Boxwood New Zealand


March 5-10, 2020
Waipu, New Zealand

Join us in beautiful & historic Waipu, New Zealand for five days of musical discovery and fun with Catherine McEvoy - flute & whistle, Rob Zielinski - Irish fiddle, Chris Norman (flutes, small pipes), and Rennie Pearson (flutes, whistle & chef). Boxwood New Zealand is a magical experience with very limited enrollment and small class sizes, so please register early. Our venue for classes, CraigDhu, is located a few miles from Waipu on a majestic headland overlooking Bream Bay; huge thanks to the Craig Family.

We'll be coordinating rides from the Auckland Airport, and there are lots of lodging optons in the village of Waipu. Students attend classes daily (Friday-Tuesday.) and are encouraged to spend time with each teacher during the course of the week with the aim of discovering connections between oral traditions, expanding musical vocabulary, learning new techniques, broadening their sense of the instrument, and enabling them to find their own musical voice. The evenings will be filled with social gatherings that include excellent meals, concerts, informal gatherings and sessions of music-making with students and teachers alike. The week in Waipu will emphasize the fiddle, flutes, whistles & pipes. The course will suit those with basic playing experience, will cater to a wide range of ability and is designed to challenge as well as inspire.


2020 Performers and Guest Artists:

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
  • Baroque & renaissance flute - a daily session exploring repertoire & style for art and poular music of the 16th - 18th centuries
  • Whistle - in D
  • Scottish small pipes - ancient and unusual tunes are explored
  • Songs, ballads, and group singing - from the Celtic and North American traditions
  • Improv in Trad - with Chris
  • Sessions
  • Yoga & Stretching
  • Seaside walks
  • Local craft beer & wine tastings - (BYO-pot-luck)


Boxwood New Zealand Schedule: March 5 - 10, 2020

Thursday 5 March
Arrive at the house in Waipu late afternoon and gather for an evening meal of home-made local specialties, fresh seafood and more. A session will follow.

Friday 6 March
Daily classes with Catherine, Rob, Chris & Rennie

Saturday 7 March
Daily classes with Catherine, Rob, Chris & Rennie

7:30pm Evening Concert in Waipu

Sunday 8 March
Daily classes with Catherine, Rob, Chris & Rennie

Monday 9 March
Daily classes with Catherine, Rob, Chris & Rennie

Tuesday 10 March
Daily classes with Catherine, Rob, Chris & Rennie

Depart after lunch

Pricing Structure:

Prices for the 2020 week in Waipu are in New Zealand dollars (NZD)

Full Tuition: $585 - Includes classes, 5 great suppers, and Saturday concert

Work Study: $375 - Includes classes, 5 great suppers, and Saturday concert

Day Rate: $125/Day - Includes classes and a great supper in the evening


How to Register:

Registration is an easy 2-step process:

Step 1: Complete the registration form available here in October 2019

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.


Lodging options

Our venue is located near Lang's Beach, about 10km from the town of Waipu. We have reserved a lovely house adjacent to Lang's Beach for participants that's also within walking distance of our venue. Lodging is available here on a 1st come - 1st serve basis. The cost will be between $50-$60 NZD per night/per person. (5-nights lodging $250-$300 NZD) depending on the final occupancy. Contact us ASAP to book in here. If you prefer to do your own thing, you may also like to have a look at AirBnB or HomeAway searches for Langs Beach and Waipu Cove . Waipu Wanderers Backpackers in Waipu is an excellent lodging option, and they will often provide a discount to Boxwood attendees. Steve & Elaine can also direct you to other options in the area. Feel free to contact us directly for other lodging suggestions.


Catherine McEVOY- Irish flute & whistle

Winner of the TG 4 Musician of the Year 2019, Catherine McEVOY stands out as one of the finest exponents of the North Connacht tradition of flute playing and this reflects her strong family links with the area – her parents were from the Strokestown area of County Roscommon. Catherine’s approach to flute-playing, through her performances in sessions and on the stage, has inspired and influenced other musicians and listeners, most particularly through her visionary work as an educator and a teacher. Her early years in Birmingham, England, introduced her to the wealth of Roscommon music that was in the city at that time and Catherine has followed a musical path that reaches back to the older generations of players, whilst putting her own distinct and authoritative stamp on the flute. At a time when traditional flute-playing has rarely been stronger, Catherine McEvoy is admired as an exceptional and influential musician, teacher and advocate for traditional music. More about Catherine and her music:

Chris NORMAN - traditional & early flutes, small pipes, flutemaker

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


Rob ZIELINSKI - Irish fiddle, violin maker

Rob started playing the fiddle at age eight, learning to play by ear from his mentors Sean Doherty and later Mick Doherty (no relation) in Perth, Western Australia. Sean introduced Rob to Mick Doherty when he was twelve and it changed his life. Mick hailed from a long line of travelling fiddle players, storytellers and tinsmiths from Donegal. His Uncle Johnny Doherty was an iconic fiddler and featured in Ireland’s RTE documentary The Fiddler On The Road.

 At seventeen Rob travelled to Ireland where he spent fourteen years on the West coast immersing himself in the music of the older players. There, he played with and was influenced by musicians such as P.J and Martin Hayes, Paddy Canny, Martin Rochford, Francie Donnolly, Junior Creehan, Bobby Casey and Joe Ryan. Andy Davey, master of the Sligo style of fiddle playing, became the most musical man Robert ever met and his mentor for ten years. Robert’s other musical influences include Paddy Fahey, Andy Mgann, Tommy Potts, Michael Coleman, Lad O'Bourne, Ally Bain and Johnny Doherty.

Over the years Robert has developed a large repertoire of slow airs, jigs, reels, strathpeys, highlands, and original compositions. In the year 2012 Mick Doherty and Rob released their albumOut West to preserve the musical legacy of Mick's family, in particular, previously unheard versions of tunes handed down by Mick's father Hughie and grandfather Mickey Mor. This album was produced by The National Library of Australia and launched at Fairbridge Festival when Mick was 88 years old. Rob released his debut album The Day Dawn in 2018. Robert has toured in Europe and America and in the year 2000, he won Ireland's Michael Coleman Traditional Fiddle Player of the Year Award.

Rennie PEARSON - 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 2020 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, 2020. Refund requests made on or before January 15, 2020 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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