Lake School Tutors

Tutors List for 2106 - Biods below are yet to be updated


2016 Tutors
Button Accordion and Session Master - Paddy Fitzgerald
Uilleann Pipes and Tin whistle - Jack Brennan and Nick Martin
Fiddle and Mandolin - Cathy Blake and Ewen Baker (mandolin)
Harp - Cath Connelly
Flute - Andy Rigby
Bodhran - Leamon Chambers
Pub Songs - Christy Cooney
Singing - Cora Browne
DADGAD Guitar - Tommy Carty
Irish Ceilideh Dancing and Sean Nos Dance - Marie Brouder
Songwriting - Vince Brophy
Cello - Rosie Luby
Irish language - Eamon Naughton
Guitar Basics and Advanced Guitar - Lou Hesterman
Stars On The Lake (Youth Band) - Geoff McArthur
Slow Sessions, House Parties, Concertina - Mark & Lisa McDonnell
James Joyce Reading Group - Jeremy Meagher
5 String Banjo and Songwriter's Session - Shane O'Keefe
Kids Program - Elley Hassiotis, Margie Brophy, Christine Meagher
Youth Program Ray Argall, (film -making) and Lucinda Clutterbuck (Art Shed)
Lake School parade - Andy Rigby
Blues and Bluegrass Session - Lou Hesterman
Irish Breadmaking - Fiona McAlinden
Vintage Beginners and Youth Ensemble- Felix Meagher
Spud Poets Dinner and Poetry Workshop- Colin Driscoll

Paddy Fitzgerald (Session master)




Internationally respected button accordionist from Clare who has been living in Australia since 1959. In 1963 he married Eileen Nash, and together living in Melbourne they raised nine children. Paddy has played in a number of bands including the Merry Moonshiners, The Bards and Gaelic Inheritance, as well as the famous Fitzgerald Family Band. Paddy will be leading many Lake Schools sessions including the Billy Moran Memorial Session at Micky Bourke's Pub on January 2 2012. Paddy will be assisted during the week by Melbourne fiddle player Nicki Kramer. Paddy was inducted as a Legend of the Lake at Micky Bourke's Hotel on July 4 2009!

Ewen Baker ( advanced fiddle and mandolin)




Ewen Baker returns to the Lake School to lead the Lake School fiddlers and mandolin in 2012. Ewen has a relaxed and down to earth teaching style that gets the basics of celtic style fiddling across to his students. He has recently toured with local icon singer and songwriter Shane Howard, and plays with a number of celtic music combinations in Melbourne. Ewen also works with bowmaker and luthier Atelier Puglisi. In spare momenbts Ewen is a fiddle teacher and runs his own recording studioin Melbourne.


Christy Cooney   (Pub Songs )


Maria Forde (singing)

Maria Forde

Maria's singing group has become one of the best attended events at the Lake School, and her students have been full of praise for her approachable teaching style. In July 2006 Maria was inducted as a Legend of the Lake  by Marion O'Hagan. As well as singing regularly around at concerts and festivals around Australia, Maria leads the Inner Moment Retreat workshops and and organises an annual Celtic Spirituality tour of Ireland. For enquiries contact


Tommy Carty (DADGAD guitar - irish tune accompaniment)




One of the finest guitar accompanists of Irish music in Australia, and was well recognised in Ireland before settling in Warnambool some 20 years ago. Tommy's Irish tune accompaniment class has been a great success in previous years, and we can look forward to more in 2012. Tommy has been at the hub of Irish music in Warnambool for some years, and has lead many sessions in the district. Expect to see Tommy at the centre of sessions at Micky Bourke's Pub and the late night session venue any night during the Lake School.

Tommy was inducted as a Legend of the Lake by Ted Egan at

            Micky Bourke's Pub, Koroit on July 5 2008.


Vince Brophy  (songwriting)

A leading Irish/Australian singer, songwriter and guitarist. An APRA award winner and a frequent performer around the nation at festival and concert venues. Vince's group of guitarists have been a regular fixture at The Lake School. In July 2007 Vince was being inducted as  Legend of the Lake, by Martha McEvoy from the Embassy of Ireland, at an evening at Micky Bourke's Hotel, Koroit.

Leamon Chambers  ( bodhran )                 



Red The Clown, Michaela Hickey, Ray and Lucinda Clutterbuck  - Kids & Youth Program


Ray and Lucinda   


Mark McDonnell  (Anglo Concertina)

Mark joins us again in 2012 after leading the slow session and concertina workshops in 2008, 2009, 2010 and 2011. The beginners session is designed for players who feel that they can't keep up with the tempo of the individual classes. For beginners Mark sees it as an opportunity to learn and go over some basic and easy tunes at a slow tempo. Mark has shown himself to be a gifted tutor at this type of teaching and his session at the Clifton Hill every Tuesday night has attracted many players, and we have received great feedback about his 2008 and 2009slow session classes. Mark has been playing the anglo concertina for many years and also repairs and makes them as a hobby. He is also co-author of "A Beginners Guide to Traditional Irish Music Rhythms." Mark is continuing a tradition he began last year by leading Family Sessions at the Commercial Hotel in Koroit on January 4-6 as part of the Lake School program this year.  Mark is assisted by his wife Lisa, and Mark and Lisa are being inducted as Legends of the Lake by Chris Atwell at Micky Bourke's Pub in July 2011.

Jack Brennan -tin whistle and uillean pipes

Jack Brennan returns this year as tin whistle tutor for the adult classes and for pipes. Jack has been playing Irish music as long as he can remember and started playing the tin whistle with the legendary Tim Whelan Snr in Adelaide in the 1970s. He bought his first set of Irish uilleann pipes in 1981 and has been influenced by pipers such as Finbar Furey, Leo Rowsomme, Liam O'Flynn, Paddy Keenan and Seamus Ennis.  He has performed with numerous groups over the years including Hopscotch, The O'Carolan Quartet and Celtsquad. In February 2005 he released his own CD titled "Pipers Dream" which features him playing traditional, contemporary and original compositions. He has mastered the art of reed making and plays a Concert D set made by Alain Froment in 1986.


Marie Brouder (Irish Set Dance)

Marie  Brouder joins the Lake School team of tutors in 2010 and her biog follows in her own words :-

I've been dancing 'set dancing since the early 80's, after there was a big revival in the late 70's  in Ireland.  Before that, set dancing was mostly danced in rural areas but in the late 70's a chap by the name of Connie Ryan started classes in Dublin and as they say the rest is history. People are set dancing all over the world now.

When I arrived in Melbourne in 1988, I joined up with the local branch of Comhaltas Ceoltoiri Eireann, as I was a member of my local branch at home.  Nobody had heard of set dancing here and I began to teach the sets that I knew.  Over the years I have travelled  far & wide teaching at workshops and festivals, to name a few, Port Fairy, Adelaide, Sydney, Canberra, Maldon, Francis Gathering (SA) and of course around Melbourne at the local Multicultural Festivals and we have danced displays at the St.Patrick's Day concert nearly every year. Twice now, I have been involved with bringing out some of the best set dance masters from Ireland to do workshops, Pat Murphy, and Gerard Butler.

 I teach two classes every week in Melbourne, one at the Quiet Man, Racecourse Rd. Flemington on Monday night 7.30 - 10pm and on a Wednesday night at St.Philip's Hall, Hoddle Street, Collingwood (beside town hall) 8-10pm. 
This type of Irish dancing is very socialable and great fun and people of all ages can learn.


Andy Rigby (African Music)



Eamon Naughton (Irish Language)

Eamon sat alongside 2011 Irish Language tutor Chris Mooney and was introuduced to the Koroit students, most of whom were taking their first steps learning the "Old Language." This year Eamon retunrs as tutor. Eamon is active in

the Irish Language School in Melbourne, and is just your man for those wanting a general intorduction to the language and a basic and beginners vocabulary.

Eamon was born in Co Meath, and brough up in the Gaeltacht there by his Connemara parents. He came to Australia in 1965, has taught at a Summer School in the Snowy Mountains, and is a founding member of the Irish Language Association of Australia.



Lou Hesterman (Blues and Bluegrass session)

Lou recorded almost the entire Lake School event in 2008 and 2009 and has made a wonderful collection of the music played. Overcoming many technical obstacles  and finding a friend and helper John "Ozzie" Osbourne, Lou managed to record nearly all the concerts and many of the sessions and burn them to CD. These recordings are available to enrolled Lake School students to purchase for a small fee, and Lou will be recording the 2012 the  main events and selling Cds in a similar manner. Lou will be based at the Koroit Historical Society and will be open for business every day during the Lake School. Photo below of Lou at the telescope in Tidbinilla, indulging his passion for cosmology!


Dennis Taberner (banjo sessions)

Long time Lake School committeeman and treasurer, Dennis Taberner, will be joing the Lake School tutors in 2012 to lead the banjo sessions. The banjo sessions are scheduled to be held in the Koroit Stadium, and we look forward to some great "craic" from the banjo players. Dennis is a songwriter, plays guitar and five string banjo, and has been a Warrnambool resident for many years!




Deidre O'Reilly (art exhibition)




Cath Connelly (harp)

Cath has become a regular fixture at the Lake School over the last couple of years, and her group of harpists resident at the refurbished Koroit Railway have added considerable colour and flair to the Lake School throng.

Cath lives in Melbourne and is a regular performer at functions, weddings and festivals. She has a great and approachable teaching style, and if you want to learn Irish and Celtic harp, the Koroit Railway Station is the place to be!




Geoff McArthur (Guitar basics)


Lucy Wise (Ukelele)




Jeremy Meagher (James Joyce Reading Group)

Jeremy's class of James Joyce readers was an exciting addition to the progrm in 2011. Every day of the school between 11am and midday Jeremy made the the unreadable book Ulysses clear and eminently readable to the dedicated band of literature lovers that attended. The grouo then performed a five minute version of the story at a Literary Brunch at Crossley Hall. This year jeremy will be linking the character of Stephen Dedalus, from Ulysses. with the Stephen Dedalus who forms a major character in Joyce's Portrait of the Artist As A Young Man.




Fiona McAlinden  (Irish bread making)


Just remember this Fiona Kitchen Rules! Fiona McAlinden who has attended the last three Lake Schools as a student and a supporting parent has put her hand up to demonsttrate the art of Irish bread making.




Nick Martin (Kids Tin Whistle)

Nick Martin from Adelaide SA also a uilleann piper, has been joining in the seessions at the Lake School for the last four years, and has lent a hand to Jack Brennan teaching the whistle program. Last year Nick joined us as the Kids Whistle tutor, and will do so again in 2012.




Nicki Kramer  (Fiddle)

Nicki Kramer has been coming to Koroit for the sessions for the last few years, and to assist Session Master, Paddy Fitzgerald. Last year a load landed on Nicki's lap when Paddy was at the last minute unable to attend, and Nicki stood up to the plate as the Session Master. For her efforts, and her ggod humour she was given the Mogyum Award. The Mogyum is an ocassional award recognising someone whose whose work may have gone unnoticed in the good running of the  klake School event. This year Nicki will tutor Beginners and Kids fiddle.






     Irish Ambassador, Máirtín O'Fainínand Arts Minister O'Cuiv with 2010 Lake School Art Exhibitor Brenda Grimshaw





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