Aisling Gheal, his first solo album, and has since recorded three albums with Québecois Fiddler Sophie Lavoie, as well as appearing as a guest on many other albums. More info can be found on his website:

Sophie Lavoie comes from Lac-St-Jean in Québec. She first was introduced to the world of music when learning the classical piano at a young age. Then she became interested in the traditional music of Québec. She started to learn the fiddle by listening to legendary fiddlers from her region such as Louis Pitou Boudreault. Sophie's singing and compositions on her albums to date, have earned her flattering reviews from many critics. In 2004, Sophie completed studies in classical music with a bachelor degree in Piano in the University of Montreal. She created with two other musicians the successful band "L’attisée" who play traditional music from Quebec. From 2005 to 2008, Sophie performed with L’Attisée all over Québec and in Ireland, and record the eponymous album L’Attisée, which was nominated as Traditional Album of The Year at ADISQ 2011. In 2008, she met the Irish piper Fiachra O’Regan and started with him this new duo Sophie & Fiachra. Together, they produced the albums Sophie & Fiachra in 2010, Rewind in 2014, and Un Canadien errant in 2016. Sophie is currently completing a Masters in Ethnomusicology at Université de Montreal. Her study is on the regional fiddle style of Lac St. Jean

Shelley PHILLIPS - oboe, harp

Shelley Phillips (folk harp, oboe, cor anglais) has played with many professional folk musicians in America, Ireland, and the UK. Shelley is director of the Santa Cruz Community Music School, where she runs Celtic music camps for children and teens, maintains a private studio, and presents concerts and workshops with visiting musicians of the highest caliber.

She received her master’s in music from the San Francisco Conservatory of Music and has studied Irish and Scottish flute styles, shehnai, dizi, and willow flute. She plays for the Episcopal church, makes bamboo flutes with the English Piper’s Guild, teaches flute making, and directs the Santa Cruz Shape Note Society. She is a member of the Coulter/Phillips Ensemble and the Anjali Quartet, and has toured the world.

She appears on many Gourd recordings, including her solo albums The Fairie Round, Pavane, and The Butterfly. She has recorded music of the Shakers and produced a benefit album, Verdant Groves, for the Shaker village museums. She also produced a benefit recording of Christmas music for the Community Music School called Mid Earth Rejoices, which includes the premier of her “Magnificat.” She collaborated with Rumi translator and poet Coleman Barks and made two CDs, What Was Said to the Rose and Five Things to Say, with him.


David GREENBERG - baroque & Cape Breton violin

David Greenberg is a baroque violinist and fiddler in the Cape Breton and 18th-century Scottish styles. He grew up in Maryland, learning violin from age four and exploring various fiddling styles early on. David studied baroque violin with Stanley Ritchie at Indiana University in the 1980s and joined Tafelmusik for ten years, 1988-1998. With Kate Dunlay, he co-authored an influential treatise on Cape Breton fiddling, the DunGreen Collection. David co-founded several music ensembles, including the Medieval Quintet, Puirt a Baroque, Ferintosh, and Tempest Baroque Ensemble. He performs regularly with Chris Norman, Doug MacPhee, Suzie LeBlanc, and Les Musiciens de Saint-Julien (France). He is featured on dozens of recordings, including those with Seattle Baroque, Apollo's Fire, Ensemble Caprice, Les Voix Humaines, La Nef, Toronto Consort, Tempest, Doug MacPhee, Suzie LeBlanc, Chris Norman, Ferintosh, Concerto Caledonia, and Les Musiciens de Saint-Julien. David has a great deal of experience teaching both traditional Cape Breton and Baroque violin, appearing at festivals and schools such as Festival of American Fiddle Tunes, The Gaelic College (St. Anne’s), Boxwood Festival (in 3 countries), Celtic Colours International Festival (Cape Breton), Rocky Mountain Fiddle Camp, Edinburgh International Festival, as well as many more festivals, workshops, and master classes.

Patsy SEDDON - Celtic harp

Patsy Seddon is one of Scotland's favourite and most innovative celtic harp players. A versatile and experienced musician, who sings in Gaelic, English and Scots, and also plays the Scottish fiddle in a variety of settings. Patsy regularly performs with bands and solo, in concerts, at festivals and at private events such as weddings, christenings, dinners and corporate receptions. She is in great demand as a teacher of harp and of singing, in schools, on University courses, in workshops and for private pupils. She has performed all over the world, and speaks German, Gaelic and French. Patsy has contributed to the Edinburgh Harp Festival almost every year of its 27 year history as a performer, teacher and organising committee member.  This festival is enormous fun and an excellent introduction to the harp for potential players.

Patsy has always enjoyed teaching individual lessons and in group settings at workshops, courses and festivals, at all levels from complete beginners to advanced.  She teaches pupils in several Edinburgh schools, including St Mary’s Music School and St Margaret’s.  Complementing her own teaching, Patsy has recently been involved in  developing the national Grade Exams in Traditional Music both as consultant and examiner. In 1995 Patsy was asked to create the harp syllabus for a new degree course in Scottish Music at The Royal Scottish Academy of Music and Drama (RSAMD) in Glasgow. Since 1996 she has been teaching on this innovative course, influencing many young players of Clarsach and other instruments.


Mairéad HURLEY - concertina, Irish flute

Mairéad is from Ballymote, Co. Sligo, Ireland, and growing up in a musical family, she won the 2006 All-Ireland Concertina Senior Championships title at the Fleadh Cheoil in Letterkenny, Co. Donegal, cementing her status as one of the up and coming talents in Irish concertina playing. A regular at music festivals throughout Ireland, she is also in high demand for concertina workshops worldwide. In her other guise, Mairéad is Education & Learning Manager at Science Gallery Dublin developing non-formal educational programmes encompassing both art and science. She has many years experience in STEM education, and with a Ph.D. in Astronomy, she is keen to point out that under no circumstances are you to ask her for your horoscope!


John BLAKE - piano, guitar, Irish flute

John Blake is a traditional Irish flute player, guitarist and pianist. An ex member of traditional group Téada, John has performed and recorded with the cream of Irish musicians including John Carty, Paddy Glackin, Noel Hill, Liam O’Flynn, Jesse Smith, Harry Bradley, Colm Gannon, The Kane Sisters and James Kelly. Brought up in London, John moved to Ireland in 1998 and developed a reputation as an accompanist of note, racking up several album credits. He joined traditional band ‘Téada‘ in 2001 and toured with them for 3 years, at which point he got off the road and settled into a job in Na Píobairí Uilleann (The Pipers Club) in Dublin. In 2003 John was runner up in the Irish Echo’s ‘Irish Traditional Musician Of The Year’ and in 2013 released his debut solo album ‘The Narrow Edge’.


William COULTER - guitar

Guitarist William Coulter is a renowned performer, teacher and recording artist. He has explored the world of traditional music as both a soloist and a member of ensembles including Isle of Skye, Orison, and the Coulter-Phillips Ensemble. He began recording for Gourd Music with the release of Orison. Since then he has recorded many albums for Gourd including the best-selling Shaker music CD Simple Gifts, and the critically acclaimed Celtic Sessions. Bill's teaching interests include classical guitar repertoire, especially guitar ensemble and guitar with other instruments; traditional folk music and songs from the British Isles, especially from Ireland; the music of Turloch O’Carolan. Pedagogical philosophy: influenced by the Suzuki method and the teaching of Benjamin Verdery; emphasis on communication of musical ideas, the enjoyment of playing, tone production, and accuracy and fluency of technique. Born in New Jersey and trained on piano and classical guitar, William's discovery of Celtic music led him to a MA in Ethnomusicology and a celebrated career as a Celtic guitarist. He tours regularly as a soloist, with Brian Finnegan, Edwin Huizinga, One Lane Bridge, and Tom Foley's A Celtic Christmas.


Michel ANGERS - lute, theorbo and baroque guitar

Michel Angers completed a Master’s degree from Laval University in Quebec, and was awarded highest distinction from Quebec Music Conservatory. In 2005, Michel won the Canadian Music Competition in the classical guitar category. He studied lute with Lucas Harris at the Tafelmusik Baroque Summer Institute and Oberlin Baroque Performance Institute. Twice a grant holder of the Marco Fodella Foundation, Michel specialized in early music under Paul Beier at the International Academy of Music in Milan. Michel plays in numerous artistic projects for various ensembles as a continuo player (Les Violons du Roy, Les Idées Heureuses, Da Sonar, Ensemble Anonymus, and Constantinople) and as a soloist in America and Europe. He is a recording artist for Italian label Stradivarius.


Eamon O'LEARY - ballads, songs, banjo, and guitar

Originally from Dublin, Eamon has lived in New York City for the last twenty years. He has toured extensively throughout North America and Europe, performing and recording with many of Irish music's great players. In 2004, he and Patrick Ourceau released a live recording, Live at Mona's, documenting their many years hosting a session on New York's Lower East Side. In 2012 he and Jefferson Hamer released an album of traditional songs, The Murphy Beds, described by the Huffington Post as "ten beautiful, crystalline songs." Eamon's songwriting can be heard on the 2013 album Old Clump. He also tours and records as part of the trad. Irish trio The Alt with Nuala Kennedy and John Doyle.


Catherine-Ann MacPHEE - Gaelic song and puirt-a-beul

From singing by candlelight before electricity arrived on Barra to racking up nearly 80,000 views on YouTube for her singing of Gaelic anthem Cànan Nan Gàidheal, Catherine-Ann MacPhee has sung through a world of change in establishing herself as one of Gaelic music’s favourite voices.

Catherine-Ann was born into the Gaelic speaking community on Barra in 1959 and grew up in Eoligarry, a village full of singers who entertained each other at ceilidhs and social gatherings. Electricity didn’t become an everyday amenity on the island until Catherine-Ann was six, by which time she was already singing in local village halls, in the light given off by tilly lamps where necessary.

In the summer she would sing for tourists as well as keeping up the regular round of local ceilidhs and at the age of seventeen she was approached by Mairead Ross, who was in the process of setting up the first professional Gaelic touring theatre company, Fir Chlis, or Northern Lights. After a successful audition Catherine-Ann joined the company and for three years she travelled throughout the Highlands and Islands, acting and singing, until council budget cuts forced Fir Chlis to close.

Thinking her acting career was over too, Catherine-Ann took a job in the Mishnish Hotel, run by her sister’s father-in-law, accordionist Bobby MacLeod, in Tobermory on Mull. She and Bobby sang and played in the hotel bar and it was here, after his repeated phone calls offering her work with the English speaking 7:84 Theatre Company almost resulted in her reporting him to the police, that John McGrath persuaded Catherine-Ann to join the company.

With 7:84 Catherine-Ann travelled from Leningrad to Tiblisi, Toronto, Cape Breton, Berlin and Castlebay. Then, at a festival in Dingwall, she met Ian Green of Greentrax Recordings who, on hearing her singing, offered to record her first album. Released in 1987, Cànan Nan Gaidheal (The Language of the Gael) featured mouth music, songs by Lewis bard Murdo MacFarlane and Rory and Calum MacDonald of Runrig’s Cearcall a’ Chuain with accompaniment from musicians including Tony Cuffe and William Jackson from the band Ossian.

Subsequently, Catherine-Ann went on to work with musician, composer and producer Jim Sutherland, incorporating drum machines and New Age influences into her singing of waulking songs and Gaelic songs, and contributed to the song cycle The Stones of Callanish by the Manchester-based Mrs Ackroyd Band.
She also sang on the soundtrack to the BBC Television film Màiri Mhór: Her Life and Songs, which starred Alyxis Daly as the nineteenth century poet and songwriter from Skye, and featured in Orain Nan Gàidheal (The Song of the Gael), a series of concerts staged during the Edinburgh International Festival’s fiftieth anniversary celebrations in 1997 to honour the Gaelic song and music tradition.

After living in Ottawa for many years, in 2017 Catherine-Ann moved to Halifax, Nova Scotia, from where she travels across Canada and North America, teaching Gaelic singing as well as giving concerts. She continues to find new admirers across the world and among the projects that have acknowledged her place on the international stage is the album Chansons des mers froides (Songs from the cold seas) by French composer and producer Hector Zazou on which Catherine-Ann features alongside Björk, Suzanne Vega, Japanese singer Tokiko Kato, and Sami musician Lioudmila Khandi.


Matthew OLWELL - percussive dance, bodhran

Matthew Olwell is a multimedia artist who has been performing and teaching internationally since 1996. The son of renowned flute-maker Patrick Olwell, Matthew began his professional career touring for nine years with Footworks Percussive Dance Ensemble, with whom he appeared in the London production of Riverdance. He has been a featured performer and teacher at numerous international festivals and camps, including the Augusta Heritage Center, the Far North Fiddle Festival, the Swannanoa Gathering, the Newport Folk Festival, the John C. Campbell Folk School, and the Aulnay All Blues Festival in Paris. In 2017, Good Foot Dance Company (which Matthew co-directs) was selected to perform at Jacob’s Pillow as part of the Inside/Out series. In the summer of 2014, Matthew performed in Russia on a U.S. State Department Arts Envoy tour with The Meaning of Buck Dance. Other recent projects include a 2017 tour of Ireland with Anam (co-produced by Ireland’s National Folk Theatre and The Dublin Dance Festival), and the release of CyberTrad, Matthew’s debut solo album, which blends traditional and original Irish and Breton music played on wooden flute and Human Beatbox, and of which the Irish Echo writes, “Outstanding... Olwell is an artist with a keen vision.” A member of the acclaimed music group Maivish and a recent graduate of Davis & Elkins College with a degree in Multimedia Performance, Matthew is currently pursuing an MFA in dance studies in Temple University’s Boyer College of Music and Dance.


Nick HALLEY - drums, percussion, keyboards

Nick Halley is a drummer/percussionist, keyboardist, composer, and conductor. As a drummer and world percussionist, Nick has performed and recorded internationally with a wide range of musicians including James Taylor, Oscar Castro-Neves, Maucha Adnet, David McGuinness & Revenge of the Folk Singers, Concerto Caledonia, Jefferson Hamer & Eamon O’Leary, Old Man Luedecke & Tim O’Brien, the Chris Norman Ensemble, various Paul Halley ensembles, Suzie LeBlanc, Theresa Thomason, Diomira with Dinuk Wijeratne & Joseph Petric, and occasionally the Nick Halley Band. The recording Barnum Hill (2008) features Nick and his ensemble performing some of Nick’s original compositions.

Nick is the founder and Artistic Director of the Capella Regalis Men and Boys Choir in Halifax, Nova Scotia. He is the founder and Director of The King’s Chorus, a choir for members of the King’s and Dalhousie University communities in Halifax. Nick is also the Assistant Director of the acclaimed University of King’s College Chapel Choir directed by his father, Paul Halley. He is Cantor and Director for the chapel’s male Compline choir. He is also Assistant Director of Music at the Cathedral Church of All Saints, Halifax. In 2012, Nick was awarded the Queen Elizabeth II Diamond Jubilee Medal in recognition of his contribution to Canada and Nova Scotia through the arts, particularly for his work with Capella Regalis Men and Boys Choir. Nick was the Host of CBC’s Choral Concert for the 2013-14 season.


Marlys YVONNE - dance, Pilates, administrator

Marlys Yvonne is a dancer, arts producer, and Pilates instructor originally from Baltimore, MD. Her dance career led her to perform and train across North America in Baltimore, New York, Austin, San Francisco, Harrisburg, Portland, Toronto, Irvine, and Washington DC. She continues to perform as a freelance artist based out of Seattle and has had the opportunity to produce performance, visual art, and music events in the city. She has also had the pleasure of building her own Pilates business Studio YVY and works with clients in the Seattle area.


Mary KNICKLE - Boxwood Singers

Composer, performer and teacher Mary Knickle has performed Opera, Musical Theatre, and Drama for the past 30 years. For 13 years she performed with her own Celtic bands releasing three albums which have won national awards with individual songs winning semi-finalist and honourable mention in several UK songwriting contests. Recently she won the “Love of Island Water” song writing contest. She is a published choral composer and for the past 15 years has focused on composing large works including: an Opera “Morgan Le Fay” which received rave reviews in Opera Canada Magazine, “Miryam”, a music drama for string quartet and voices, and “The Seafarers’ Requiem” in 2014 which received national coverage. She was part of LAMP composition academy in 2016 and her choral piece Halifax Explosion was recently performed in Halifax. Mary has conducted several youth and adult choirs in Lunenburg. She is passionate about music for young people and currently has a small harmony group of young teenage girls called Hodgepodge that will be performing at the Folk Harbour Festival and conducts the Lunenburg County Independent School Choir and Folk Ensemble. She teaches voice privately in Lunenburg.