Monday, May 26, 2014

To reflect the changes which have happened over the last year we now have a new blog site - Maleny Tunes Class and Ceili Band.  We would love to have you follow us there.

Thank you so much to Nicole Murray for having the inspiration and enthusiasm for starting the tunes class.  It has launched so many of us on to exciting new musical paths.  Your new Brisbane Tunes Class is sure to be just as valuable to your new students.  We look forward to playing together at sessions or festivals in the future.


Monday, March 3, 2014

Wow, it's a long time since we updated this blog but that doesn't mean we've been idle .With most of the tunes class up to speed for playing at dances the Maleny Tunes Class and the Maleny Ceili Band are now a single entity.  Dozens of new tunes were learned during the second half of 2013 and several of those, and some older tunes, were combined to create new dance sets. These were put to good use at several events - Maleny Celtic Winter School, Maleny Wood Expo, the reopening of Maleny Community Centre, Mooloola 150th Anniversary, Maleny Music Weekend, a street performance for Maleny Christmas street party, and culminating in playing for the Irish ceili at Woodford Folk Festival.

This year is off to a fine start with a similar format to last year - Steve Cook conducting most classes with Jem Dunlop joining us from time to time sharing some of his great tune collection.  We are excited to be trying something new - Maleny legend Cath Ovenden, winner of a 2014 Golden Guitar award for her Tunes of Joe Yates album, is teaching us a swag of traditional Australian tunes which she has collected from isolated communities for over thirty years.  Cath will be presenting some of them in concert in May with our ceili band backing her.

No player of Irish tunes would miss St Patrick's Day so we will be fully immersed in the music at Finbar's 15th to 17th March.  From 2pm to 7pm on Saturday and Sunday the session players will be exploring every tune they can think of, then sitting back for the evenings to enjoy the bands Buckley's Chance and Barleyshakes.  There may even be another session on Monday evening.  It's always good craic at Finbar's so come along.

Our Wednesday classes continue, occasionally adding additional workshops such as guitar accompaniment. Each Sunday from about 5pm you'll find many of us playing at Finbar's and on the 1st and 3rd Sundays of each month there is a session at Maleny Hotel from 1pm until about 4pm.  New members are always welcome at the classes and sessions.  The Maleny Celtic Winter School will be held on 11th to 13th of July this year providing a weekend of solid tuition.  Why not start now and reap the full benefit at the Winter School. 

Monday, April 22, 2013

Maleny Music Weekend

A huge thank you to the organisers of The Maleny Music Weekend, what a huge success it was!
Members of the Maleny Tunes Class, in their guise of The Maleny Ceili Band, were programmed to perform a selection of tunes in the Platypus venue on Sunday.  The wonderfully supportive audience was soon on its feet dancing so it turned into a mini ceili, much to our delight.  Thank you to Steve Cook and Jem Dunlop for keeping us all on track.

photo by Ros Brawn.  Thank you Ros!

The weekend of May 4th and 5th will see the Maleny Wood Expo at the Maleny showgrounds.  The Maleny Ceili Band will be playing there on both days for some more fun. 

The action will continue in June when, on the weekend of 21st to 23rd, the hugely popular Maleny Celtic Winter School will again take place.  So, if you have an instrument, (everybody does - your voice is an instrument) and would like to learn something Celtic, come along.  Not only will there be instrument and singing classes during the day but also a tutors' concert on Friday, and Ceili and Trad Disco on Saturday evening.  All the details may be found at

And of course, if you want to prepare yourself for the Winter School, or want to be sure of developing what you learn there, come along to the Maleny Tunes Class on Wednesday evenings.

Wednesday, March 13, 2013

The St Patrick's weekend is always a busy one for Irish musicians.  The Tunes Class weekend starts at Eudlo on Saturday.  In the Eudlo Hall Nicole Murray and Emma Nixon will run a tune workshop from 1:30pm to 2:30pm.  From 3:00pm to 4:00pm there will be a concert which will include the amazing duo Rhiannon and Monique.  From 4:00pm to 5:00pm the Maleny Ceili Band will play for a family ceili.  That was heaps of fun last year - don't miss this one!
There is a probability that a group from the class will play at Caloundra markets for an hour on Sunday morning.  If you want to take part let Kate know.
The rest of the weekend will probably contain a lot of session playing centered around Finbar's in Maleny.

On March 20th there will be a rather special concert at the Danish Club in Newstead.  Alasdair Fraser and Natalie Haas will be supported by our own Wish List (Emma Nixon and Nicole Murray) .  Several of the Tunes Class members will be attending that so there will be no tunes class that evening.

March 27th will see Kate conduct her steady pace class then a number of us head to Canberra for the National Folk Festival.

Wednesday, December 19, 2012

The festive, or festival, season is here

The last couple of months have been busy for the Tunes Class and it has been great to see many new players join us.  Kate Fraser's steady speed class has proved to be popular and it won't be long before we hear more of her students joining us playing in sessions.

With Christmas just about here the Tunes Class term has come to a close, the last couple of weeks having been dedicated to practicing our dance sets for the Woodford Folk Festival ceili.  Many members will be away during January, some at the the Celtic Summer School in Victoria and others at various festivals.  The Tunes Class will restart on 6th February.  Those that remain in town are sure to find a session or two around the place.

The next term will bring in a few changes.  Nicole Murray has handed over the running of the group to the members themselves with the various tasks being shared.  Kate Fraser will continue to run the Steady Tune Learning fortnightly while the intermediate group will move their emphasis towards developing skills and creating more sets.  There isn't much point in developing these skills without putting them to good use so plans are afoot to run more ceilidhs throughout the year, including one during the Maleny Celtic Winter School of course. 

Merry Christmas and Happy New Year to everybody, keep those tunes coming!  We look forward to seeing all the regulars, and hopefully some new faces, on the 6th.

Kate's classes-
February 6th, 20th, March 6th, 27th (change of date due to Alasdair Fraser concert).

Tuesday, August 28, 2012

New Slow Tunes Programme

Maleny Tunes Class continues to develop and nurture community music. This week, fiddler Kate Fraser offered to formalise the beginners' class a little more, in addition to the patient work of Tania Owens, by running a series of programmed nights where you can be sure there will definitely be a beginners' class. Pop them into your diary, come along and really make some progress!

Kate will work on tunes over several weeks, giving you a good chance to work on them, and the repertoire will be selected from tunes the intermediate class is playing. The aim is to create a wider community of players who share each other's tunes.

Kate has also started a moderately paced session every second Sunday at the Maleny Hotel. Its on early in the afternoon, so you can still head on over to Finbar's at 4 for the session there too!

Kate's Dates (Slow speed beginners' class):

September 5th & 19th
October 3rd & 17th
November 14th & 21st
December 5th & 19th

See you there!

Wednesday, February 1, 2012

The Maids of Mitchelstown

Last night we learned a lovely slow reel, The Maids of Mitchelstown. There is a slow practice version in the sidebar to the right for playing along with. To hear the fabulous arrangement by the Bothy Band, look for them on youtube, or have a look at this link where the tune has been used to accompany some random pictures of knights in shining armour....

We also revised The Leprechaun, a tune Steve taught and which we are combining with The Kesh and Biddy the Bold Wife for a new céili set. For those who asked, here is a basic version of the dots.

Next week Nicole will run Tunes from the Vault, so send her the tunes you would like to revise. If there is the demand, Tania will run a slow class too.